CENTRO CULTURAL HISPANO DE CLEVELAND, INC. (HISPANIC CULTURAL CENTER OF CLEVELAND), located in the Cleveland YMCA branch at 3200 Franklin Blvd., is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to preserve and develop the Hispanic Culture in Greater Cleveland through the arts. With about 250 members from 21 Hispanic countries, the center is one of the most diverse Hispanic organizations in Cleveland, focusing on helping youths understand Hispanic culture. The center serves as an instrument of understanding among Hispanics and non-Hispanics. It was founded in March 1985 by Lydia Fernandez of Guatemala and Flavio Marsiglia of Uruguay. They began by mounting exhibits of Hispanic crafts and participating in festivals with their small group. The center's first paid professional executive director was Diane Otero, who was succeeded by Mayra Montalvo. The center incorporated in Feb. 1986. It is a member of the Assn. of Performing Arts Presenters and the Ohio Arts Council's Hispanic Advisory Committee.
The center works in collaboration with local and regional arts groups and institutions. It acts as a liaison with groups and individuals who request programs, artists, sources, and information pertaining to the Hispanic community. Funding for the center is made possible through grants from the GEORGE GUND FOUNDATION and the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION. In 1994 the center's operating budget was $98,000, and Maria Rodriguez was the director.