Throughout Mexican history, it has been assumed that art and culture—or at the least their sponsorship, distribution and promotion—are the exclusive jurisdiction of the State. However, an attentive look at the nation’s cultural history proves that this has not always been the case. While it is true that programs and cultural projects controlled by the State occupy a large share of the national focus, it is also true that there have always been multiple initiatives emerging from other environments that have an impact on a variety of groups and communities with more punctual and urgent cultural needs. At the margins of what these initiatives may represent in the nation’s overarching cultural panorama, their existence time and again underlines the gap between what the State defends as “culture” and the culture that is generated in extra-official spaces. What are the consequences of that separation? Is it possible, and necessary to establish communication channels between the State and cultural participants to come up with more plural, inclusive and effective policies? How democratic and transparent are decisions on cultural policy at the federal and state levels? What are the reasons behind the political rationale that defines the Mexican state’s cultural management?