Skip to Main Content

La Casa de la Raza - The History and Legacy of Santa Barbara's First Latinx City Landmark

Located at 601 East Montecito Street, just blocks away from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Milpas corridor, the building that would later become known as Casa de la Raza was originally constructed in 1917, updated in 1929 and completed in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style in 1931. In 1970, the 27,000 square foot building was sold for $140,000 to the Chicano Positive Movement, that later became La Casa de la Raza. In the early 1970s, La Casa de la Raza grew into a robust cultural community center for Santa Barbara’s Chicano/a and Latinx communities, providing childcare, English-language classes, computer skills classes, job training and career services, educational workshops and classes for youth, food preparation, concerts, and so much more. It has also been a space for weddings, quinceañeras, fundraisers, community organizing and cultural events. La Casa de la Raza has been an integral community space for over 50 years. Join us for a special Zoom panel presentation to learn about and celebrate the history of this significant Eastside building, including the historic architectural features, beautiful artwork and unique human stories that have led to its status as Santa Barbara’s first Latinx City Landmark. Panelists: Mark Alvarado is the founder of the One Community Bridge Project and currently serves as the Director of Intervention at San Marcos High School. A professional musician, Mark has worked in the field of community and human development serving in a variety of leadership positions for many years. Nicole Hernandez is the City of Santa Barbara’s Architectural Historian. She worked as Architectural Historian for five years at Historic Denver, Inc. and four years for the City of New Orleans before coming to join the City of Santa Barbara in 2012. Marisol Ortiz is the current Director of Family Resource Center at La Casa De La Raza. She is a Santa Barbara native and has 19 years of experience working with the local community with access to services and helping underserved people fight for justice in their daily lives. Manuel Unzueta is an artist and a founding member of La Casa de La Raza. His Chicano-themed murals adorn the walls of the La Casa building. A retired educator and SBCC student advisor, Manuel has also taught at UCSB and other institutions throughout the Central Coast. His artwork is featured at the Smithsonian, as well as museums in France and Mexico.

visit website

Date and Time for this Past Event