Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Smithsonian American Latino Museum Will Debut its First Exhibit Next Month

The National Museum of the American Latino will debut its inaugural gallery in the National Museum of American History on June 18, 2022. The new American Latino Museum probably will not have its own building for at least 10 years, but the Smithsonian will display exhibits until the museum finds its permanent home.

The exhibit portrays labor leader César Chávez’s decades of activism, Roberto Clemente’s record-breaking career in Major League Baseball, and the “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz’s music with a message, amongst other tales of notable Latinos who have  made history. In the interactive gallery, which is named after the family of late Smithsonian donor David Molina, artifacts are organized by themes like “colonial legacies” and “immigration stories.”

The first exhibit named “¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States,” and wants to “illuminate US Latinos’ historical and cultural legacies,” the Smithsonian said in a statement.

Other important Latinx people include Luisa Moreno, a labor union leader, civil rights activist born in Guatemala, and Colombian-American drag performer José Sarria, who was the first openly gay person to run for public office in the U.S, both of whom will also be part of the exhibit.

The information found in the gallery will be available in both English and Spanish. For those who cannot attend the museum in Washington, D.C., there will be a “companion website” that shows some of the artifacts and stories from the in-person exhibit. The process of introducing, approving, and actually opening a physical location for the Smithsonian’s American Latino Museum can take up to a decade.