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Celebration of Afro Peruvian day – 160 years of the abolition of slavery

Celebrating La Peña Cultural Center on their anniversary  peta super (1)

Celebration of Afro Peruvian day – 160 years of the abolition of slavery

For the first cajoneada in the U.S. we will be trying to collect 160 cajones for the 160 years of the abolition of slavery.

If you own a cajon, bring it.  You don’t need experience to be part of this festival of music and Afro Peruvian food.

Invited Artists:

·         Julio bravo

·         Vladimir vucanovch

·         Peta robles

·         Braulio barrera

·         Huaranguito

·         De rompe y raja

·         Kanchis

·         Nestor ruiz

·         Marina LaValle

Admission is free

Peruvian food will be available for sale

Cajoneada- blue jeans and white tshirt

Dance contest

Sign-ups for the cajoneada- call: 510-677-4200 | 510-395-7236


Celebrando La Peña Cultural Center en su aniversario

Celebracion del dia afro Peruano 160 anos de la abolicion de la esclavitud

La primera cajoneada en estados unidos, tratando de reunir 160 cajones por los 160 anos de la abolicion de la esclavitud.

Si posees un cajon, ven no necesitas experiencia para ser parte de este festival de musica y comida Afro Peruana

Entrada es gratuita

Habra comida Peruana

Entrada gratuita

Cajoneada- blue jean y white tshirt

Concurso de baile

Inscrpciones para la cajoneada Llamar a 510-677-4200 | 510-395-7236

La Peña Board Meeting Minutes, Dec 16, 2013

LP Board Meeting – Monday, December 16, 2013

Present: Mariola, Paul, Victor, Carol, Alex, Eric, Francine, Kristen, Ellen, and Sarah.

Meeting started at 6:15pm.

1.    Approve notes from the Nov. 18 mtg.

Carol moves to approve minutes from 11/18/13.

Paul seconds.

All in favor.

Sarah, Victor and Mariola abstain (not part of the Board at the moment.)

2.    Welcome new board members Sarah Guerra and Victor Martinez and renewed board member Mariola Fernandez.

3.    Report from ED: Kristen sees the need to form an active fundraising committee. This is a primary duty of the board, and we have an enormous opportunity between now and June 2015 with the Building Our Future campaign to be followed by 40th Anniversary activities.

ACTION: Kristen and Eric will look at the budget to determine if LP has money for hiring someone to help with fundraising.

Agreed: in the meantime we should keep a roster of ideas for fundraising; have another phone banking before the end of the year.

ACTION: Kristen will send an email to the board to inform of date for phone banking.

Addressing letter sent to the Board from some community, mural, and chorus members:

ACTION: Kristen will respond to the letter.

Points to cover: regular communication will be through our website; we are planning to go through with the renovations; schedule for the renovations; give numbers for the different phases; programming plan; general direction of LP; we look forward to open communication; we are willing to address the concerns; we are committed to our founding principles.

4.    Financial committee (financial review) by Carol of finance committee:

  • Thus far, for fiscal year 2014, our financial results are in line with the budget projections: Total revenue from the door has met our projected budget and also our overall operating expenses are in line with our budget projections.
  • We’ve received about $40,000 for the capital campaign with an additional $35,000 in pledges.
  • We’ve been doing very well with grants, particularly with key ones such as Hewlett and Haas.
  • So far we’ve taken the investment for the Café from the General Operations fund of the Cultural Center. We are not sure yet if we can use the endowment money for the Café. We are doing additional research.
  • For the most part we are living within our budget with minor variances.
  • Total budget for renovations, including contingencies: around $110,000. We have more than that amount available in cash, not including BOF pledges.
  • We would not be sending out a good message to our funders, donors, etc. if we delay the start of the project.


5.    Mural Report:

The mural group has raised most of what they’ve spent. The artists have been asked to do some touch ups on faces that some have complained about. The mural group has a plan/commitment to raise the money needed for this, which is about $3,000. There are some lights to put up too.

6.    Report from the Café Committee:

Things have been challenging. LP has invested $50,000 so far of which about $26,000 at this time is lost. The past month and a half has shown improvement in revenue.

We’re adopting a new approach to what we’re serving and doing popup kitchens where we bring a guest chef to handle the food service while the Café keeps proceeds from the sale of beverages. The most successful one so far has been the Flamenco cuisine, ñora. We are planning to start opening on Tuesdays. We are also getting interest from restaurants to take over the daytime business as a concession. The idea is that they open for breakfast and lunch and they would leave at 2:30pm. They would pay a rental fee and have a 1-year maximum lease. We had a tasting from one of these businesses and the board was very happy with the results. We also have interest from 2 more businesses. The deadline for proposals is December 20 and the Café board will make a decision by January 6. In terms of programming, there has been a lot more in the Lounge with many exciting events. We will try this arrangement for the next few months to see where we stand and re-evaluate as needed.

