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New Mexican American Cultural Center to Focus on L.A. and Southern California

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Photo Courtesy of LA Plaza

Photo Courtesy of LA Plaza
Next Year, Los Angeles will gain another museum and cultural center and it will be quite unique for anyone curious about the early days of the city and its roots. When LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes opens on April 15th, it will be housed in what was once the tallest building in the city -- five whole floors! -- and near where the city was founded in 1781. “The Mexican and Mexican American presence has permeated the communities of Los Angeles with its enduring values and celebration of life, touching and enriching everyone in this global metropolis and beyond,” said LA Plaza’s President and CEO Miguel Ángel Corzo today in announcing the opening date. “We at LA Plaza are thrilled to tell the comprehensive, vital story of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles.”

Found across Main Street from El Pueblo, where throngs of tourists visit Olvera Street, La Plaza's home will be on over 2 acres of land that includes the Vickrey-Brunswig Building, the neighboring Plaza house and 30,000 square feet of open space dubbed as El Jardin. Officials hope it becomes the "nation’s premier center of Mexican American culture and arts."

Inside, a typical visit will include exhibits, a walk through a recreation of Main Street during the 1920s, an interactive area to tell your own heritage story and a film screening room. Outside in El Jardin, there will be a community garden, an outdoor kitchen, a memorial olive grove, an outdoor stage and another performance space that can hold up to 1,500 people.

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Public programs will include musical performances, cooking classes, a film screenings, garden activities, book-signings and speaker series.