Smithsonian Latino Center

$3.5 Million raised

Smithsonian Latino Center

Nurturing the Next Generation

The Smithsonian Latino Center works across the Smithsonian and with affiliated museums to highlight and advance understanding of Latino history and U.S. Latino contributions to the arts, humanities and science.

Throughout the Smithsonian Campaign, the center raised funds to nurture the next generation of Latino leaders. The Ford Motor Company donated $1 million to support the Young Ambassadors Program, a national program to help Latino high school seniors build leadership skills in the arts, sciences and humanities. Through the program, students can apply for interdisciplinary internships in museums and other cultural institutions in 17 cities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Comcast NBC Universal Telemundo funded the center’s ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert program with four annual gifts totaling $216,000. The family and youth-centered program promotes interactive science days across the country, offering kids a chance to interact with Latino scientists and engage in hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities.

Since 2013, Target has provided $550,000 to develop a suite of bilingual digital educational resources offered through the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. Resources include a teacher training toolkit and a series of six animated videos to help educators better serve Latino youth in economically challenged communities across the country.

Smithsonian Latino Center
Leadership Message

Leadership Message

The United States Latino community is remarkably diverse. For most, this country has been home for one or more generations. On many levels, U.S. Latinos live on the nexus between their countries of origin and their communities of residence. The Smithsonian Latino Center is helping them navigate native and foreign-born realities, as we show our fellow citizens that we are part of the U.S story.

The center has helped Smithsonian museums present dozens of exhibitions showcasing Latino contributions in science, art, history and culture — on site, online and through national traveling shows.

Through the Young Ambassadors Program, we have shown Latino teens and young adults that they have “stories worth telling,” to quote one young alumnus, and helped them proudly claim their cultural identity.

The Latino Museum Studies Program prepares historians, anthropologists, museum leaders and other scholars for positions of leadership. With the federally supported Latino Initiatives
Pool, the Latino Center has directed funding in support of nearly 400 Latino content projects across the Smithsonian.

Private giving through the Smithsonian Campaign will enable us to expand our presence and connect more Latino communities to America’s museum. This mission grows increasingly essential as U.S. Latinos grow in numbers and influence.

We invite your support.

  • Eduardo Díaz
    Director, Smithsonian Latino Center
Smithsonian Latino Center
Campaign Case

Telling the Latino Story

The Smithsonian Latino Center, created in 1997, is dedicated to representing the foundational role of Latinos in building the United States and connecting Latino communities to Smithsonian treasures and resources. We create and support initiatives that inspire appreciation for Latino achievements.

Since more than 53 million U.S. Latinos constitute the largest minority in the country, our goal is to assume a more prominent role within the Smithsonian and the nation. Ultimately, we aim to create a permanent national space dedicated to telling their story and are laying the foundation for this bold, next step.

Through the Smithsonian Campaign, we will build on our development of leaders, content specialists, exhibitions, research, collections and public programs to tell America’s story in all of its diversity, through the lens of the Latino experience. We are seeking to bring a traveling exhibition across the country to promote our efforts.

Pioneering Presence
Our signature strength is our ability to partner with other museums on exhibitions and public programs and education initiatives that widen their impact. Campaign gifts will enable us to expand our role as incubator and catalyst within the Smithsonian.

Nurturing Young Leaders
Your support will strengthen the Smithsonian’s unique ability to expose the next generation of arts and science leaders to these fields and recruit new people who bring the Latino perspective to the Smithsonian. Twenty percent of the nation’s teens and adults are Latino. Programs will empower promising young and early professional Latinos with experiences and tools for new possibilities and connect them with mentors who share their heritage and knowledge.

Building our Future
Your investment will help us to sustain and expand the pioneering work of our experts, and offer financial stability for the future. Gifts to endow the director’s and curator positions will ensure that we retain these talented leaders and their positions for the long term.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Smithsonian Latino Center

is raising $4 million of the Smithsonian Campaign’s overall $1.5 billion goal. 

Campaign Priorities

Strengthen Collaborations

$2 Million

We seek a total of $2 million to support exhibitions and programs. Upcoming exhibition and research projects include Caribbean Indigenous Legacies and Latino D.C. History, as well as the Regional Exhibition Fund. Public programs and educational resources include Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day, ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert, Cultural Expressions and the Latino Virtual Museum. Gift opportunities with naming recognition include a research fund and display cases and walls at the National Museum of American History.

Develop Next Generation Leaders

$1 Million

Investments totaling $1 million are needed to cultivate and train museum content specialists and young leaders. Gift opportunities include support for the Young Ambassadors Program, Latino Museum Studies Program, internships and fellowships.

Build Pipeline for the Future

$1 Million

We seek $1 million to sustain and grow the Smithsonian Latino Center. Our goals and aspirations beyond the campaign require additional funding. Naming recognition will be offered for gifts of $3 million to endow a curator’s position, $5 million to endow the director’s position and $10 million to support the Latino Center.

Smithsonian Latino Center



Ford Fund Celebrates Young Ambassadors

The Ford Motor Company Fund promotes promising young Latino leaders through its support of the award-winning Young Ambassadors Program. The Smithsonian Latino Center pairs high school graudates with Latino experts and places them in internships nationwide. "We are driving a brighter future," says Joe Ávila, community outreach manager for the fund. Ford funded the program's anniversary celebration last summer.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Contact Us

Smithsonian Latino Center Campaign Officers

Smithsonian National Latino Board

  • Joedis “Joe” Ávila
  • The Honorable Xavier Becerra
  • Faustino "Tino" Bernadett, M.D., M.B.A.
  • The Honorable Roel Campos, Chair
  • Thomas Chávez, Ph.D.
  • Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza, Secretary
  • Philip "Phil" Fuentes
  • Aida Levitan, Ph.D., Vice Chair
  • Ann Serrano López
  • Álvaro de Molina
  • Manuel "Manny" Machado
  • Millie Magid
  • Henry R. Muñoz III, Chairman Emeritus
  • Christine Ortega
  • Carlos Palomares
  • Marcos Ronquillo
  • Yolanda "Dusty" Stemer

Smithsonian Latino Center

Total Goal:
$3.5 Million


$3.5 Million Raised

As of November 30, 2017

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