7.    Report from the Café Committee:

The construction schedule is being developed. Programming for February should be okay.

ACTION: Kristen will send out a report after hearing construction scheduling details this week.

8.    Capital Campaign updates (see financial report above).

9.    Kristen’s leave: Kristen presented her plan for maternity leave including time off and part-time work

10.   Set February meeting: Monday, February 3 from 6-8pm at La Peña.

Meeting ends at 8:30pm.

Food First Presents: 16 Seeds, a Documentary Short (In the Lounge)

Join Bay Area filmmaker Melinda James and the urban farmers of Digg Deep Farms and Produce for a discussion about food justice.

View the trailer here.

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Mexican Tardeada (In the Lounge)

mexicantardeadaA monthly Sunday afternoon Mexican music jam in the café lounge. The Tardeadas are informal family-oriented gathering of musicians and Mexican music aficionados. Bring your Tejano/Norteño acordeon, guitar, bass, bajo, or percussion y aquí nos vemos!

Free/Donations encouraged

Joe Stevens (of Coyote Grace) with Humble Tripe and Eli Conley (In the Lounge)

$10 at the door

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Joe Stevens, formerly of Coyote Grace, comes to La Pena for the release of his first solo album Last Man Standing. Joining him is Humble Tripe (Durham NC) and Berkeley favorite Eli Conley.

Pushing the boundaries of folk-Americana, North Carolina based Humble Tripe joins forces with producer MelissaYork (Amy Ray, The Butchies) on their most recent offering. Moving from songwriter to symphony, resulting in a haunting landscape of beautiful swells, dramatic tension and space, Humble Tripe shines on their latest album, The Giving.

“A joy to behold, a collection of lovely, sublime melodies that shimmer and sparkle with a radiance all their own.”” No Depression

Humble Tripe’s Shawn Luby, a nationally recognized classical guitar player in his youth, and longtime collaborator, Berklee School of Music graduate Stud Green, have been quickly gaining attention after winning numerous traditional grass roots band and songwriting competitions up and down the East Coast. The duo brings their sweet brand of orchestral folk to the West Coast this fall, and along with it, a glimpse into the future of southern American folk music.

IMG_9513Eli Conley is a Bay Area-based singer-songwriter with a voice that shifts deftly from country choirboy to soulful croon at the turn of a phrase. Steeped in roots music and the singer-songwriter tradition, he crafts modern day folk songs for misfits from the raw material of his life as a queer man with Virginia roots.

In 2013 Eli released his first full-length album, At The Seams. “That voice!” wrote Tom Semioli of Minor 7th, “Eli Conley possesses the rare gift of a distinctive vocal timbre that separates him from scores of singer-songwriters in the modern folk ilk. On his stunning debut… unforgettable songs of love, yearning, and spirituality abound.” Eli recorded the album at Empty Sea Studios in Seattle with producer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Connolly (Indigo Girls, Coyote Grace, Michelle Shocked).


1st version of nora's book cover

$8-$15 sliding scale

Thursday November 6, 7pm:

Benefit for children in Gaza

Join award-winning KPFA radio host & Electronic Intifada journalist Nora Barrows-Friedman celebrate her new book! Nora will be in conversation with
KPFA host Malihe Razazan, and she will be joined by activists with Students for Justice in Palestine.

Nora’s book documents the emergence and success of the Students for Justice in Palestine movement, using her investigative interviews with activists nationwide. Her journalistic experience in Palestine and close engagement with Palestinian solidarity activism give Nora a unique ability to help these inspiring student leaders tell their stories!

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer/editor with The Electronic Intifada and has contributed to Al-Jazeera English, and more. Past Senior Producer/co-host of KPFA’s investigative news magazine “Flashpoints”, Nora B-Fin 2009 she received the Lifetime Achievement Media Freedom Award from the Media Freedom Foundation.

A Fiscal Year End Update From Executive Director Kristen Sbrogna

A Fiscal Year End Update
From Executive Director Kristen Sbrogna

La Peña’s fiscal year runs September 1 – August 31, and I’m pleased to share that after finalizing our financial statements, La Peña reports a surplus! For those of you familiar with our financial situation, this is big news for us, and reflects a turnaround to a new phase of stability, renewal, and smart growth.

