MOCHA’s new touring exhibits and educational programs were inspired by the Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center, which was itself an outgrowth, in 1968, of an artist group collaborative at 2112 N.W., Washington, DC, comprised of W. Marc Zuver (France/DC), Dino Aranda (Nicaragua/DC) and Manuel Pereira (Peru/DC). The artists, with Marc Zuver serving as Chief Curator and Director, offered art and ceramics workshops in northwest Washington D.C. African American expressionist painter and educator Alma Thomas (1891-1977) was an early participant.
These artists were later joined by artist Jonas dos Santos (Brazil/DC) and Irish American poetess/filmmaker Rebecca Kelly Crumlish (DC). In 1973, they founded the 501(c)(3) Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center — the first artist-run bilingual multicultural museum in America with broad impact through national and international touring exhibits and the first Latino center to reach out and include Caribbean, Asian, African American, Native American, Russian and Georgian artists. It soon became a Dupont Circle landmark.
Large public outdoor theater, film, bilingual educational programs (museum and in school visits), art events and annual public festivals drew visitors from across the tri-state area and tourist from across the nation and abroad.
MOCHA was also inspired by the extraordinary contributions to the great American mosaic of a number of outstanding pioneer arts organizations that have given us a larger sense of the American Dream across borders of race, language and religion. Particular tribute is owed to Kenkeleba House (NYC), Taller Boricua (NYC), the former Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (“MOCHA,” NYC), the Asian American Arts Centre (NYC), the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists (Boston), MARCH (Chicago), the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the Galleria de La Raza (SF), Teatro Compesino (CA), the Royal Chicano Air Force (Sacramento) and Los Four (Chicano artist collective, Los Angeles), the Santero Art Movement of NM, the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe), the Con Safos Movement, particularly César Martínez, Amado Peña and Carlos Almaraz (“Los Four”), the Spellman College Museum of Fine Art (Atlanta), and many museum professionals and talented artists.
Fondo del Sol’s former art collection, including the major private collection of Director Marc Zuver, compiled during an exciting era in art history at home and abroad — is on long-term loan to MOCHA.