Austin History Center

Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Oral History Project Collection

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Austin History Center
Title: Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Oral History Project Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1970-2013
Abstract: This collection consists of 28 interviews with stakeholders involved in the planning and development of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC). Also included are supplemental articles that were collected to accompany and contextualize the oral history interviews conducted for the ESB-MACC oral history project.
Identification: AR.2015.012
Quantity: 1.2 linear feet (3 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oral History Cabinet
Language: The records are in English and Spanish.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Creator Note

In the early 1970s at the height of the Chicano Movement in Austin, Texas, Mexican American and Latino artists, educators, and leaders recognized a need for cultural arts space, education, and programming. With members from such organizations as the League of United Chicano Artists (LUChA) in East Austin, a myriad of Latino dance arts groups, Chicano theater troupes, and community organizations, this idea gained momentum. The eventual demise of El Centro Chicano and the Juárez-Lincoln Center created an urgent need for a community cultural center, and Austin’s artists and community members were eager to pursue that goal.

City Council appointed a Task Force in 1986, and a preliminary analysis was created for a Mexican American cultural center at Fiesta Gardens. However, a 1988 study and report concluded with a proposal for a facility located at 600 River Street, the site of an existing Public Works facility that was eventually repurposed to house the Center for Mexican American Cultural Arts (CMACA). The warehouse became a special place for artists despite its inadequate space for the cultural programming the community wanted and needed. La Pastorela was the inaugural event held in that space.

The project came to a standstill in the first half of the 1990s without sources for funding and failed in the City Bond Election of 1992. However, after re-organization and re-strategizing, in 1998, the development of a building that would hopefully fit the needs of the growing and changing community was approved by voters. Ground broke for the MACC in 2005, and, at last, the grand opening was held September 15, 2007, realizing a nearly 40 year old dream for the Mexican American community. In 2011, the center was renamed the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC).

A goal of this project was to document and preserve the stories of many of the individuals who played a significant role in the decades-long struggle leading to the creation of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC).

Scope and Contents

The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Oral History Project Collection (1970-2013) contains the oral histories of 28 stakeholders on CD-R and DVD, transcripts currently being edited for Spanish language transcription and accuracy, and newspaper clippings that document the evolution of a Mexican American cultural center in Austin, Texas, that spans four decades. This collection will aid researchers in their understanding of the political and socio-historical context surrounding the development of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

The collection is arranged into three series: Newspaper Clippings, Transcripts, and Interviews.

The Newspaper Clippings (1970-2012, undated) series includes news articles that document Chicano cultural arts events, community public opinion, and details on the progress of the MACC project between 1970 and 2012. These materials are Xerox copies artificially gathered and assembled from AF Subject Files and Periodical collections at the Austin History Center, including The Austin American-Statesman, Arriba, La Prensa, and La Fuerza. They are arranged chronologically.

The Transcripts (2012-2013) series includes the transcriptions of the 28 interviews comprising the oral history project. The transcripts are arranged alphabetically by last name.

The Interviews (2012-2013) series includes 28 access copies of the interviews. The majority are in the form of CD-Rs, while four are DVDs. A detailed list of the disc numbers, names of those interviewed, the interviewers, and length of interview are listed in the Description of Contents section. This series is arranged alphabetically by interviewee's last name. Digital access to the oral histories can be made available with staff assistance.


Collection is arranged into three series:
I. Newspaper Clippings
II. Transcripts
III. Interviews


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Alvarez, Raul.
Barraza, Santa.
Barrientos, Emma.
Barrientos, Gonzalo.
Bazan-Martinez, Frances.
Beaman, James "Jaime".
Cantu, A.B.
Castañeda, Diana.
Castillo, Mary Lou.
Cavazos, Perla.
Coronado, Sam.
Cotera, Martha.
Del Campo, Martín.
Esparza, Laura.
Flores, Maria Luisa "Lulu".
Garcia, Gustavo "Gus".
Garza-Hernandez, Bobbie.
González de León, Teodoro.
Gutierrez, Juan Pablo.
Martinez, Mike.
Martinez, Pete.
Menard, Valerie Monique.
Meyer, Delia Perez.
Morales, Ponciano.
Moya, Richard.
Olivares, Jesus.
Orozco, Sylvia.
Oyervides, Juan.
Palomares, Hortencia.
Palomo, Jaime.
Peña, Amado.
Pennington, Gloria Mata.
Pineda, Carlos.
Pulido, Pio.
Revilla, Catherine Vasquez.
Rivera, Gilbert Cortez.
Rivera, Jane Haney.
Rodriguez III, Donato.
Rodriguez-Mendoza, Amalia.
Romo, Zeke.
Sanchez-Ruiz, Velia.
Salas, Tomás.
Salinas, Roén.
Tafoya, Marcelo.
Treviño, John.
Treviño, Modesta.
Valdez, Raul.
Zamora, Emilio.
Zamora, Herlinda.
Zapata, Clemencia.
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC).
Center for Mexican American Cultural Arts (CMACA).
El Centro Chicano.
Juárez-Lincoln Center.
Museo del Barrio.
Latino Arts Consortium of Austin (LACA).
League of United Chicano Artists (LUChA).
Fiesta Gardens.
El Concilio de East Town Lake Citizens.
Rainey Street Neighborhood Association.
Austin (Tex.)
600 River Street.
Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin, Tex.)
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin.
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin--Social life and customs.
Mexican American arts--Texas--Austin.
Mexican American artists.
Document Types:
Oral history recordings; CD/DVD and born digital.
Xerox copies of AF Subject Files and Periodicals.

