Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

New American Latino Museum Gains Momentum

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Leaders in Washington partnered with music producer Emilio Estefan and Hollywood actress Eva Longoria at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to bring the National Museum of the American Latino a step closer to reality. The event marked the kickoff of a 23-member commission that will outline the vision for the new museum and help to raise the estimated $250 to $500 million needed for the project.

Supporters celebrated the group’s launch, which coincides with Hispanic National Heritage Month, as a landmark event that testifies to the recognition of the Latino community for its cultural and historical accomplishments.  U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra (CA), who sponsored the House of Representatives bill in 2003 that initiated the commission, hopes the museum will encourage reform in Washington.  “For this reason, it is very important that we document and archive all that we have done for this country as Americans and descendents of Latinos.”

This could never have happened 20 years ago. We’re proud. We’re going to create a legacy that will last forever,” said Estefan, the husband of fellow Academy Award winner Gloria Estefan, who President Obama appointed to the commission last month.

Lead organizers predict that the museum, which may be located on the National Mall, will open its doors in 10 years. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asked the congressionally-created commission to report back to lawmakers within a year about its progress.

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