MACLA is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.
More than 30,000 children, youth, young adults, families and community residents participate in the 50 programs MACLA produces each year in four core program tracts.
Visual Arts—Each year we offer up to six arts exhibitions—including one that features new work commissioned by MACLA—showcasing talented artists whose work is rooted in a Latino aesthetic and history, but inclusive of a broader multicultural sensibility. Our free exhibitions include artist talks, gallery walks and lectures that expand upon the themes and issues addressed and that place artists firmly within their artistic and cultural contexts.
Our visual arts program is fresh, innovative, and risk-taking. Focused on promoting established and emerging artists whose work is rooted in a Latino experience and history, but inclusive of global and multi-cultural movements, we see contemporary Latino art as part and parcel of the larger American experience.
Performing & Literary Arts—From hip-hop and spoken word to modern dance, our performance and literary arts tract offers new perspectives on contemporary Latino culture and civic society. Our 100-seat Castellano Playhouse is the leading downtown venue, providing space for diverse artists and performing arts groups each year.
As part of the National Performance Network (NPN), we offer two artist residencies annually and present national touring professionals. In addition, we commission one new work every other year.
Our Community Access Program (CAP) is an artist development strategy that focuses on artists of color who make up the first truly multicultural generation in Silicon Valley.
Youth Arts Education—MACLA’s approach to youth arts education received national attention when we were chosen to develop the San Jose Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy (PAYVA), launched in August 2011. Our year-round arts education curriculum serves youth ages 13-18 after-school and during the summer. The Academy features a dedicated gallery, classroom, and music production studio for our youth programs. Our Family Art Day program encourages families with young children to participate in our many arts programs.
Community Arts Program—This is the overall philosophy that informs all of our programs and translates our artistic practices into successful community-building strategies. Through arts-based programs and community events, we bring together multicultural artists, audiences, and a wide spectrum of residents so they may interact and develop mutual understanding.