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About La Peña Cultural Center
La Peña is a vibrant non-profit community cultural center with a global vision that has promoted social justice, arts participation, and intercultural understanding for over 40 years. As an internationally recognized gathering place, we support a multitude of cultural traditions, support progressive movements, and keep alive peoples’ histories. A check of our calendar on any given day might reveal international or local performances, adult and children’s classes, community events, social justice organizing, and much more. La Peña was started by a group of Latinos/as and North Americans as a response to the military coup in Chile that overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Dr. Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. La Peña opened its doors in June 1975 and has been thriving ever since. Today our focus is on supporting our new 21st century cohorts of leaders in arts activism in one of the most racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan areas in the United States. Our mission is to encourage creativity, promote dialogue, share knowledge, and build community capacity for social and economic change. La Peña’s educational philosophy stems from the cultural and political traditions of its founding: interconnectedness among cultures, cooperative efforts, innovations of new arts expressions, and solidarity among activists. Our distinctive programming brings together community leaders, educators, and activists, as well as teaching artists, professional and student musicians, dancers, poets, and muralists to participate in indigenous “roots art” forms from the Americas and the African diaspora. Our activities contribute to building civic engagement in a democratic society. In our work, we practice the egalitarian and collective practices that we hope will build a more just society in the future.