Related Material

AF Subject Files

  • M4300(37) Mexican Americans - Mexican American Cultural Center
  • M4300(46) Mexican Americans - Mexican American Cultural Center Advisory Board
  • AF Biography files for individuals interviewed

Archives and Manuscripts

  • AR.2002.011 Austin(Tex.). Center for Mexican American Cultural Arts Project Records
  • AR.2010.016 Mexican American Firsts: Trailblazers of Austin and Travis County Exhibit Collection

General Collection

  • A 305.8680976 Ar Mexican American Center Project Market and Financial Analysis Final Report. Arthur Young Firm.1988.
  • A 305.8680976 Me Mexican American Cultural Center Project Reports. (Austin, Texas) Mexican American Cultural Center, Task Force. 1988.
  • A 305.8680976 Me Mexican American Cultural Center Project Status Report to Planning Commission, April 28, 1992. City of Austin, 1992.
  • A 305.8680976 Re Phase II Feasibility Study, Mexican American Center, Austin, Texas. Reyna,Caragonne and Coneway. 1987.
  • A 305.8680976 Ro Preliminary Analysis: Mexican American Cultural Center at Fiesta Gardens: Community Needs Assessment Submittal. Romo, Zeke. 1986.
  • A 305.8680976 Sa Preliminary Analysis: Mexican American Cultural Center at Fiesta Gardens. Santos, David. 1986.
  • A 725.8042 Me Mexican American Cultural Center: Master Plan. Casabella. 2000.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Oral histories were conducted as part of this project spearheaded by Gloria Espitia in 2012. Printed materials were compiled by Danny Camacho and Gloria Espitia.

Preferred Citation

Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) Oral History Project Collection (AR.2015.012). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2010/007

Donation Date: March 2012-August 2013

Processing Information

Initial Inventory and Preliminary Processing by Gloria Espitia and Danny Camacho/2013. Final Processing and Finding Aid by Amanda Jasso/2016.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. News Clippings, 1975-2012

Box Folder
1 1 1970-1974,
2 1975-1979,
3 1980-1985
4 1990-1994
5 1995-1999
6 2000-2004
7 2005-2012
8 Undated

II. Transcripts, 2012-2013

Box Folder
2 1 Alvarez--Esparza
2 Flores--Meyer
3 Orozco--Romo
4 Salas--Treviño
5 Valdez--Zapata

III. Interviews, 2012-2013

Box Disc
3 3252 Raul Alvarez interviewed by René Rentería 1:13:50
3260 Frances Bazan-Martinez interviewed by Gloria Espitia (DVD) 1:25:38
3253 James "Jaime" Beaman interviewed by Cassie Smith (DVD 57:36
3254 Mary Lou Castillo interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:07:57
3255 Perla Cavazos interviewed by Stacey Wilson 48:14
3256 Laura Esparza interviewed by Gloria Espitia 1:24:41
3257 Maria Luisa "Lulu" Flores interviewed by Stacey Wilson 38:14
3258 Gustavo "Gus" Garcia interviewed by Paul Saldaña 58:27
3259 Bobbie Garza-Hernandez interviewed by Perla Cavazos 1:39:06
3261 Mike Martinez interviewed by Gloria Mata Pennington 46:47
3262 Valerie Monique Menard interviewed by Gloria Espitia 1:11:18
3263 Delia Perez Meyer interviewed by Gloria Espitia 1:15:34
3264 Sylvia Orozco interviewed by Margot Millard (DVD) 50:09
3265 Juan Oyervides interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:03:40
3266 Gloria Mata Pennington interviewed by Celia R. Tovar 51:46
3267 Catherine Vasquez Revilla interviewed by Susana Almanza 51:07
3268 Gilbert Cortez Rivera interviewed by Luis Acuña 1:37:22
3268 Jane Haney Rivera interviewed by Luis Acuña 1:37:22
3269 Donato Rodriguez III interviewed by Gloria Espitia 39:22
3270 Zeke Romo interviewed by Susana Almanza 34:53
3272 Tomás Salas interviewed by René Rentería 1;14:12
3273 Roén Salinas interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:42:49
3271 Velia Sanchez-Ruiz interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:04:23
3274 Marcelo Tafoya interviewed by Gloria Espitia 1:16:03
3275 Modesta Treviño interviewed by Lori Cervenak-Rentería (DVD) 1:17:18
3276 Raul Valdez interviewed by Esther Díaz Martín 1:10:57
3277 Emilio Zamora interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:09:33
3278 Herlinda Zamora interviewed by Cassie Smith 1:35:51
3279 Clemencia Zapata interviewed by Cassie Smith 50:39
Location Disc
Oral History Cabinet 3252-3279 Master Copies of Oral History Interviews, 2012-2013