October 6, 2000
Albuquerque, NM - The $50 million National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will hold three days of Grand Opening events beginning October 20, 2000 with a gala reception and dinner, a parade celebrating Hispanic communities and traditions from throughout the state concluding with the grand opening ceremonies featuring international, national and regional dignitaries and celebrities along with the public have been invited to participate in the historic event at the nation's only Hispanic cultural center.
In 1983 a small group of people including Edward Romero, present U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Edward Lujan, current Chairman of the Board of the NHCC, and Arturo Ortega, deceased, proposed to identify, preserve, present and enhance Hispanic arts and humanities. Lujan says, "The center's opening is the culmination of 17 years of dedication, visioning, sacrifice, planning, and just plain hard work. We thank all those who have given of their time, money, talent and support. The vision of preserving and promoting Hispanic culture and educating the peoples of the world about the enormous contributions Hispanics have made becomes a reality."
The NHCC is located on 22 acres in the Barelas district of Albuquerque, along the Camino Real. The Camino Real is the road used by the conquistadors over four hundred years ago to travel north from Mexico to eventually found Santa Fe.
The center will be home to a Visual Arts complex with several art galleries and exhibit spaces, a genealogical research center, a library and archive, a 2500-seat outdoor amphitheater, a 700 seat multipurpose theater, a ballroom, a culinary arts program, a 300 seat film theater, a 150 seat black box theater for experimental and developing plays, dance and music. It will also have a restaurant, rehearsal and workshop space and administrative offices. The State of New Mexico and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District have set aside part of the riverside bosque adjacent to the center for use by visitors to the center.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center is being constructed with Federal, State and private funding. The City of Albuquerque has also been a major partner in land acquisition for the center.
The not-for-profit, Hispanic Cultural Foundation was established in Albuquerque to generate public and private financial support for the center' s capital costs, programs and operational expenditures. For more information visit www.hcfoundation.org .