The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico is an establishment for preserving and promoting the culture of the Spanish-speaking world. The NHCC is located in the South Valley of Albuquerque, just south of downtown on Avenida César Chávez and 4th St., and features a variety of architecture including a renovated hacienda-style school and modern buildings as stylized Mayan pyramids.
Official Mission Statement
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is dedicated to the study, advancement, and presentation of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. Since its grand opening in 2000, the NHCC has staged over 20 art exhibitions and 400 programs in the visual, performing, and literary arts. Programs have featured local, national and international artists, scholars and entertainers. The NHCC provides venues for visitors to learn about Hispanic culture throughout the world. The Center currently sponsors two literary awards, the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize established in 1993 by Rudolfo and Patricia Anaya for emerging Chicana/o writers, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, awarded biennially to an author whose body of work has become influential.
In 1998, a 16-acre (65,000 m2) site was chosen for the $34 million project along the east side of the Rio Grande in the heart of the historic Barelas neighborhood in Albuquerque. Since then the project has grown to encompass over 50 acres (200,000 m2) with an estimated cost of over $50 million. Barelas, a traditionally Hispanic neighborhood, has historically been a crossroads for New Mexico’s people. The community was settled for its proximity to a natural ford in the Rio Grande and to the Camino Real, the Spanish colonial-era Royal Road used primarily for trade between Mexico and northern New Mexico.
The architectural design of the NHCC has been created to accommodate a wealth of cultural programs in the visual, performing, media and literary arts. The various buildings and structures speak to the history and culture of hispanidad with features recalling styles from Spain, Mesoamerica and early New Mexico.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center enjoys the broad support of the New Mexico State Legislature as well as the federal government. The NHCC is part of the State of New Mexico’s Department of Cultural Affairs along with seven other state museums and six state monuments.