Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts

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Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
TypeArts nonprofit
PurposeTo promote the diverse experiences of Chicano and Latino people through art and support the local community.
Coordinates37°45′04″N 122°25′14″W / 37.751242°N 122.4205681°W / 37.751242; -122.4205681Coordinates: 37°45′04″N 122°25′14″W / 37.751242°N 122.4205681°W / 37.751242; -122.4205681
Key people
Alejandro Gato Murguia, Alfonso Maciel, Raul Salinas, Ernesto Cardenal, Nina Serrano, Roberto Vargas
Formerly called
Centro Cultural de La Mission
2015 Carnaval San Francisco Parade
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts float at the 2015 Carnaval San Francisco Parade

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) is an arts nonprofit that was founded in 1977, and is located at 2868 Mission Street in the Mission District in San Francisco, California.[1] They provide art studio space, art classes, an art gallery, and a theater.[2] Their graphics department is called Mission Grafica, and features at studio for printmaking and is known for the hand printed posters.


Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) provides art studio spaces, art classes, an art gallery, and a theater.[2]

MCCLA is active in the local community with supporting a series of annual events in the neighborhood such as the Carnaval parade, Dia de los Muertos, and others. Since 2003, MCCLA has been hosting an annual mole sauce competition.[3] The MCCLA is very active in the annual Carnaval parade, teaching related dance classes, building floats for the parade, help with designing Carnaval costumes, creating banners and posters, and more.[4] Additionally MCCLA is active in the annual Dia de los Muertos in the Mission District with erecting alters in Garfield Square park.[4] They have hosted an annual neighborhood art exhibition in February, Corazón del Barrio, where local artists and craftsmen sell works, prints, jewels, pottery, and weaving.[4]

The 40th anniversary of MCCLA was celebrated with an art exhibition attempted to expand the communities understanding of Latino experiences, “Here Now: Where We Stand,” (2017), curated by Anthony Torres.[5] The exhibition included artists Juan Fuentes, Andrea Gomez, Art Hazelwood, Ester Hernandez, Yolanda Lopez, Calixto Robles, Michael Roman, Patricia Rodriguez, Jos Sances, Rene Yañez, amongst others.[5]


The idea of a neighborhood community arts space had been in discussion starting in 1972.[6] In 1976, the Mission Arts Alliance was formed, led by Alejandro Gato Murguia and their first meeting was with the San Francisco Arts Commission.[6] A building was purchased by the city and prior to becoming the arts center, the building was used as a furniture store named "The Shaft".[6] Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was founded by 1977 by artists and community activists to promote the experiences of Chicano, Central American, South American, and Caribbean people.[1] It was formally named, Centro Cultural de La Mission.[6]

Early artists active in the organization included many writers and poets such as Ernesto Cardenal, Nina Serrano, Roberto Vargas, and Raul Salinas.[6][7] They called themselves the Pocho–Che group and they printed many political books and flyers including the Chicano zine El Pocho-Che.[6][8] By 1978, a bulletin arrived from the Sandinista National Liberation Front calling for urgent action and support for the Nicaraguan Revolution.[6] As a result, the leaders started to leave the Centro Cultural de La Mission group to participate in the Sandinista guerrilla offensive, and the new leadership for Centro Cultural de La Mission under Alfonso Maciel changed the direction away from political activities.[6] By 1980 the Pocho-Che group had disbanded.[6]

The graphics and printing department, Mission Grafica, was founded in 1982 by Jos Sances and Rene Castro.[9][10]

Notable artists[edit]

This is a list of notable artists affiliated with MCCLA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Candelaria, Cordelia (2004). Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-313-33211-1.
  2. ^ a b Arreola, Daniel (2004-11-01). Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places: Community and Cultural Diversity in Contemporary America. University of Texas Press. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-292-70562-3.
  3. ^ "Neighborhood Notes: Mural unveiling on 24th Street this weekend, plus a slew of arts and music". Mission Local. 2019-11-15. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  4. ^ a b c Selbach, Gérard (2004-12-01). "Interview with Jennie E. Rodríguez, Executive Director of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA, August 15, 2001". Revue LISA/LISA e-journal. Littératures, Histoire des Idées, Images, Sociétés du Monde Anglophone – Literature, History of Ideas, Images and Societies of the English-speaking World (Vol. II - n°6): 95–100. doi:10.4000/lisa.2833. ISSN 1762-6153.
  5. ^ a b "Mission Cultural Center turns 40 - Q&A with exhibition curator". El Tecolote. 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Herrera, Juan Felipe. "Mission Cultural Center, Historical Essay". FoundSF. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  7. ^ "Guide to the Raul Salinas Papers, ca. 1950-1994". Online Archive of California (OAC), California Digital Library. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  8. ^ Murguía, Alejandro. "Remember Me When You Drink Good Wine (en español: Recuérdame cuando bebas buen vino)". Stanford Libraries. Stanford University. Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  9. ^ Hashe, Janis. "Jos Sances' Great White Whale". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  10. ^ Rossman, Michael (November 1986). "Evolution of the Social Serigraphy Movement In the San Francisco Bay Area, 1966-1986". FoundSF. Retrieved 2020-11-07.

External links[edit]