The Smithsonian Institution is embarking on an attempt to tell a fuller story of who we are as a nation.
The National Museum of the American Latino will showcase the history, art, culture and scientific achievements of Latinos.
Jorge Zamanillo, the museum’s director, visited CBS Colorado Mornings to learn more about the work underway to bring the stand-alone museum to life, a process that is expected to take a decade.
Zamanillo was in town to speak to History Colorado on Wednesday afternoon. The National Museum of the American Latino was approved by Congress in bipartisan legislation passed in 2020.
Visitors to the National Mall can now get a glimpse of what to expect at the National Museum of American History, where the Molina Family Latino Gallery opened its first exhibit last June.
The exhibit tells the stories of Latinas and Latinos who shaped the United States. Indigenous freedom fighter Toypurina, Mexican American labor leader César Chávez, Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, Guatemalan labor organizer Luisa Moreno, Colombian American drag queen José Sarria and Cuban American singer Celia Cruz are just a few. historical and contemporary figures presented in the exhibition.
Zamanillo said, “We’ve made incredible efforts over the past few years through the Latino Center to establish a presence in DC, in the Smithsonian and now we’re taking it to the next level…to get Latino representation on the mall. .”
Asked to address the diversity of the country’s Latino communities, Zamanillo highlighted History Colorado’sinitiative, saying “It’s not a monolithic community. We’re diverse. But it starts at the local level. There’s a great example here, History Colorado, where we’re partnering with our colleagues at this museum because they’re capturing these local stories and it eventually becomes national stories. We will partner with these different institutions across the United States to make sure these stories are heard.