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Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

The Mission Cultural center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was originally called the Palmeto Museum, Originated in the early seventies by a group of San Francisco State University students who were frustrated with the lack of Chicano – Latino cultural representation and to promote Latino cultural expression, awareness and growth of the Mission District. These students and some community artist petitioned the city of San Francisco to purchased the old Shaff’s Furniture store located at 2868 Mission which became the Palmeto Museum at the same time three other buildings were purchased for the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Western Addition Cultural Center, the South of Market Cultural Center, and the Bay View Opera House.

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 has 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 is 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.

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