MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana loves San Jose for being the heart of Silicon Valley. From fun public spaces to tasty food options and world class art, San Jose has it all. These unique gathering spots that attract people of all ages – from strollers to canes – and everyone in between connect us to one another. We love going to public places where you can meet people from various backgrounds, learn a new dance or sample delicious food.

Here are three activities to check out downtown San Jose that will have you falling in love with our fabulous city.

South First Fridays Art Walk

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1200.0"]

  Image Courtesy Visit San Jose

Image Courtesy Visit San Jose [/caption]

On the first Friday of the month, the SoFA (South First Area) Arts & Culture district is the place to be. The art walk is a self-guided evening tour through galleries, museums, and independent creative businesses. You can learn how to pinch clay at Higher Fire, see an off-Broadway performance at the San Jose Stage Company or an intimate show at City Lights Theatre. There are immersive art experiences at the Institute of Contemporary Art, you can meet the artist in residence at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, and see the incredible talent of the local artist community at Works/San Jose. Anno Domini gallery features mind-blowing urban contemporary art from near and far. At MACLA you can hear budding poets hone their craft, check out dynamic visual arts in our gallery and learn a new dance after seeing a world-class performance that represents the best of the Latino diaspora in the Bay Area. And best of all – all of the visual arts spaces are free!

SoFA Market

San Jose star-architect Thang Do has created breathed new life into a historic building by transforming it into a communal gathering place in the heart of the SoFA District. The space is visually stunning – high ceilings and modern – at the same time very warm and welcoming. With over 300 days of sunshine in San Jose, the SoFA Market enlivens the street with outdoor seating. Your only challenge is deciding what to eat. From phenomenal pho to hot wood fired pizza to tacos, sandwiches, salads and burgers, the market offers something for everyone – all at reasonable price points. MACLA staff favorites include healthy smoothies from Vitamina Juices & Blends and the Mexican mocha at Vero’s Coffee Bar.


Sonic Runway

The space outside of downtown San Jose’s iconic City Hall gets transformed into a pulsating light and music dance party every night from dusk to dawn. The arches of this interactive temporary public art piece crosses two city blocks and converts audio signals into lights that mesmerize. The energy of the Burning Man festival animates the civic plaza where people walk with wonder, hang out or play Pokémon Go. Free and fun, this is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.


Located in downtown San Jose, MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana is an inclusive contemporary arts space grounded in the Chicano/Latino experience that incubates new visual, literary and performance art in order to engage people in civic dialogue and community transformation.

Focused on promoting established and emerging artists whose work is rooted in a Latino experience and history, but inclusive of global and multicultural movements, we see contemporary Latino art as part and parcel of the larger American experience. Our DMC Studio is a free arts education program dedicated to mentoring Silicon Valley youth (age 13-19) in 21st century skill development through multimedia production, including video and sound production, photography, and slam poetry.


In the spirit of love that is associated with this month, we are running a series of guest blog posts from our SVO members, like this one, who offer all the reasons to fall in love with San Jose. Follow along on social media with the hashtag #HeartofSV.





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