Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - New York Gov. Kathy Hochul joined locally elected leaders on Friday in the groundbreaking for a new Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute in West Buffalo.
There will be several features in the new $30 million facility.
The HHCI will feature a museum, 150-seat performing arts theater, event space, café, media center for radio or television broadcasts, learning center, and more. Hochul says the three-story, 37,000-square-foot infill development on Niagara and Hudson streets will celebrate the region’s Hispanic arts and culture and serve as a central hub for the West Buffalo community.
“This center, the first of its kind in Upstate New York, will be a beacon for the West Buffalo community and region. This beautiful setting will allow us to showcase, celebrate and share the history, culture and contributions of Western New York’s Hispanic community,” Gov. Hochul said. “I thank Cas Rodriguez and the Hispanic Heritage Council for making history by bringing history to this corner of West Buffalo through their tireless efforts and commitment that ensures this cultural institute will be celebratory, educational and interactive for today’s generation and for generations to come. I couldn’t be prouder to be the Governor that helped make today possible.”
“This is a monumental moment for our Hispanic community and the larger Western New York region which serves as a gateway to America," said Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Founder and President Casimiro Rodriguez. "As we break ground on the Hispanic Heritage Culture Institute, the first in upstate New York, we build upon the strengths of the Hispanic and Latino community to foster and inspire awareness and appreciation of past, present and future contributions. This center will offer our Hispanic and Latino community the opportunity to preserve their history, tell their stories, and share their culture with others. The groundbreaking of the HHCI represents the collaboration and hard work of community leaders, government officials, donors, public and private organizations, and neighborhood groups. Due to Governor Hochul and these dedicated individuals, this cultural magnet will be a center for a diverse community as well as a model for the country.”
The groundbreaking for the $30 million facility comes a little more than a year since Gov. Hochul announced a $5 million capital grant, through Empire State Development to the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, for the institute’s construction. The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC) awarded an additional $725,000 capital grant through Round 11 of the Council awards in 2021. The New York Power Authority is also providing a $300,000 funding award to the HHCI through its Western New York Power Proceeds program, which is made possible through net earnings resulting from the sale of unused hydropower generated at the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project
This comes on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month.