THE LATINO CENTER
¡Viva la cultura! Sacramento’s Latino Center of Art and Culture brings new life to a landmark, continuing its vital celebration of heritage - Sacramento News & Review
The mission of the Latino Center of Art and Culture is to foster artistic, economic and cultural development of the Sacramento region's Latinx community by presenting, exhibiting, and providing excellent artistic programs and services to Latinx artists, organizations and families. In this way, we actively seek social justice for marginalized and underrepresented Sacramento communities.
The Latino Center of Art and Culture grew out of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1970’s and served as a hub to Sacramento’s Chicano artists. Founded in 1972 as La Raza Bookstore, in 2014 the Center became the Latino Center of Art and Culture. LCAC’s programs reflect and serve artists and communities who are marginalized whether by race, class, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or immigration status, presenting underrepresented voices from the Latino diaspora. We do this as a multi-disciplinary cultural center offering new insights into contemporary, emerging Latinx art and at the same time support and maintain centuries-old cultural traditions that speak to and reflect Latino identity and history.
Our work speaks directly to the needs and socio-economic reality of marginalized communities, instilling cultural pride and strengthening our community’s self-image by sustaining the art, culture and traditions of the regions Latinx populations.
Inclusion is embodied in all parts of our LCAC’s programming. The Center’s staff, board and the community members who are part of our extended family broadcast that LCAC is inclusive, respectful of differences and actively supportive of populations who have historically been defined as “other”.
The Center pays special attention to folk and traditional artists because they carry our cultural traditions and because they are predominantly newly arrived immigrants. We seek and encourage emerging visual and performing artists to grow and take chances as they explore their artistic potential. Our board and staff come from our community. Among our constituents are our neighbors, compadres, and family members.
Your donation will help us continue to support Sacramento artists and to involve our community in culturally relevant events. All artists and performers are paid for their work.
LCAC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Our Board Members
David Bischoff, Historian
Born in Sacramento. Graduate of Jesuit High School and California State University, Sacramento: BA in English/Classical Rhetoric and British 17th Century Literature, minor Latin/Language and Literature; MA in Art/Art History. Worked in English Department (Tutoring Center and Advanced Study Program) and Art Department (Art Gallery and Slide Library). Faculty at Jesuit High School from 1990 to 2016: Program Director and Department Chair of Visual and Performing Arts, teaching Art History, Art of Diverse Cultures, Art of Film, Digital Photography and Broadcast Journalism. Selected exhibitions curated (or co-curated) include “Sin Fronteras/Images of Hope: ¡Reni Templeton Presente!” for Latino Center of Art and Culture (2017); "Co-Madres Artistas" for Sacramento City College and San Jose State University (2014); "Juanishi V. Orosco: Solo Flight/Visions of Aztlan" for La Raza Galeria Posada (2009); "Creative Collectives: Chicana Painters Working in Community" (based on the research of Maria Ochoa) for California State University Sacramento, University of California Davis, and San Jose State University (2004-2005); "Adelante 2000: Sweet Grass, Cedar and Sage: a truly humanistic vision in the wake of propositions 187 and 209" for California State University Sacramento (2000); "Louie ‘The Foot’ Gonzalez: Within Reach" for California State University Sacramento (1997); "Peter VandenBerge" for California State University Sacramento (1996); "Esteban Villa: Pero Sera Así" for California State University Sacramento (1994); "Robert Else: Retrospective 1990" for California State University Sacramento (1990); "Manuel Neri" for California State University Sacramento (1984); "RCAF Mural Show" for California State University Sacramento (1984).
The Latino Center's Director Emeritus, Marie Acosta is well known through the community for her passion and love. Without her, The Latino Center would not be where it is today.
Justin Mata, Secretary
Justin Mata serves as the Director of Operations and New Business Initiatives for the Minnesota Street Project, an arts organization based in San Francisco. He has volunteered for arts non-profits such as Free Arts NYC, 4Culture (Seattle), Seattle Art Museum and Minnesota Street Project Foundation (San Francisco). As an artist his paintings, installations and videos have been exhibited and screened in galleries and film festivals internationally.
Alma Elizabeth López, Board Chair
Alma currently serves as Youth Justice and Youth Leadership Development consultant and was previously the Executive Director of Brown Issues, a statewide youth-centered leadership organization that cultivates the next generation of Brown Leaders. In this capacity, Alma supports systems change organizing and leads collaborative work with healthcare and education advocates. She also manages the organization’s year-round Sacramento County high school organizing programming on education, healing, civic engagement, and narrative change. Previously, Alma held positions as community organizer, education and health policy analyst, and continues to work directly with youth and their families around immigration, K-12 education, and higher education; topics dear to Alma’s heart. As a first-generation college student, Alma received her Bachelors of Science in Biology and a minor in Chicano Studies from California State University, Sacramento. She was born and raised in Zamora, Michoacán, México, and spends time with her family or playing soccer in her free time.
