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MACI to “compromise” on proposed site for cultural center with stipulations

The Mexican American Cultural Institute said it will compromise with the City of El Paso on its proposed location for the cultural center.

The city wants the Mexican American Cultural Center to be housed next to the El Paso Public Library’s downtown branch.

It will be voting on the location during Tuesday’s council meeting.

In a letter obtained by ABC-7, a member said the organization is offering a “proposal that we (MACI) feel will bring together our city leaders and several coalitions to make this cultural center a reality,” Liz Chavez said, a member of MACI.

Chavez stated MACI is proposing some “minor modifications.”

The statements said MACI and other coalition groups would like to have a significant say in the selection of the director and the exhibits and the expansion of cultural programs to other areas of town.

MACI also announced in the statement that it is ready to offer a first installment of five million dollars as soon as the city “recognizes us as a partner, as required by the funding organizations.”

“We can put aside past differences and work together on this important project for our city, which we all want to see happen,” Chavez said.

MACI requested to meet with the city manager to discuss the proposal this week and hopes to finalize the proposed center.

“With this cultural center everyone wins. Our city deserves no less from us, from our history, from our past struggles, from our love of our city and of our hope for a greater future for our families,” Chavez said.

The center is part of 2012’s Quality of Life Bond. When it was first proposed, the city said it would be located in the Abraham Chavez Theater.

The Mexican American Cultural Institute was meant to help fund the project, promising to raise $20 million for the center.

However, when it became apparent they were not going to meet that goal, the city started looking at other options, proposing the downtown library.

Last Thursday, the city held an open house showcasing the plans for the center, but members of MACI and other community groups showed up to protest.

ABC-7 will be at Tuesday’s meeting when council decides on the location for the cultural center.

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