By Bill Hendrickson
Correction: This post was corrected on Jan 21 at 9 p.m. to reflect that the Cultural Heritage Commission has approved the application for Historic-Cultural status for the buildings that housed Mechicano Art Center and Centro de Arte Público. The application will now be heard by the Planning and Land Use committe of the L.A. City Council and, if approved, will be voted on by the L.A. City Council.
The Cultural Heritage Commission of the City of Los Angeles voted unanimously on Jan. 21 to approve an application for Historic-Cultural monument status for the buildings in Highland Park that housed the Mechicano Art Center and the Centro de Arte Público, two art centers at the forefront of the Chicano Art Movement in the 1970s.
The application for Historic-Cultural monument status will now come before the Planning and Land Use committe of the L.A City Council.
In advancing the application, the commissioners acknowledged that the artists who founded and worked at these art centers had expanded and translated the political, social and cultural messages of the Chicano Movement into the artistic realm.
Among those artists are several who are now considered major talents of the 20th century and 21st century, including Carlos Almaraz, Guillermo Bejarano, Barbara Carrasco, Sonya Fe and Judithe Hernandez.
The Highland Park Heritage Trust is leading the drive to gain historic-cultural status for the buildings. Strong support for the effort has been provided by City Councilmember Gil Cedillo of Council District 1, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and Avenue 50 Studio, among other organizations and individuals.
Related coverage: Speaking up for Highland Park’s Chicano heritage, Jan. 19, 2021