LASA Receives Second Hillman Foundation Grant

August 15, 2022

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is pleased to announce that it has received a second grant from The Hillman Foundation in the amount of $125,000 toward the establishment of the Latin American Cultural Center. LASA is a membership organization with over 13,000 members worldwide. The organization’s international headquarters building is located in the historic Oakland section of Pittsburgh, which is where the new Cultural Center will be located.

The Latin American Cultural Center (LACC) will provide an opportunity to share the expertise, experience, and collections of LASA members with the wider community. The mission of LACC is to celebrate Latin America through compelling programs dedicated to fostering a heightened understanding and appreciation for Latin American arts, history, and culture. LACC includes a museum that offers on-sight and virtual exhibits about the geography, history, society, culture, and arts of Latin America and the Caribbean. A well-equipped auditorium provides a venue for the presentation of lectures, performances, and film series.

This second grant from The Hillman Foundation enables LACC to use its Grand Gallery to present special exhibits relating to Latin America’s peoples and arts. At its public Grand Opening on September 20, 2022, LACC will present the special exhibit, Maya Spirituality: Indigenous Paintings 1957-2020. This exhibit of paintings and objects created by Maya artists reflects the enduring nature of this culture, with a focus on spirituality. These works portray the ways in which religious beliefs guide everyday life and healing, the traditional forms of dress worn, how the ancient Maya calendrical system still influences healing ceremonies, and the many ways in which historical beliefs and traditions have been melded with those introduced by the Spanish.

“The Hillman Foundation grants are especially significant because they have enabled LACC to make the needed renovations and investments to turn this beautiful building into a museum and events center that focuses on the significance and importance of Latin America and its peoples. The pandemic has made it an especially challenging time to raise funds to open a new cultural amenity for the region. We are, however, excited to be able to move forward with this project.”

Dr. Milagros Pereyra-Rojas, Executive Director of LASA

“Henry Hillman often remarked that it was important for the vitality of the Pittsburgh region that it emphasize its linkages with the world. The initiative of LASA in creating the Latin American Cultural Center is especially significant in this regard.”

David K. Roger, President of the Hillman Foundation

The beautifully renovated Latin American Cultural Center will open to the public on September 20, 2022.

For more information, contact:

Sandra Budd

About the Latin American Cultural Center (LACC)

LACC features a small but highly informative museum display, as well as live programming in an intimate performance venue that highlights the diverse cultures, music, film, and current day issues of Latin America and the Caribbean. Exhibits and related programming will be open to school groups who wish to explore this incredible region of our world. A large exhibit gallery is reserved for featuring changing presentations of special topics related to this vast geographical area.