La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA 94705 logo

La Peña Cultural Center

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Berkeley, CA 94705


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Work Culture at La Peña Cultural Center

Community Oriented
Our Story

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. 

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