5 Cultural Centers Supporting Communities Across America

Americans often boast of our history of immigration, which created the diverse culture we now enjoy. But many of those immigrant groups will be forgotten if their contributions are not discussed and preserved. These organizations all work to keep alive the history of specific American communities and their cultural legacies. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Vibrant American Cultural Centers

Name Location
Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library Phoenix, AZ
International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago Chicago, IL
Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California Oakland, CA
Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center La Grange, TX
Russian American Cultural Center New York, NY

The 35th Chicago Latino Film Festival

Novels Exploring Cultures Around the World

Title Author
1. The Tusk That Did the Damage Tania James
2. Living Treasures Yang Huang
3. The River's Song Suchen Christine Lim
4. A Good Girl Chandana Roy
5. The Reeducation of Cherry Truong Aimee Phan
6. Losing My Religion Vishwas Mudagal
7. The Boy Next Door Irene Sabatini
8. Swallow Sefi Atta
9. What We Were Promised Lucy Tan
10. Animal's People Indra Sinha

Why Diversity Matters

In Depth

Cultural centers play a vital role in connecting communities in exciting and thoughtful ways. By shining a spotlight on the traditions of various nationalities through such mediums as film, art, literature, and educational programs, these entities provide a valuable public service. Here, in no particular order, are organizations bringing people together through the celebration of diverse cultures.

At #1 is The Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library in Phoenix, Arizona. It provides a comprehensive and interactive artistic experience that links both natives and visitors to the state with the people of Ireland. Its ceilis, or family oriented Irish social dances, typically feature steps from such standards as The Walls of Limerick, The Siege of Ennis, and Haymakers Jig.

The McClelland Library is dedicated to the legacy of Irish history, literature, and research. The building houses over 8,000 published materials, in various forms, including genealogical sources and special collections. You can support the mission of the center with a Courtyard Brick, which features an engraving of your name and county of ancestry, or by becoming a volunteer.

The building houses over 8,000 published materials, in various forms, including genealogical sources and special collections.

Coming in at #2 is the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago. This nonprofit arts organization is dedicated to developing, promoting, and increasing awareness of Latino cultures through a variety of artistic events. Its music festival incorporates Latin American and Spanish composers in the field of classical music, with performances at locations across the city including the Art Institute, and The Symphony Center.

The organization's signature event, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, highlights features and shorts of all genres in distinct categories such as documentaries, fiction, and animation inclusive of Latino culture from such locales as Portugal, Spain, and the United States. You can support the organization by signing up to be a volunteer.

Entering the list at #3 is the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. It is an independent, non profit, community based organization that cultivates the exchange of ideas about Islam through art, culture, and education programs. Its signature event, the Interfaith Art Exhibition Biennial, is a partnership with the Montclair Presbyterian Church and Kehilla Community Synagogue. It showcases the work of Bay Area, national, and international artists while furthering understanding and respect between religions.

It is an independent, non profit, community based organization that cultivates the exchange of ideas about Islam through art, culture, and education programs.

Islam and Authors is a series of on stage conversations with leading scholars about their latest works as they relate to Islamic culture. Past participants include journalist Jonathan Curiel, playwright Wajahat Ali, and poet Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore. To support the center's programs and community services, you can donate through AmazonSmile.

In the #4 spot is the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center, which preserves and promotes the history, language, and culture of Czech Texans. The Slavnost May Fest and Tribute to Immigrants is a family event that features a demonstration at the Zapalac Saw Mill, museum tours, a car show, and music.

The Czech Newspaper Museum is a replica of an early print shop, and tells the story of early Czechoslovakian newspapers printed across Texas. Also included in the facility is a printing press, gas engine, and related equipment used to produce those publications. You can help the group keep going by becoming a Friend of the Center with a sustaining membership, or by attending its gala.

You can help the group keep going by becoming a Friend of the Center with a sustaining membership, or by attending its gala.

Finishing up the list at #5 is The Russian American Cultural Center. It facilitates exchanges among the Russian speaking population of New York City. Programming consists of art exhibitions, literature readings, and performing arts events. It hosts The Lazar Khidekel Society, which sustains and preserves the artist's legacy and his involvement with the Suprematist movement.

The center regularly features cinematic events such as The Annual Diaspora, which screens Israeli-Russian films that focus on exploring the immigrant experience and the search for a new cultural identity. You can support the organization's events and mission via a one time monetary donation or through AmazonSmile.