Our History

LATEA (Latin American Theater Experiment Associates) is a performing arts theater company that has been a Latino cultural staple for over 30 years. Through multicultural and multidisciplinary initiatives at The Clemente, which it helped establish, LATEA assiduously promotes Latino performing arts to Latinos and multicultural audiences and presents multicultural work to Latinos.

At our theater, New York based Latino / Latin American artists can create multidisciplinary work through co-productions in a collaborative environment. Our mission encompasses producing experimental theater as well as co-producing dance, film, music and visual arts. Our principal aim is not only to expose undeserved Latino audiences to dynamic multidisciplinary performance/theater experiences but also to introduce broader audiences to work by emerging Latino/Latin American and other artists.

Founded in 1982 by Nelson Tamayo, Nelson Landrieu and Mateo Gomez, LATEA reflects the concern of these award-winning actors with the underrepresentation of Latinos in North American theater. When the bilingual educational program anchored at former P.S. 160 ceased to exist, the founders developed a communal theater space. When LATEA found itself as the sole tenant of the former public school building, its members and Ed Vega Yunque struggled to safeguard a city-owned building for downtown Latino arts. In 1993 Ed Vega and the founders established the Clemente.

LATEA has been acknowledged for its contributions to the performing arts with HOLA and Latin ACE Awards. Since last year, LATEA has focused on three distinct initiatives: LATEA STAGE hosts Latino theater, LATEA SCREEN hosts film festivals and holds open screen exchanges, and LATEA MUSIC presents Latin Jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and South American genres such as Tango. Spoken word events and visual arts exhibits are also presented.