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Latino cultural center in downtown Phoenix aims for fall opening

[Source: Jenna Davis, Arizona Republic] — The new Latino cultural center that [the Phoenix City Council] approved for downtown may open in November.  Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture Consortium Inc. will have access to a city-owned building beginning Aug. 1 and will then have 120 days to prepare the new facility.  Ruben Hernandez, a spokesman for the group, said organizers hope to have a soft opening on Sept. 15 to coincide with the eve of Mexican Independence Day, but it might be November or December before the 7,200-square-foot facility is ready for visitors. 

The cultural center has been the focus of a consortium of Latino arts groups that said it realized that in a city of 1.5 million people, 40 percent of whom are of Hispanic decent, a Latino cultural center was needed.  The building previously housed the Museo Chicano, 147 E. Adams St., which closed in January.  [Note: Read the full article at Latino cultural center in downtown Phoenix aims for fall opening]

Group seeks funds for downtown Phoenix Latino cultural center

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — A consortium of Latino arts groups has taken several early steps to bring a small Latino cultural center to downtown Phoenix.  That includes a kickoff fundraiser tonight that will help the group raise money for that center and lay the groundwork for a $10 million Phoenix facility they want to build years down the road. But Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture Consortium, Inc. may have to postpone its plans to open that temporary center in the fall.

The group has key fund-raising and bureaucratic hurdles to clear before that space could open its doors:

  • The group has yet to secure a $25,000 loan that would provide the initial money for the temporary cultural center.
  • The consortium has had early discussions with Phoenix officials about leasing the city-owned space that used to house the Museo Chicano, a small museum that closed in January.  But the group needs to submit a detailed proposal and a business plan, said Kathy Wenger, a deputy director at the Phoenix Convention Center, which manages the lease for that storefront.
  • Any lease would need to be approved by a City Council subcommittee and the full council.

[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Latino artists increasing their profile on Phoenix First Fridays

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — When the Valley’s marquee monthly art walk returns today, it will include several spaces showcasing Latino artists.  The events range from an Arizona State University exhibit to start-up galleries that focus on Latino art.  First Friday, the monthly self-guided tour of downtown Phoenix art galleries and spaces, is important to local artists because it brings thousands of visitors, and it exposes artists to throngs of people who may not have otherwise seen their work.

Friday’s events come as an arts group pushes to create a Latino museum and cultural center in downtown.  Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture want to raise $200,000 to open a small cultural center this year, but eventually plan to build a $10 million facility downtown.

Hispanic artists are becoming more visible on First Fridays, said Nydia Cortez, who opened Lo Nuestro Gallery in June.  “It’s a small but growing scene,” Cortez said.  The gallery at 736 W. Fillmore St. embraces art from a wide sweep of Latin American countries, including Cuba.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]