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Latino Cultural Arts Center aims to empower Latino artists and creatives in Colorado

Latino Cultural Arts Center aims to empower Latino artists and creatives in Colorado
Latino Cultural Arts Center aims to empower Latino artists and creatives in Colorado 02:14

We all know Colorado has a vibrant cultural arts scene. Now a vision that's been decades in the making is beginning to take shape for our region's Latino community. An arts hub hoping to lift up a new generation of artists and storytellers.

Executive Director of the Latino Cultural Arts Center Alfredo Reyes relates the vision to advance and elevate the artistic and intellectual contributions of Latinos via a new center. He met with us at the future site of "Las Bodegas" which hopes to build a path to economic empowerment for Latinos. It's located at West 12th Avenue just east of I-25.

"How are we creating that pipeline?" Reyes asked. "For artists, for educators for young people to have high paying careers in the cultural arts while preserving our history while preserving our art and our culture?"

Latino Cultural Arts Center

After a year-long study Reyes and his team identified what needs to happen to ensure Colorado's Latino community is equipped to reap the rewards of Colorado's $16 billion dollar creative economy.

"So we're currently standing in what will be the multimedia lab where young people can come and learn about film about audio about photography, and learn the technical skills along with the creative and imaginative capacity to participate in the film industry," Reyes said.

There will be classrooms, space to display community art, a café and courtyard.

A public art mentoring program will train new talent in the rich traditions of Mexican muralism.

Latino Cultural Arts Center

"We're also going to house our ofrendas program here, which combines the ancient and contemporary tradition of altar making with mental health and conversations about grief and resilience."

LCAC already owns the land and 14 thousand square foot space for the future center - free and clear. Thanks to a donation from the organization's board chair and founder, Adrianna Abarca.

$4.75 million dollars has already been raised for the development.  Another million dollars is needed for the center to become reality.

"It'll also be a bridge between two of Denver's most diverse and historic neighborhoods, Sun Valley and La Alma park, and be that place where all people from Denver can come and celebrate and learn and heal together," Reyes added.

Latino Cultural Arts Center

Construction is expected to begin very soon at the "Las Bodegas" campus of the Latino Cultural Arts Center. A grand opening is hoped for in 2024.

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