U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured $8,324,000 to support the construction of the National Museum of the American Latino. The new museum will become the cornerstone for visitors to learn how Hispanics have contributed to U.S. art, history, culture, and science. Additionally, it will serve as a gateway to exhibitions, collections, and programming at other Smithsonian museums, research centers, and traveling exhibition services.
Legislation was passed calling for the Smithsonian to establish the National Museum of the American Latino on December 27, 2020. The project supports the Smithsonian’s goal of promoting the inclusion of Hispanic contributions in Smithsonian Institution programs, exhibitions, collections and public outreach.
“The Hispanic community has played a fundamental role in building the United States and shaping our culture. The rich history of the community deepens our understanding of the United States and what it means to be American,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The National Museum of the American Latino will connect visitors to Hispanic culture and allow our future generations to see themselves reflected in our national history. The museum will tell us about our country’s history from the perspectives of different Hispanics that lived it. I will continue to support projects that display Hispanic heritage and help us understand our ancestors’ roles in the establishment of the United States.”
Cuellar also supported language that reaffirms and supports the intent of Congress that the new National Museum of the American Latino will be located on or near the National Mall, to the maximum extent practicable. Appropriations language also encourages the museum to prioritize academic internships, partnerships, and educational and outreach programs funded through this bill. It encourages the museum to ensure that their efforts reach the widest possible audience including, but not limited to, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, as appropriate.
A public-private partnership will bring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino to life. In addition to federal appropriations, philanthropy and support from the public will be essential for the development of the museum.