September 7, 2007

Hispanic Caucus Congratulates Smithsonian Latino Center on 10th Anniversary

Smithsonian Latino Center will celebrate their Annual Gala - ¡Smithsonian Con Sabor!

Washington, DC – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) released the following statement congratulating the Latino Smithsonian Center on its 10th Anniversary.

“As Hispanics in Congress we are very proud of our heritage and the contributions that our community has made to our great country,” said Congressman Joe Baca, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “Tonight’s event provides a great opportunity to highlight not only our community’s many contributions, but also those who have worked tirelessly to promote Hispanic culture and heritage throughout the years. I want to congratulate the Smithsonian Latino Center on its 10th anniversary. The CHC will continue to work to provide a home for all the great work that the Smithsonian Latino Center does, and to one day make the National Museum of the American Latino a reality.”

“Tonight we celebrate a decade of remarkable achievement on behalf of the Smithsonian Latino Center in highlighting the contributions of Latino Americans to our nation,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra, Assistant to the Speaker. “Since its inception the Center has done a remarkable job of expanding the availability of exhibits and materials focused on the artistic, cultural, and historic contributions of American Latinos to museums and cultural centers throughout the country. We also salute the important work of Senators Mel Martinez and Ken Salazar in seeking a permanent home for Latino culture in our nation’s capital.”

“After 10 years of existence, the Smithsonian Lat-ino Center is more important than ever,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “Latinos are proud of their traditions, culture and way of life and nowhere is this better represented than at the Smithsonian Latino Center. Building upon the Latino Center’s successes, I look forward to the day when there is a Smithsonian museum dedicated solely to Latino culture and history in the United States.”

Each year the Smithsonian Latino Center celebrates a different Latin culture at its gala. This year’s gala honors the rich influence of Mexican and Mexican-American artists, scholars, and community leaders. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus also congratulates the following individuals who will be honored at tonight’s gala:

* Public Service recognition: Senator Ken Salazar and Senator Mel Martinez

* Lifetime Achievement: Raul Yzaguirre

* Design: Enrique Norten, David Rodriguez

* Film: Arturo Ripstein, Moctesuma Esparza

`* Literature: Laura Esquivel, Luis Valdez

* Humanities: Dr. Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, Dana Gioia

* Visual Arts: Graciela Iturbide, Carmen Lomas Garza

* Music: Los Tigres del Norte, Carlos Santana (invited)

* Arts Advocacy: Guadalupe Rivera Marin, Richard «Cheech» Marin

* Emerging Talent: Alejandro Monteverde, Eduardo Verastegui

The Smithsonian Latino Center is a division of the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to celebrating and preserving the legacy of Latino culture and heritage. The Center ensures that Hispanic contributions to art, science and the humanities are recognized, understood and advanced through the development and support of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational opportunities at the Smithsonian Institution and its affil-iated organizations in the United States and internationally.

This evening’s celebration will mark the 10th Anniversary of the Smithsonian Latino Center. During a decade of success, more than 300 projects were funded at the Smithsonian and its partner museums—all made possible by Congressional funding of the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool.

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