Smithsonian to Open First Gallery Focused on U.S. Latino Experience
The Smithsonian will finally have its first-ever gallery focused on the U.S. Latino experience beginning in 2021. The Molina Family Latino Gallery will be housed at the National Museum of American History and will feature 4,500 square feet of bilingual stories and rotating exhibitions featuring multimedia activities, objects, and first-person narratives. The gallery is made possible by a lead gift to the Smithsonian Latino Center of $10 million by members of the Molina family, founders of the publicly traded Fortune 500 company Molina Healthcare Inc. The planned inaugural exhibition, “Making Home: Latino Stories of Community and Belonging,” will examine the historical roots of Latino culture as it shaped the continent and the U.S. Supporters of a movement to create a new Smithsonian museum dedicated to Latinos were encouraged by the announcement. “It’s wonderful. This is exactly the road the African American Museum took. They also had a gallery in the American History Museum,” said Estuardo Rodríguez, who’s leading the effort to add a full Latino museum to the Smithsonian, told WaPo. “We run on parallel tracks, and we will point to that in our efforts to fundraise and to pass legislation for [a museum].” Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), one of the leaders of legislation to create the Latino Smithsonian, added: “I applaud the Smithsonian’s efforts to create a space to honor and display the rich contributions that Latinos and Latinas have made to this country since its very inception. I am convinced now, more than ever, that the Smithsonian Institution has the capacity to fill an entire state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the American Latino in the near future. This is a great first step.” We’ll keep you posted. More here.