The MCCLA opened its doors to the public in 1977 along with the names of the founding fathers and mothers of MCCLA. Originally the building was inadequate to serve as a center but thanks to the small staff and to the dedicated group of volunteers who spend laborious hours have now attained international recognition by winning two world graphic arts biennials: Germany and Cuba and developing an art space, Galeria, Museo. Most of these improvements were completed by the first year. Due to a lack of Funding MCCLA had minimal structural since 1977 a renovation master plan has been thought and discussed since the mid-1980s. Despite the lack of funds the quality of the program that MCCLA offers continues to demonstrate a high level of professionalism.
MCCLA’S main objectives to present the best representative sample of contemporary and ancient artistic traditions of Latin America and to develop in the community a high degree of sensitivity and understanding of Latin American culture. To this end, throughout its 38- year history the MCCLA has sponsored a series of local, national, and international activities and programs that helped establish it as the largest Latino cultural center in the continental United States. Many of the original projects and programs have been replicated in other parts of the United States.
The history of MCCLA is directly linked to a concept that embodies the pre-Cortezan belief that culture is not something that is static but rather linked to an ever-changing future that is reflected by contemporary actions and activities. This has been the path that MCCLA has followed for the last 25 years.
The History of the MCCLA by Juan Pablo Gutierrez, with archival research and technical assistance from Luis Alberto De La Garza.
Photo Gallery: Our Building Through Time
"The Founders" 25th Anniversary Video
Funders and SponsorsNALAC
The Zellerbach Foundation
San Francisco Arts Commission
The California Traditional Folk Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Humanities
and other private and individual contributors.
Early FriendsKathy Apodaca
John Santos Dolores Terrazas