Latinx Heritage Tour: Centro De Arte

For twenty years, El Centro de Arte operated as a community space for Latin -American artistic expression through music, photography, acting, poetry, and performance.

“Art is culture, Art is education, Art is the conscience of the people.” Centro De Arte’s Motto

In 1975, a small group of artists established the Spanish-American Community Arts (SACA) Project as part of the umbrella organization Fondo Del Sol. By 1976, the SACA Project renamed their group El Centro De Arte Inc. (commonly referred to as El Centro) and began working as an independent organization with the goal of providing a community space for artistic classes and expression.  

El Centro established their own office space in the Wilson Center to develop and fund art programs such as Teatro Nuestro (Our Theater), Rumisonko (“Heart of Stone” Latin American Folk Ensemble), and Galeria Inti (Inti Gallery). El Centro supported the creation and celebration of art, music, photography, and poetry in the Latin American community.  

Across Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, and Columbia Heights, El Centro provided a space for poetry reading, acting workshops, musical performances, and cultural celebration. The organization remained open and active until 2001, when changes in building management resulted in a lack of performance space and subsequent decline. Today, El Centro’s legacy can be seen in surviving neighborhood murals, a few of which can be seen here.


“Were you here? Estuviste aqui? Celebrating the History and Legacy of Centro de Arte.” Rosa Maria Ramirez, Corcoran College of Art & Design. Proquest Dissertations Publishing, 2014. DOI: 1556123.

"Un Pueblo Sin Murales es Un Pueblo Desmuralizado," Article by Hola Cultura



Centro de Arte: Audio
Source: Written and Recorded by Shae Corey
View File Record


3047 15th Street NW Washington DC 20009