Museum of Latin American Art
MISSION & HISTORY molaa's mission is to educate the public about contemporary Latin American fine art (by artists who have lived and worked in Latin America since WWII) through the presentation of a significant permanent collection, dynamic exhibitions and related cultural and educational programs. The Museum of Latin American Art (molaa) in Long Beach, California was founded by Dr. Robert Gumbiner in November 1996. It is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features contemporary Latin American art. Through the utilization of its permanent collection, traveling exhibitions, and programs, molaa educates a diverse Southern California audience about contemporary Latin American art. The museum is located in the newly developing East Village Arts District of Long Beach, California. Between 1913 and 1918 the site that the museum now occupies was the home of Balboa Amusement Producing Company, then the world’s most productive and innovative silent film studio. Before there was a Hollywood, Balboa was the king of the silver screen, producing as much as 20,000 feet of negative film a week. The building currently being renovated as molaa’s Entertainment / Education / Special Event venue may have been part of the old Balboa film studio. molaa’s exhibition galleries, administrative offices and store are housed in what was once a roller skating rink known as the Hippodrome. Built in the late 1920s, after the film studios were gone, the Hippodrome was a haven for skaters for four decades. The building then served as a senior health center for fifteen years. The high vaulted ceilings and beautiful wooden floors were perfectly suited for the Hippodrome's final metamorphosis into the Museum of Latin American Art.
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