August 1, 2008

“Learn how the Centro can be a cultural home for you”

Centro Cultural de la Raza will host community forum

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

After a year since a seven-year boycott ended, el Centro Cultural de la Raza will have a community forum on Saturday, August 2, at 4 p.m.

At the forum, community members will have the opportunity to express their opinions about the current state of el Centro, meet with Centro administrators and representatives, and propose ideas for the development of new programs.

“The purpose of the Centro community forum is to inform the community about opportunities for participation at the Centro and to receive input about the kinds of programs, issues and events the Centro needs to be addressing in the coming year,” said Victor Payan, Centro Community Advisory Council Member and Arts Advisory Committee Member.

Payan said that since the community boycott ended last year, el Centro has been busy scheduling events that include local artists and that are inclusive of the community.

“We’re really happy about the work of the Board, Staff, Arts Advisory Committee and volunteers have done to create a Centro that is open, transparent and serves the needs of the community,” he said.

“Through these efforts, there has been a tremendous increase in the diversity and quality of programming, audiences have grown, and the Centro is now open six days week. 

“Major community events such the Re:Union exhibit, December Nights extravaganza, the new Ballet Folklorico program and strong visual arts exhibits are bringing audiences, artists, vendors, youth and elders back to the Centro, and that’s really great to see.”

The community forum will be the perfect place to learn more about what’s going on at El Centro, he said.

“People should attend this meeting so they can see the wonderful events taking place at the Centro, learn how they can participate and meet the people who are working hard to create dynamic exhibits, performances, classes and events for the community.  The Centro is experiencing a wonderful rebirth, and we want everyone to be a part of it,” Payan said.

The community forum, which will be bilingual, in English and in Spanish, is open to everyone, he added.

“We want everyone to participate in the forum: artists, youth, elders and familias. Whether you been part of the Centro family for years or have never been to the Centro, we invite you to attend the forum and learn how the Centro can be a cultural home for you,” Payan said.

He said that issues addressed at the community forum will include how to submit proposals for programs, avenues for participation, updates on progress and receiving community input to create an even better Centro over the coming year.  Staff and committee members will also answer questions from the community. 

“It is important to attend this forum, because the need for a Centro that reflects, empowers and addresses the concerns of the community is greater than ever,” Payan said.

To stay informed about events at the Centro, visit, email or call 619-235-6135. The Centro Cultural de la Raza is located at 2125 Park Blvd., in Balboa Park.

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