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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

La Peña Cultural Center, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

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.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Mal W.


Rating: 5

I've followed La Pena for more than 30 years, going back to the time when I worked in an office across the street from that striking mural emblazoned across its front. More recently, I've become a donor. The organization is in the midst of a major rejuvenation campaign designed to maintain its invaluable role as a center for politics and the arts for another four decades. I'm proud to be supporting the effort.


Rating: 5

I came to the SF Bay area in 1992 from NYC. I had heard of this wonderful arts and social change venue in Berkeley from friends and colleagues, so when I settled into my new life in the SF Bay area I checked out some of the programs in the theater and fell in love with the place. Now that I have a family, we all go to events either in the lounge or theater 2-4 a months. We enjoy the mix of folks, progams, classes and progressive social justice activities. Congratulations on 37 years and look forward to the next 37 years.


Rating: 5

La Pena keeps changing and the latest vibe is the late night events in the recently updated lounge. Last week there was a hot Brazilian Dance Party. The band was direct from Brazil and you could just feel the love. Everybody was movin' to the samba sounds. Plus it feels good to have fun at a place that also stands up for human rights and social justice. Que Viva La Pena!