The Center for Latino Arts and Culture was established in 1992 by a committee of Latino faculty, staff, and students from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
The Center is housed in a ca. 1910 two-story American Foursquare house-style on the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. In 1995, the front portico was adorned with a mural by artists Luis Collazo and Jaime Zuñiga. A new mural by Trenton-based artist Ricardo Coke was created in 2011.
Isabel Nazario served as founding director for the CLAC from 1992 through 2002. The Center continued under Nazario’s leadership as Executive Director of the Office of Intercultural Initiatives from 2002-2004. In 2004 Nazario was appointed Associate Vice President for Academic Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities.
Since 2005, the Center has been directed by Dr. Carlos Fernandez.
Milestones and Achievements
- In 1996, the Center for Latino Arts and Culture and the Middlesex County Cultural Heritage Commission were awarded the New Jersey Exemplary State and Local Award in recognition of significant achievement for developing a cultural plan for the Latino community.
- The CLAC has researched and produced over thirty exhibitions and catalogues. Several of the exhibitions traveled to international venues and received positive reviews in the New York Times as well as in local and national papers.
- Since 1996, the CLAC has sponsored the Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs and Violence (AMAR): Healing Through the Arts Summer Camp, a full-day, five-week arts and life skills building program serving at risk youth in New Brunswick. Developed in partnership with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the PRAB, Inc., the summer camp has served over 800 youth ages 10-16 and is now celebrating its 17th year of service to the community.
- In 2004, the CLAC developed Transcultural New Jersey, a registry and archives of contemporary artists that provides technical assistance and professional opportunities for Latino artists statewide.
- Over the years, the CLAC has collaborated with a number of Rutgers faculty to develop courses that focus on Latino arts and culture, including study abroad courses in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and more recently Costa Rica.
The Center for Latino Arts and Culture is under the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Funding for the Center’s operations and programs is provided by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Additional funding has been provided through grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, NJ State Council on the Humanities, NJ State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Hitachi America, Merrill Lynch, and Merck.