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Latino Daily News

Tuesday April 12, 2011

Los Angeles Embraces Roots, Finally Opens Latino, Mexican-American Cultural Center

Los Angeles Embraces Roots, Finally Opens Latino, Mexican-American Cultural Center

Photo: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

With a Mexican-American mayor and the largest Latino population in the United States, it made little sense that Los Angeles had no Latino museum or cultural center, but with the help of actress Eva Longoria, that changed.

After watching Chicago, New York, Dallas, Long Beach, and even Omaha, Nebraska establish Latino- and Latin American-themed institutions, Los Angeles stepped up to the plate, and on Saturday, held the inaugural gala for LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Ms. Longoria not only chaired the gala, she is also a Board of Trustees member.

According their website, “LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is the nation’s premier center of Mexican American culture. Providing an experience unlike any other, LA Plaza’s interactive exhibits and dynamic programs invite visitors to explore as well as contribute to the ongoing story of Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and beyond. Located near the site where Los Angeles was founded in 1781, LA Plaza’s 2.2-acre campus includes two historic and newly renovated buildings (the Vickrey-Brunswig Building and Plaza House) surrounded by 30,000 square feet of public garden.”

The cultural center will provide educational programs, and include exhibitions on L.A.’s Mexican-American heritage. The center will be open to the public, and will occasionally have live music. Officials are hoping the center will bring the mish-mash of culturally relevant tourist attractions together and complete the “big picture” that is L.A.’s Mexican-American and Latino history.

President and CEO of LA Plaza, Miguel Angel Corzo, said, “We want to compare, or to counterpoint, the historic aspect of Los Angeles and the presence of the Mexicans and Mexican Americans with a bold here-and-now presence in terms of music, in terms of film, in terms of food.”

The center’s grand opening will be April 16th, when it will open to the public.