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Rendering of proposed Mexican American Cultural Center of El Paso, formerly known as the Hispanic cultural center.

City Council selects location for Mexican American Cultural Center

On Tuesday, El Paso City Council designated the Abraham Chavez Theatre as the location of the Mexican American Cultural Center of El Paso, formerly known as the Hispanic cultural center.

Council also directed staff to develop a funding plan and look at additional options to provide for needed improvements to the Abraham Chavez Theatre.

“We are excited to get to this point. This gives us a good place to start as we move forward with the center,” said Ben Fyffe, Assistant Director of the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department. “We will continue to work closely with council and the subcommittee to bring a cultural center to El Paso that we can all be proud of.”

The design concepts presented to council include an addition to the existing theater that would create a separate entrance as well as space for center specific activities. As the center progresses, the city will also be able to complete much needed updates to the Chavez Theatre that will help it function better as a performance space and cultural center.

In turn, the subcommittee will work toward establishing a foundation that will help raise additional funds for the construction and completion of the center. The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) was also directed to develop collaborative programs for the center that would be located at other city facilities and government organizations and private institutions.

These programs will help build interest in the center and build an audience that will use the center once complete.

The Hispanic Cultural Center was approved by voters as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds. Following council direction, the Hispanic Cultural Center Subcommittee and MCAD staff conducted a programmatic study for the center.

By working with consultants and local architects familiar with the facility, a unique solution to address the space and programmatic needs for the cultural center was developed. This, in turn, will enhance the theater that is a focal point in the Downtown Arts District.

Author: City of El Paso

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