“With this trio of events at the NCLR Conference, we are seeking to connect with and build on our national network of supporters,” said Cid Wilson, board chair of the Friends of the American Latino Museum. “From the attendees of the expo to local New Orleans leaders to the national influencers that this conference will draw, we have a call to action that we will share. The time has come for inclusion in the network of museums on the National Mall. Congress can remedy the absence of U.S. Latino history by supporting the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act and take us a step closer to creating this long overdue museum.”
The Expo booth creates an opportunity for direct conversations with FRIENDS representatives. This will allow us to continue gathering grassroots support for the campaign and especially the passage of the Smithsonian American Latino Museum Act, a bipartisan bill that requires zero funding and serves to designate a location for the future museum. The booth will also feature giveaways like our 2013 Campaign Design Contest winning design submitted and voted on by our thousands of online supporters.
FRIENDS is collaborating with the American Latino Heritage Fund and the PBS Latino Americans series to present a super-workshop, “The Making of America: Untold Stories from American Latino History.” With moderator Ray Suarez of PBS News Hour and panelists including Stephen Pitti of Yale University, CNN Contributor Maria Cardona and Eduardo Diaz of the Smithsonian Latino Center, this event will take an in-depth look into the need for the inclusion of American Latino history in our schools and our national institutions.
Following the super-workshop, FRIENDS will host a special reception to continue the discussion and provide networking opportunities for supporters to stay engaged in the museum campaign. The reception will include remarks from special guest and campaign supporter, Actress Aimee Garcia. This young Latina actress is known for her roles in the George Lopez Show and Dexter. Aimee represents the vibrant talent and excitement from the many Latino artists that support the creation of the American Latino Museum and who also contribute to today’s American art and culture.
This series of events is the next step in our national campaign to coordinate local communities and key stakeholders and continue building the large network of Americans calling for the creation of this museum. So far this year, FRIENDS has hosted events in Miami, Houston, New York City, and Las Vegas and has amassed a network of close to 350,000 followers, fans, and subscribers through social media. By educating and connecting with these supporters, FRIENDS is continuing to gather the stories and the diverse voices that have been waiting for and fighting for national recognition of American Latino history with a museum.
Friends of the American Latino Museum (www.americanlatinomuseum.org)
Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc., a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.