In 1971, three University of Iowa students, Nancy “Rusty” Barceló, Ruth Pushetonequa, and Antonio Zavala, established what is now the Latino Native American Cultural Center (LNACC) on campus. In 2021, the LNACC is celebrating 50 years of creating community and a home-away-from-home for Latinx and Native American students at the University of Iowa. An exhibition in the Main Library Gallery at the University of Iowa Libraries is now open to share and honor the history of this important cultural house.
“I think many of us have heard the expression about a campus building being ‘the heart of the campus.’ I had never felt that way about a building until the LNACC,” says Rachel Garza Carreón, exhibit co-curator and outreach and research librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries. “For many, it brings a sense of home to our lives.”
“The history of the LNACC and the impact that Latinxs and Native Americans have had on this institution and this community are powerful stories that need to be told and need to be heard,” says Christopher Ortega, exhibit co-curator and undergraduate engagement librarian.
This exhibition, Building Our Own Community: 50 Years of the Latino Native American Cultural Center, Founded by Chicano and American Indian Students in 1971, shares the history of the center in depth. It explores its establishment in the 1970s, campus activism, and the many ways in which the LNACC has supported students over the years. Co-founder Antonio Zavala once said that the LNACC “has provided shelter, friends, music, theater, dance, poetry, books, and many, many discussions that were useful to balance the one-sided education most Chicanos and Native Americans received elsewhere.”
The LNACC continues to be an active advocate, supporter, and resource for Latinx and Native American students at the University of Iowa.
Building Our Own Community: 50 Years of the Latino Native American Cultural Center, Founded by Chicano and American Indian Students in 1971 will be on display in the University of Iowa Libraries Main Library Gallery from February 8 through June 25, 2021. Admission is free.
Visits to the Main Library Gallery by the general public are by appointment only at this time due to COVID-19. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and guests must book at least three days in advance. Campus visitors with Iowa One Card access to the Main Library may visit without an appointment Wednesday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. during walk-in hours.
Guests can visit https://www.lib.uiowa.edu/gallery/ for additional information about the exhibition and about planning a visit. All are welcome, including classes, individuals, and small groups. Masks are required in all campus buildings.
Visit the Exhibition
Spring 2021 Main Library Gallery Hours: UI Campus Community (Students, Staff, Faculty)
Monday: By appointment only
Tuesday: By appointment only
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (walk-in)
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (walk-in)
Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (walk-in)
For campus community appointments on Mondays and Tuesdays, or if you are a member of the general public who would like to visit the exhibit, please contact the Main Library Gallery.