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Mexican American Cultural Center to expand

Thinking of a master plan

Two-story contemporary musuem building
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center/Facebook

The Emma S. Barrientos Cultural Center, better known as the MACC, is ready for some changes and preparing to grow.

Completed in 2007, the center has seen its Rainey Street area location explode with growth and become a central entertainment district over the years.

The MACC, featured in Curbed Austin’s spring pocket guide, has seen equivalent growth in the programs, exhibits, and classes it offers in its mission to foster an appreciation of Mexican-American, Latinx, and indigenous cultures. Its unusual, symbolic design (by CasaBella + Del Campo Architects) brought some visual variety and interest to the neighborhood as well.

Now the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department has kicked off an initiative to develop a new master plan for the center. According to the city’s website, “the process will seek public input on programming that might direct the expansion of existing or new buildings, new facilities, new shade structures, parking, landscaping and the potential redesign of the Plaza.”

A recent story in the Austin Monitor reports that Jaime Beaman of original MACC designers CasaBella is helping lead the process, the public input part of which started with a community open house/forum Saturday.

The city is calling the planning process “MásMACC,” which is appropriate, given that the cultural center is looking to increase both its programming and its physical presence.

According to the Monitor, the plan is scheduled to be presented to City Council early next year, after which attentions will turn to how to pay for it—including the possibilities of a large fundraising effort, a bond issue, or both.

New master plan to pave the way for MACC expansion [Austin Monitor]