Business Journal’s Latino Leadership Summit


SVL had the pleasure of covering the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Latino Leadership Summit featuring a panel discussion with Guillermo Diaz, Tamara Alvarado and Darcie Green.

This special event was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. SVL was especially proud to have covered an event featuring SVL Culura Ambassadors, SVL honorees and champions. They did an outstanding job addressing questions about leadership, engagement, mentoring and media coverage. We would like to congratulate all involved in producing this great event.

La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Plaza


La Llorona at Mexican Heritage Center

An epic tale of love, betrayal and vengeance is told in La Llorona, a new operatic musical drama based on a well known folk legend in Mexico and the U.S. southwest. La Llorona / the Weeping Woman is premiering at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Center later this month. The San Jose show marks the third production of the award winning operatic musical drama by composer Hector Armienta, a nationally recognized Mexican American composer, who focuses on creating work that explores the Mexican and Mexican-American cultural experience.

La Llorona

“Anyone who has ancestral roots in Mexico knows this epic legend that has been told and retold in diverse ways by many cultures and through generations of storytellers,” says composer Armienta. “Some would say that La Llorona is the Mexican Medea.” At its core La Llorona is a story of revenge as it tells the story of of a woman who forsakes her people and betrays the river by falling in love and marrying a man of Spanish lineage. She later takes the life of her child by drowning her in a river. Did the river torment her into the act?

La Llorona is the second in a trilogy of work, Aquas Ancestrales/Ancient Waters, by Hector Armienta. The trilogy’s central themes and story relate to the spiritual and magical element of water, the role of destiny and free will in our existence, and the lives of the women in Armienta’s family, including his Mexican grandmother, mother and sister. When completed, the trilogy will consist of a bilingual chamber opera (Rio de Mujeres/River of Women), an operatic musical drama (La Llorona/The Weeping Woman), and a full-blown opera (La Muerte/The Murder).

La Llorona Mexican Heritage Plaza


About Opera Cultura


Our mission is to explore the Latino – Hispanic cultural experience through music theater and opera and provide opportunities for the community to participate as creators, learners, and performers. We accomplish this mission by supporting and producing the work of composer Hector Armienta, showcasing music by opera composers of Latino/Hispanic descent, and training young people through various educational programs. Further, it is Mr. Armienta’s vision and that of the organization to develop a core of work that serves as a cultural bridge between communities. In doing so, Opera Cultura extends the boundaries and definition of the art form.

School of Arts and Culture at MHP video



Guided by an eighteen-month community planning process designed to re-imagine Mexican Heritage Plaza’s future, a new vision for a School of Arts and Culture at MHP was created, embraced by the community and adopted by the City of San Jose in Spring 2011.

Our vision is to create a vibrant place of learning, culture and community that nurtures the soul and brings joy, skill building and a sense of belonging to children, families and all who participate.


Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of our economy.
Arts and creative experiences help children develop critical thinking, communication and collaborative skills
Arts and creative experiences enhance children’s self esteem, cross cultural understanding, empathy and connection to their community and each other.
Our children have inequitable access to arts and creative experiences and no child should be turned away for lack of resources.

To narrow the opportunity gap in arts education and learning, nurture the joy, creativity and well being of our children and unleash the talent of our next generation of students, leaders, artists and consumers of culture.


We are leveraging a $32M cultural facility by providing unique and culturally relevant educational offerings of value to the children and families while creating a “community container” for arts programming with a network of multicultural arts partners.

Our sustainable business model is based on containing fixed costs and funding 1) community access and engagement through gross profit from market based rentals such as weddings and quinceañeras; 2) class offerings through tuition and donor supported scholarships; and 3) facility related expenses through City of San Jose operational support.

Tamale making & Mercado with CasaQ