La Pena Cultural Center Inc

A nonprofit organization

77 donors

La Peña is a vibrant 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. Located in Berkeley, California, we provide opportunities for artists to share their diverse cultural traditions, create and perform their work, and to support and interface with diverse social movements.

La Peña Cultural Center currently presents over 200 events a year. We also have 20 arts education classes that meet several times each month and we rent La Peña to other nonprofits and individuals more than 50 times a year. We’re most famous for our music and performing arts events, but we also engage in the visual arts through our outdoor mural and three indoor gallery space.  We also host a small Café that not only serves food during our events, but also is a space where more intimate events are staged.

The ultimate goal of La Peña is to act as a gathering place, to bring together our local and international communities through the arts, culture and social action. La Peña originated from a multi-racial group of Latin Americans and North Americans who came together as a response to the military coup that overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende in Chile. The coup happened on September 11, 1973 and was aided and abetted by the U.S. government. La Peña incorporated on September 11, 1974, one year after the military coup, and opened its doors in June of 1975.

At that time, La Peña became a safe-haven for Chilean exiles, and not long after, when war came to Central America, La Peña also welcomed refugees from its war-torn regions. With the help of community organizers, special programming (bringing musicians, poet and painters) was put in place in order to contribute to democratic efforts in Nicaragua and El Salvador. La Peña Cultural Center also began to make concrete efforts to foster a close relationship with groups in Latin America that organize national and international cultural events. La Peña sent delegates to the Cultural Congress in Chile during the dictatorship, to Latin American New Song Festivals in Ecuador and Nicaragua, as well as to conferences in Cuba. The La Peña Chorus has toured Cuba, Chile, and Chiapas, Mexico.

Since our founding in 1975, our programming has been a chronicle of the cultural, social and political struggles of our times, especially the efforts of the Latin American and Latino communities in the Bay Area and in the United States. Our Mission as a cultural center has always been to make connections between art and politics. At the same time we have also sought to make connections between local, national and international efforts for equity, true democracy and self-determination for all people. La Peña, as it has historically done, will always work with all communities.



Organization Data


Organization name

La Pena Cultural Center Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture




(510) 849-2568