ACC Celebrates Grand Re-opening of Latin American Cultural Center

Austin Community College District (ACC) celebrates the grand reopening of the ACC Latin American Cultural Center (LACC). The center, also called El Centro, provides a safe and inclusive space for students to explore and celebrate their cultural heritage. 

  • Date: Tuesday, April 11
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Location: Latin American Cultural Center, ACC Riverside Campus, Building G (1020 Grove Blvd.)

The Center closed temporarily as it moved to a larger space at the ACC Riverside Campus. The new space includes a library with a rare book collection, a film screening space, and a common gathering area. 

The LACC is one of three unique cultural centers at the college. It was created to provide a space for students, employees, and the community to gather and increase their understanding of the culture, history, and contributions of Latin Americans. It offers mentoring, training, and activities to support ACC students along their academic journey. 

“As a community college, we feel a duty to find new ways to reach and engage our students. The Latin American Cultural Center helps us provide a space where students can connect, embrace their cultural background, and build a sense of community on campus,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC Chancellor. “Our mission is to close equity gaps and create a diverse and inclusive community. Cultural centers like the LACC help to build bridges among communities and promote a more harmonious and equitable society.”

“We’re honored to open this new, expanded space for our students. We hope to fill the walls with locally produced art that can inspire our students to persevere and reach for great heights,” says Dr. Gary Moreno, ACC LACC director. “Finally, we have partnered with organizations like the Tejano Genealogy Society and Latino-owned businesses, like Casa Colombia, to further forge our bonds with the community.”   

A new mural, showing Latina women on their first day of class, also will be unveiled during the ceremony. The mural was created by Carmen Rangel, a former ACC student. Rangel is a local artist who has painted several prominent murals that can be found on the underpass on North Lamar Blvd near West 5th Street, the Tacorrido on Riverside Dr., and Juan in a Million on Cesar Chavez St.

“Being a minority who grew up in Austin and seeing all the change, it is really important to highlight other people who aren’t normally highlighted and people that look like me,” says Rangel. “As a first-generation Mexican-American, I wanted to create a piece that was inclusive and inspiring to a lot of us.”

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