La Peña Cultural Center, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   31 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 3105 Shattuck Ave Berkeley CA 94705 USA

Mission: La Peña is a community cultural center with a national reputation and a global vision that promotes peace, social justice and cultural understanding through the arts, education and social action. It was founded in 1975.
Results: We are improving all information systems, coming up with a new webpage very soon, we have remodeled our lounge area for our SECOND GENERATION shows, and we are saving the historic Song of Unity mural in our wall!
Direct beneficiaries per year: 20,000
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area
Programs: La Pena organizes more than 200 events per year, including concerts, dances, lectures, poetry readings, films and videos, and discussions. Our space is also available for rent by community organizations for educational events, fundraisers, banquets, etc. La Pena operates a Latin American Cafe which provides light suppers, snacks, and beverages as well as a catering service. La Pena also offers classes in many disciplines of performing arts, including music, dance, art & organizing, Afro-Cuban culture, etc.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-2459560
510-849-2568
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Community Reviews

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a child La Peña was a space where my family sought refuge. A place where Chilenos and other exiled people could find home in a country so far from it. Growing up it would become a space of inspiration and learning. It was here I first heard spoken-word poetry, first saw art that reflected something I could understand, and met people from all walks of life, from every generation imaginable. Now as an adult La Peña remains a space of inspiration that educates the community through the arts, that forges bonds between people at community gatherings, and offers a space for all of us to have a voice and display our talents.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

La Peña is like a family. My husband in is the la Peña Community Chorus and whenever they perform, the staff and volunteers at la Peña and the Valpariso Restaurant make it feel like a family reunion that rejoices in music and fellowship. The message of social justice permeates all that happens there. It is a unique and important venue in the Bay Area - a real treasure. Kaye McKleroy

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Musical and cultural diverse programing have provided for me some of the most exciting, energetic, informative, deeply felt experiences in the past. I greatly appreciate their staff´s efforts to bring artist-musicians, spoken word, film, activism and much more to La Peña exposing the public to wonderful discoveries. La Peña Cultural Center is a valued nonprofit entity in the Bay Area community.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

La Peña Cultural Center was founded in the 1970s by political exiles from Chile and local activists. It serves the community by offering musical performances, classes, lectures, films, and a venue for community events. I am a member of the La Peña Community Chorus, which is one of many groups which use the facilities to gather, practice, and present performances. The chorus is fortunate to have two excellent directors. The Chorus provides the opportunity for its many members to enrich their lives musically while at the same time bringing messages of social justice and solidarity to our local communities and even abroad. La Peña Community Center and La Peña Chorus are an important part of my life and my community. La Peña Community Center deserves support to remain a vibrant and enriching part of our community.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A great cultural center with a wide range of concerts and other performances, talks and discussions of issues [including a regular science topic presentation], films, comedy, theater and dance performances. Art exhibits change monthly. The center hosts classes from music to yoga and has a chorus that performs pretty often. Most performances are directed toward all ages and persuasions, and audiences are diverse, but a group of young leaders are organizing shows and events to attract more young audience members, as well. Some events have a leftist bent that continues activist involvement since the center's founding by Chileans who fled the Pinochet violent dictatorship in the 1970s. Overall, it's a great place to soak up culture and meet people, with a fun cafe/restaurant on one side.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been going to LP since I was a youth. Great place to meet like minded conscious folks, build community, hear international music & lean about different struggles happening locally & the worldwide.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

There is no place like La Peña in the whole Bay Area, or maybe in the US for that matter. This is where one gets to meet all kinds of people, very young to very old, from all walks of life and from every corner of the world. If you want to experience a community that comes together to support its artists, and the artists who give back their best, then La Peña is the place. Music, Dance, Poetry, Film, Theater, Community Organizing, A celebration, a Memorial, an Exhibit, Hip Hop, Jazz, you name it, La Peña's got it, with the added benefit that you know you're supporting an organization that truly cares about the planet and its inhabitants.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The quality of the show, down to earth and yet top notch artistry; the space; the artwork on the walls; the history of it; the cafe where I met with my friends, and the PRICE! You can't get such a great show for so cheap! I don't know how they do it!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Warm, generous, inviting, friendly, funny, and oh so interesting!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Revamp its technical equipments, the sound, the lights, bringing into the 21st century. It is amazing what they can produce such quality programs given such a limited budget.

Ways to make it better...

I could use my credit card; but they're working on that one, they said.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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