The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino has announced a $2 million gift from Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund to support the new museum’s planning, design and construction and its Young Ambassadors Program. The joint gift from the automobile manufacturer and its philanthropic arm establishes them as a founding donor of the Latino Museum.
“Ford Motor Company Fund has supported the Young Ambassadors Program for more than a decade, and we are very grateful to have them extend their commitment to fostering community-conscious leaders,” said Museum Director Jorge Zamanillo. “We’re also excited to have Ford Motor Company join us on our journey to bring the new museum to life.”
The Latino Museum is building on programs previously managed by the Smithsonian Latino Center like the Young Ambassadors Program, a leadership development program for graduating high school seniors. For more than 13 years, Ford has invested over $2 million to support the program, Latino exhibitions and the Molina Family Latino Gallery, which opened in June at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
“We are proud to continue our support of the Smithsonian to celebrate and preserve Latino heritage,” said Mary Culler, president of Ford Motor Company Fund. “By investing in the National Museum of the American Latino, we are honoring traditions that transcend generations and championing the next generation of great Latino leaders.”
The Latino Museum opened its first exhibition, “¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States,” in its Molina Family Latino Gallery. “¡Presente!” broadens what visitors know about U.S. history and explores Latino identity, immigration, historical legacies and the many ways Latinas and Latinos have shaped the nation. In addition, the exhibition offers historical artifacts, digital interactives, sensorial experiences and first-person oral histories that help visitors understand how the past relates to the present.
About the National Museum of the American Latino
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States. The museum provides resources and collaborates with other museums to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more. The museum operates its Molina Family Latino Gallery, the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience, at the National Museum of American History. Congress established the National Museum of the American Latino in 2020. Connect with the museum at latino.si.edu, and follow @USLatinoMuseum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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