With our Cultural Arts Program we seek to enrich Latino communities and others by showcasing local, national and international artists through musical, visual and literary arts performances, workshops and educational events.
Each year, we produce a series of quality cultural arts events that are now San Francisco traditions, from our flagship Encuentro del Canto Popular, first produced in 1982, to the Flor y Canto Festival Para Nuestros Niños y Niñas, to the “Latino/a Life in the Bay Photography Exhibit.“ Our arts events unite Latino and non-Latino communities throughout the Bay Area, and build bridges with cultural artists from Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2015, we established our newest cultural arts component, the Juan R. Fuentes Gallery, which seeks to showcase diverse visual art forms—ceramics, watercolor, sculpture, photography, poster art—created by established and emerging Latino/a artists and non-Latino artists whose works depict the nuances of Latino life and culture.
Each year we produce an array of performing arts events, cultural experiences deeply rooted in our community. Our flagship event is the Encuentro del Canto Popular festival which is now in its 35th year. Some past highlights include the critically acclaimed Mission Latin Jazz Festival, and the now annual San Francisco Son Jarocho Festival.
Our Literary Arts programming is anchored by the annual Flor y Canto Festival Para Nuestros Niños y Niñas. A collaboration between Acción Latina and Talleres de Poesía, the Flor y Canto Festival is a family-oriented celebration of poetry and literary arts, complete with music and food and activities for the whole family. We also regularly host poetry readings throughout the year on our back patio. Among the noted guests, we’ve hosted are: San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Merguía, Jack Hirschman, Francisco X. Alarcón, Nina Serrano, Francisco Herrera, Rico Pabon, Agneta Falk, Benjamin Bac Sierra, Nancy Aidé González, Jorge Argueta and many many others.
We have always supported local, visual artists throughout the years in various ways. With the completion of our Juan R. Fuentes Gallery in late 2015, we are now able to provide emerging and established artists with a platform to showcase their work. In 2016 we produced eight diverse exhibitions–individual and group shows featuring work across a wide range of mediums. And the future looks bright, our 2017 schedule is quickly filling up.