An Institution of Stories
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes honors the past, inspires the future, and recognizes the enduring cultural influence of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and all Latinas/Latinos in Los Angeles through transformative exhibitions, programming and educational experiences.
Our central location at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the historical birthplace of the city, makes it an ideal place to plan and enjoy a full day of fun, art, culture, and history.
Imagine LA Plaza
Imagine a Spanish governor, 44 settlers–11 men, 11 women, and 22 children–along with soldiers, mission priests, and a few natives, arriving after an arduous journey from Mexico to the space by the river to build, grow, and live. They call it El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula or The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion. Imagine Los Angeles. Imagine the pueblo–first under Spanish flag, then Mexican, and finally the Stars and Stripes–slowly growing around the plaza.
And then, the river’s channel changes course and the pueblo and the plaza flood, is moved, and rebuilt. And after another flood, moved and rebuilt a second time. But the lure of the plaza is constant: It’s their social and spiritual center, a place of community, self-expression, and celebration.
The pueblo becomes a city. The city spreads, its economic and political center shifting south and west. The plaza’s fortunes ebb and flow, but it endures. The one constant: A distinct and vibrant Mexican and Mexican American presence that permeates the plaza, serving as its lifeblood and soul. Imagine the plaza as a living thing, central to the old pueblo, now a historic monument called El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument. Home to buildings dating back to the 1800s, structures built, abandoned, restored, reused. And now, imagine a walk across the Main Street of the now modern city, home to nearly four million people, to LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes—LA Plaza—a museum of history, art and culture that since 2011 has encapsulated and celebrated the rich origins, present influence, and future promise of the region’s Mexican American experience. Imagine, and welcome, to LA Plaza.