La Peña is a cultural homeplace where every week, toddlers, children, teens and adults study the musical and performance traditions that have nourished struggles of resistance, sustained cultures, and contributed to the well-being of communities. These roots performance traditions have managed to flourish despite long and complex histories linked to colonialism in the Americas that led to censorship and neglect. They have often been excluded from mainstream recognition by official histories, public radio, and school music curricula. Roots Arts classes encourage us to think beyond consumer approaches to performance in order to become producers and creators of our own culture. These inherited traditions have often thrived for centuries underground. They can also be revolutionary, thought-provoking, healing, and inspiring.
Our class selection throughout the years reveals the extension of the communities we serve, including classes in: jazz, folk, nueva canción, blues, flamenco, tango, plena, rumba, son jarocho, West African dance, capoeira Angola, salsa, bomba, samba, forro, Afro-Peruvian cajon, and hip-hop classes and performance.