I would describe the sentiment in the air at La Peña as one of hopefulness. We had a year full of “transition” and change, but we also accomplished a lot, and the result is a renewed center, a new restaurant, and new projects on the horizon. At our core we are still an organization committed to arts and social justice, rooted in Latin American culture.

Screen Shot 1 at 4.30.26 PM






In addition to stabilizing our budget in 2014, La Peña completed phase 1 of our Building our Future capital campaign. We raised $100,000 to fund renovations to the café, bathrooms, and lobby, and to purchase new sound and lights systems for the theater.

Our financial success is in large part due to our ability to adapt to the new fundraising climate. Between 2010 and 2012, La Peña reduced its budget by more than a third (from approximately $750,000 to approximately $450,000) due to the loss of a few large corporate grants. The necessary result was a multi-phase restructuring. The final phase, reflected in the graph below, shows the final implementation of the restructuring in 2014.

Despite the savings in staff expenses, our impact on the community has not been compromised. In 2014, La Peña added many regular free and low-cost programs in our lounge while maintaining close to the level of La Peña presents shows in the theater. This slight decrease is reflected in the dip in artist fees from 2013 to 2014 seen below.
Screen Shot 2014 2 at 4.32.18 PM






The artist fees are still impressive: they surpass those in 2012 when the staff budget was more than double what it is now. In addition, the distribution of total artist fees is over less shows overall, meaning artists are being paid more on average per show than in 2013. This is largely because at the beginning of 2014 we restructured our financial agreement for our shows to give artists a higher percentage of the door net.

The graph below shows our mission-based categorizations for our La Peña presents programs.
Screen Shot 2014 3 at 4.34.39 PM





*In addition to the more than 140 La Peña presents shows included above, in 2014 La Peña hosted over:
46 2nd Gen events
750 classes, workshops, and summer camps (15-20 individual classes/week)
123 community free or by-donation events (mostly in our lounge)
97 rentals
26 Saturday morning family programs

Ensuring we are on a sustainable path will take a little more time “in the black,” but I am confident that as we move forward we will continue to secure our financial footing and expand our programs. As we approach our 40th year, La Peña is as strong as ever!

SF Immigrant Film Festival (at 7:30)

Operating since 2010, SFImFF, offer movie screenings of emerging and established filmmakers whose work explore a wide array of issues facing the global immigrant community. These films/videos showcase the lives of immigrants, exiles, and their pursuit of equality and social justice.

Sat, Oct 4 / Cover: $10

7:30 pm screening:

The Chair/Der stuhl, Daniel Martin Gómez, 14’, Spain/Germany 2013, Documentary

An Open Heart/A CŒUR OUVERT, Ayekoro Kossou, 16’, France 2013,

Narrative New Kentucky Home, Elijah Mckenzie, 26’ , USA 2014, Documentary

Zugzwang, Yolanda Centeno, 8’, USA 2014, Narrative

Open Arms, Closed Doors, Fernandea Polacow & Juliana Borges, 26’, Brasil 2013, Documentary

Craft Fair

craft fair2

Hello Community of Artist,
If you are interested on renting space for our community craft fair. You will need to do the following two tasks.

1) Please email us a brief description and pictures of the craft that you are going to sell to will help us promote your art via our social media.

2) Pay for the space using PayPal OR send a check to La Peña Cultural Center via snail mail to 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705.

The craft Fair will take place on Sunday December 7, 2014 from 10am to 4pm. The vendor application deadline is November 14, 2014.

Select the Area Space

Additional Information

  • Spaces are provided in 3 feet wide by 5 feet deep increments.
  • Venders bring their own tables; chair(s) will be provided.
  • Limited number of 6 ft. tables are available for rent ($15 ea)
  • Use drop-down box on La Peña website to choose space size.
  • Spots may be split.
  • Non-profits welcome.

A Hot Night In Old Havana – Tito y Su Son De Cuba

12.23Bringing their own unique, innovative sounds, Tito y Su Son de Cuba will take you back to the old Cuba, interpreting and redefining classic Cuban Son at its best!

Tito y su Son de Cuba blends traditional Cuban music: chachacha, son montuno, guaracha, bolero, danzon; with many other worldwide known styles: bossa nova and latin jazz; resulting in a sometimes relaxing and other times a burst of energy and dancing vibe; moving the beat as the ambience demands. The inclusion of the Cuban Tres Guitar makes this traditional Cuban music come to life! Son is the most popular style of music to come out of Cuba and is the primary contributor to today’s salsa music! 


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