On Thursday (October 13), Google donated $1 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino (NMAL) to support the development of new programs, exhibitions, and construction alongside another big donor.
Created in 2020, NMAL “advances the representation, understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture in the United States.” The museum’s Molina Family Latino Gallery is the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience.
“We thank Google for their enduring support and commitment to helping us develop a museum that recognizes the accomplishments, history, and culture of Latino communities,” NMAL director Jorge Zamanillo said in a statement. “Supporters like Google enable us to share the many stories of Latinas and Latinos whose contributions have shaped, and continue to mold, the history of the United States.”
Hector Mujica, head of economic opportunity at Google, explained why a museum like NMAL is important to him as a Venezuelan American. “I know first-hand the richness of the Latino culture, its vibrant history, and the many contributions of the community to the fabric of the United States,” he said. “Google is proud to support the National Museum of the American Latino with this grant.”
The other $1 million dollar donation they received was from the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) to support the development of the museum. “We are incredibly grateful to AARP for this generous gift,” said Jorge Zamanillo, the director of NMAL. “Their support will help us create a museum that speaks to intergenerational audiences.”
Currently, NMAL is exhibiting its inaugural show, ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States. The exhibit “uncovers hidden and forgotten stories, connects visitors to Latino culture, and lays the foundation for understanding how Latinas and Latinos inform and shape U.S. history and culture.”
Members of NMAL’s board of trustees include world-renowned chef José Andrés; Grammy-winning musician Emilio Estefan; actress, producer, and director Eva Longoria; actress and producer Sofia Vergara; and journalist Soledad O’Brien.