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An interdisciplinary Chicano/Latino space for art, thought, and activism in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 1970, the Galería is a non-profit community-based arts organization whose mission is to foster public awareness and appreciation of Chicano/Latino art and serve as a laboratory where artists can both explore contemporary issues in art, culture and civic society, and advance intercultural dialogue. To implement our mission, the Galería supports Latino artists in the visual, literary, media and performing art fields whose works explore new aesthetic possibilities for socially committed art.
Our programs include visual arts exhibitions, an online archive, the Digital Mural Program, Lunada Literary Lounge, the Youth Media Project, GINAA (Grantwriting for Indigenous and Native American Artists), and the ReGen Artist Fund.
Throughout its history, Galería has emerged as an international forum for the examination and expression of artistic concepts central to the Chicano/Latino experience --concepts such as community memory, popular culture, ceremony, family and social activism. When Galería opened in 1970, El Movimiento Chicano --the Chicano civil rights movement-- was its galvanizing and unifying force. The movement aimed to enhance the everyday lives of the Chicano community through exhibitions, community art programs and cultural activities while making art accessible to the largely Chicano/Latino population of San Francisco’s Mission District.
Since its founding in 1970, Galería has been conducting programs serving Latino audiences and artists. It is one of the nation’s most stable and cutting-edge Latino arts organizations. Like many cultural institutions of its kind in the country, Galería was born of the legacy of cultural activism. It was founded by a group of Chicano artists and community activists in San Francisco's Mission District, which included Rupert García, Peter Rodríguez, Francisco X. Camplis, Graciela Carrillo, Jerry Concha, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Carlos Loarca, Manuel Villamor, Robert González, Luis Cervantes, Chuy Campusano, Rolando Castellón, Ralph Maradiaga, and René Yañez. Peter Rodríguez gave Galería de la Raza its name. René Yañez and Ralph Maradiaga later become the Galería’s first artistic and administrative directors, respectively.