PPMM Public Affairs Dir. Candelaria Vargas
Greater Sacramento Area/Stockton-San Joaquin/Alameda County
Candelaria Vargas, as a former foster child, grew up throughout the Central Valley and is a proud daughter & granddaughter of migrant farm workers and food service workers. She is an accomplished political and community organizer committed to working to improve the lives of families, especially reconstructing systems that marginalize communities of color. Alumnae of University of the Pacific, BA in Spanish Literature & Pedagogy, Minor in International Affairs & CSU, Stanislaus, Masters in Public Administration (MPA).
Carissa L. Gutiérrez, Executive Director
Carissa serves as a Communications Manager at California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Carissa is a communicator focused on strategic messaging and operations optimization and is all about getting the right message across and breaking down silos. She is dedicated to managing interdisciplinary cultural projects with an emphasis in gender and community issues.
Experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the community and higher education industry. Skilled leader in Community Relations, Student Development, Training, Education, Relationship Building, Compliance, Evaluation, Program Development, Strategic Planned and Diversity and Inclusion. Energetic business development professional with over 15 years relationship building and public relations experience within the community and with business partners.
Raquela Mejia is a woman of many talents. She is the creator, Executive Producer, and visionary of Dinorah Desde, which is now airing on PBS!
Raquela is a Sacramento native that found her way to Los Angeles. Her passion for music and art led her to the City of Angels, where she spent time working in music industry. She loved living there but wanted to be back home in Sacramento, so she began bridging her time between the two cities.
She has had the privilege of working in record promotion and artist relations for WEA Latina Records. In addition, she co-owns Maxima Records with Pierre Garreaud and Gustavo Farias.
In 2016, she released the single "Mantra For Good People," which pays homage to the love and unity of people worldwide and brings together many talented singers from around the world in this gospel-pop song. Raquela is also composer/producer for the upcoming release of teen Alana Nikole's new CD titled "Precious Moments."
Jesús is the proud son of immigrants, a lover of music and a non-profit professional with experience in fundraising, communications and grassroots advocacy. He currently serves as Development Associate at Opening Doors Inc, a non-profit enriching communities by supporting immigrants, refugees, and survivors of trafficking on their path to stability, self-sufficiency, and belonging. He received his Bachelor of Arts from University of San Francisco in 2016 with double majors in Politics and Latin American Studies. He is an alumni of Cristo Rey High School and volunteers as a mentor with the Exodus Project, which offers spiritually-based mentoring and other resources for men and women of all faiths coming out of incarceration and returning to the Sacramento Area.
Marina Servantez, Treasurer
Marina currently serves as the Director of Education at the CA Park & Recreation Society. In this capacity, she plans education and organizes resources for CA's parks and recreation agencies. She received her BA in Political Science, with minor concentrations in Sustainability and Ethics, Justice & Policy. Marina has spent her entire professional career working for associations serving local governments, and is a strong proponent of the value of local community services and organizations.
Max Vargas, Vice Chair
Max is an innovative leader and strategic advocate committed to equity, justice, and liberation. As the Vice President of Economic Justice, Max leads LCF efforts to catalyze and grow the economic security, mobility, and power of the Latino community.
He brings a range of policy, legal, and community experience to LCF and previously served as Deputy Director of First 5 California, where he oversaw legislative, policy, and media initiatives supporting child care, paid family leave, and other essential needs for California families. Prior to that role, Max was Senior Policy Advisor to Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs where he supported legislation to address housing access, coordinated COVID-19 response measures, stewarded the expansion of after-school programs, managed climate justice initiatives, coordinated pilots for economic security and opportunity, and contributed to legal briefs in defense of immigrant families, an effective Census count, and health equity.
Max has also worked for the California State Senate, the State Assembly, local workforce development and transportation agencies, and the National Council of La Raza (now UnidosUS). He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of the Pacific and a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law. Max is also an alumnus of the Rose Center’s Equitable Economic Development Fellowship and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and serves on the board of Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte and the Stockton Public Schools Foundation.
Max is a former unaccompanied minor and political asylee from Peru whose personal story and career arc are rooted in reimagining the values and systems we uphold and for whom we uphold them. He is a loving father of three and husband to a proud Chicana, and enjoys travel, wine tasting, hip hop, and salsa dancing.