Future Smithsonian Latino Museum Takes Next Steps, Names Sofia Vergara And Eva Longoria To The Board

It seems like forever ago that we were first teased the news that there could be a National Latino Museum. Then, this past December, we found out that the museum was for sure happening when Congress unanimously passed legislation making it a reality. Now, the museum has taken the next step towards its creating by appointing several members of the Board of Trustees – many of whom are familiar faces to most of us.

Smithsonian names National Museum of the American Latino board of trustees.

Ever since the December passage of legislation officially creating the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum, we’ve been eagerly awaiting for news on future developments. Now, we finally know who will be serving on the museum’s board of trustees – which is a critical role in the formation and management of the future museum.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the Smithsonian named trustees who are representative of the culinary, business, the arts and media worlds. The list includes creator of World Central Kitchen; Raul Anaya, president of business banking at Bank of America; former Democratic National Committee finance chair Henry Muñoz; actor and producer Eva Longoria; and actor Sofía Vergara.

The 17 trustees will help bolster the process of the museum’s development by overseeing the administration and formation of the museum’s future collections during the development of the first national Smithsonian museum dedicated to the history and culture of American Latinos.

This is a major step towards the creating of the national museum.

Naming the trustees is the next step toward construction of the physical museum, which supporters hope will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“At the heart of the American story are Latino stories, those of individuals, many of them immigrants, who encompass an unwavering spirit of perseverance and positive contributions,” said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who along with Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) was named as a trustee.

The Latino Museum’s immediate priorities are finding a permanent site — the Smithsonian is looking for sites on or near the Mall for the Latino Museum and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum — and finding its founding director.

Sofía Vergara and Eva Longoria welcomed the announcement.

“Thank you to the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian for inviting me to join the Board of Trustees. I am so excited to help create a space that will showcase Latino history, art, culture and scientific accomplishment in order to tell a deeper, more nuanced and complete story about our people. Stay tuned for more info!,” said Vergara on Instagram.

A peculiar addition to the board was Chef Jose Andres – who is Spanish-American.

Although Chef José Andrés is well-known for his extensive and invaluable philanthropic work, Andrés is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Spain. Spain may have colonized and occupied large parts of Latin America, but the Spanish are not Latinos. Many were confused with the Spaniard’s addition to the board, while some pointed out his knowledge of philanthropy as the possible reason.

Chef José Andrés said this project is long overdo. “All the Latin Americans, the Hispanics, are part of the DNA of America,” he said. “The diversity of Latinos in the country, ones that keep arriving as new immigrants and ones that have been here for generations, it’s about time we tell their story. “We need a place that honors these men and women.”

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