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El legado de la cantante cubano-estadounidense Celia Cruz forma parte de la exhibición "¡Presente! Una historia latina de los Estados Unidos". Foto: gettyimages.
El legado de la cantante cubano-estadounidense Celia Cruz forma parte de la exhibición "¡Presente! Una historia latina de los Estados Unidos". Foto: gettyimages.

Celia Cruz 'revives' at the National Museum of American History

The National Museum of the American Latino will open its first exhibit on June 18.

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“Present! A Latino History of the United States” is the first exhibition of the National National Museum of the American Latino, which is a Smithsonian institution created in 2020, but does not have a physical headquarters in the United States.

The exhibit is part of the opening of the Molina Family Latino Gallery, the Smithsonian's first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience.

The exhibit will open to the public at the National Museum of American History, another Smithsonian institution, beginning June 18.

“The Molina Family Latino Gallery is the first iteration of the National Museum of the American Latino. It will take 10 to 12 years to open a museum building, but the gallery gives the public a preview of the museum’s potential,” said Jorge Zamanillo, director of the National Museum of the American Latino.

WHAT CAN AUDIENCES LEARN IN THIS EXHIBITION?

“Present! A Latino History of the United States” aims to explain the cultural legacy of U.S. Latinos’ through concepts, historical moments, migration stories, biographies, and elements that are part of the Latino identity. It also seeks to lay the groundwork for the public to understand the influence of the Latino community in the history of the United States.

Figures featured in this exhibition include: indigenous freedom fighter Toypurina, Cuban American singer Celia Cruz, Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez, Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, and Guatemalan union activist Luisa Moreno. It will also tell the story of the Colombian-American drag queen José Sarria, the Chicana muralist Judy Baca, the first Latina in space Ellen Ochoa and other Latinos who have been able to face barriers in public health and in the military service of the United States.

Besides the physical exhibition, the National Museum of the American Latino has set up a complementary website that offers a virtual tour, with videos, a photo gallery and infographics for all those people who cannot attend in person.

All information is available in English and Spanish.

About the National Museum of the American Latino

The creation of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Latino was approved on December 27, 2020. The location of the new headquarters is scheduled to be announced by December 2022.

The institution seeks to promote an appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States and to collaborate with other museums to promote scholarly research.

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