March 26, 1999
New York Time Warner Inc.
announced that it has joined forces with actor Edward James Olmos
to create Americanos: Latino Life in the United States,
a celebration of Latino culture through photography, film, music
and the printed word. Time Warner companies Atlantic Records,
HBO and Little, Brown and Company all collaborated on this 5-year
national multimedia project, which reveals pride and builds bridges
among Latinos and others.
Americanos will debut on April 7th in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, with the formal opening of a 5-year traveling photography exhibition by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The exhibition is accompanied by a music CD featuring an extraordinary lineup of Latino artists; a moving and thought- provoking documentary to air exclusively on HBO; and a breathtaking book of portraits, essays and commentary by today's most notable figures in the Hispanic community.
Time Warner Chairman and CEO Gerald Levin said, "We are proud of the way Time Warner's businesses have supported such an important project. Americanos is indicative of our commitment to the Latino community and to fostering a greater understanding of the important contributions made by Latinos to American culture."
"Americanos has been a labor of love for me since I was introduced to the project several years ago," said Olmos. "We are indebted to Time Warner for having the vision to support an effort that honors the generations of Latinos that have helped make the United States as great and as strong as it is today."
The exhibition features 120 contemporary photographs revealing people who, though diverse in culture, color, ideas and dreams, share a common desire to make life better for themselves, their families, their neighbors and their nation. Organized around themes such as family, community, spirituality and sports, the exhibition is supported by an educational component and extensive public programming. Highlighting the work of 30 prize-winning photographers, the exhibition will remain on view at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through June 6th. Following its premiere in Washington, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of the City of New York (Sept. 21, 1999 through Jan. 2, 2000) and to the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis (Jan. 22 through April 16, 2000). Americanos will reach a wide audience at it travels to nine other U.S. museums through the year 2002. Plans for a second exhibition will bring it to 20 additional museums through the year 2005.
The musical companion to Americanos will be released on April 20th. The music CD features a special recording of "America the Beautiful" by Paquito D'Rivera with the Orchestra of St. Lukes and tracks from a diverse group of Latino artists, including Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, San-tana, Celia Cruz, Los Lobos, Eddie Palmieri, Ozomatli, Lhasa, Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos, War, Pedro Luis Ferrer, Willie Bobo, Frankie Negron, and Flaco Jimenez with Ry Cooder. The album will be released by Atlantic Records in association with WEA Latina. To commemorate the spirit of Americanos, a contribution has been made by Warner Music Group to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Hurricane Mitch Relief Fund.
Conceived and co-produced by Olmos and directed by the Oscar-nominated team of Andy Young and Susan Todd, the documentary highlights the many ways Latinos express their culture and individuality. The film features three- to six-minute profiles filmed in Los Angeles, San Diego, New Mexico, Illinois, Miami, New York and other locations. The documentary will air exclusively on HBO this fall and will be shown as part of the exhibition at selected museums.
Under the direction of Olmos and Dr. Lea Ibarra, 30 award-winning photographers fanned out across the country to capture the essence of Latino life at work, in church, on neighborhood playgrounds, in the streets of major cities and on the banks of the Rio Grande. The result is a breathtaking panoramic vision of America today a place where Latinos come in a multitude of colors, live a broad range of lifestyle and contribute to American society in many exciting and crucial ways. Published by Little, Brown and Company, Americanos will be in bookstores beginning April 13th.