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Lawmakers Try Again to Open National Museum of the American Latino

Lawmakers Try Again to Open National Museum of the American Latino

After several previous unsuccessful attempts, lawmakers on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to open the National Museum of the American Latino. The group held a press conference on their efforts. If approved, the museum would join the Smithsonian Institution museums on the National Mall in DC. “It’s hard to believe that in the year 2019, a museum devoted to Latino history does not already exist,” said Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), who is one of the bill’s sponsors. “From day one, Hispanics have shaped this nation in countless ways – as military leaders, as pioneers in business and the arts, as activists and elected officials—all of them committed to the American dream.” The museum would focus on illuminating Latinx contributions to the history of the United States by providing for the collection, study, publication, and exhibition of objects related to Latinx life, art, and history. The museum would also collaborate with other Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers to promote the appreciation of Latinx culture in the U.S. The measure would establish a museum Board of Trustees to advise the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian “on all matters related to the administration and preservation of the museum.” Legislation to create the museum was first introduced in 2011, following the release of a report by the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino that same year. The bill did not pass committee and was reintroduced in both houses in 2013 and 2016. “I know that one day we will establish a museum to celebrate our culture and past – a place to honor activists like Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, artists and performers like Lin-Manuel Miranda, and authors like Sandra Cisneros,” said Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-TX). “We are living at a time when many Hispanic families are living in the shadows and in fear because of the anti-immigrant environment. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we tell Hispanic stories and celebrate our culture.” More on the effort here.

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