Preserving history is extremely important. If we did not have museums, schools and even photos, our history would be lost. And for over two decades, the National Museum of the American Latino (NMAL) has been one of the latest Smithsonian museums getting ready to make a splash in our history.
In February 2022, Jorge Zamanillo, executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum, was named founding director of the NMAL. His appointment begins on May 2, 2022 and is one step closer to opening the museum.
“It is an honor to be chosen to lead the development of this museum as the founding director,” Zamanillo said. “The Latino experience is American history, and I want to make sure our story will be preserved for future generations. This museum will celebrate Latino accomplishments and resiliency through powerful stories that capture the adversity faced over centuries by Latinos in the U.S. and their perseverance to move forward and create a legacy.”
So when and where will the museum open? According to the Art Newspaper, “The Smithsonian presented more than 20 recommendations earlier this month to the National Capital Planning Commission and the US Commission of Fine Arts, federal departments that oversee plans for museums and other major projects in Washington, DC. Around 14 sites were identified as ‘tier one’ sites from a wider pool of 26 proposals, while others will be considered but are unlikely to meet the Smithsonian’s criteria.” Washington, DC is already home to many museums including the National Museum of African American History & Culture and it makes sense for DC to be home to another Smithsonian museum.
I will say the name (National Museum of the American Latino) brings up a larger conversation about identify. How will the Latinx community respond or are responding? These are ongoing conversations and cannot be answered now.
Are you excited for the opening of the museum? What do you want to see featured?