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Americanos: Latino Life in the United States
Americanos: La vida de los latinos en los Estados Unidos

Major Latino photographic exhibition from the Smithsonian continues nationwide tour at the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen

Americanos: Latino Life in the United States presents an intimate portrait of the Latino community through the work of 30 prize-winning photographers. The 120 photographs in the exhibition are organized around themes such as family, community, work, and sports, and reflect the breadth and variety of the Latino experience. The exhibition will open at the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen (formerly McAllen International Museum) on August 24th and remain on view through November 17th. Americanos, a project of Olmos Productions, has been organized by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of AOL Time Warner Inc. and Qwest Communications. Additional support has been provided by Farmers Insurance.

Local support for the exhibit is provided by Time Warner Cable of the Rio Grande Valley. “Time Warner Cable is proud to bring this remarkable exhibit to our region,” said General Manager Juan Herrera. “Americanos offers insight into the unique and diverse lifestyle of one of the fastest growing groups in America.”

The national traveling exhibition is the centerpiece of a multi-media program that includes a large format color book, published by Little, Brown, & Company, an HBO documentary, and a music CD released by Atlantic records in conjunction with Warner Music Latin America.

The exhibit kicks off with an opening night celebration to be attended by Smithsonian Museum executives and local dignitaries. Edward James Olmos and his company, Olmos Productions, Inc., played a key role in making this exhibition possible. “This important collection of photographs reveals people who are diverse in culture, color, ideas, and dreams, who share a common desire to make life better for themselves, their families, their neighbors and their nation,” said Mr. Olmos. “I am very proud to be a part of this important project and to celebrate Latino life, culture and history with the Smithsonian Institution.”

Each of the six sections of the exhibition work, family, spiritual life, community, sports, and culture and the arts is introduced by personal statements written by prominent Latino writers or citizens such as Carlos Fuentes, Julia Alvarez, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Celia Cruz. The talented photographers, including Alexis Rodriguez Duarte, Genaro Molina and Rita Rivera, featured in Americanos have captured an extraordinary view of the Latino experience. The photographs address such issues as national origin, education, religion, economic status, and language.

The exhibit includes a strong educational component, with special curriculum materials available for local teachers and a teacher training seminar and local photo contest for youths in the Rio Grande Valley sponsored by Farmers Insurance.

The photographs, most of which were shot for the Americanos project, were selected by a distinguished jury of photojournalists including Pulitzer Prize-winners Michel du Cille, photography editor at The Washington Post, and Jose Galvez, who continues to add to his 30-years experience by further documenting the Latino community; Mark Hinojosa, associate managing editor of electronic news at the Chicago Tribune; and Liliana Nieto Del Rio, whose photographs appear regularly in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Photographs by Galvez and Del Rio appear in the exhibition.

The jury worked with the Smithsonian and Olmos Productions to bring to the public both familiar and unfamiliar images. From fashion designer to clergyman to migrant farm worker, the images reveal the diversity and synergy as well as the important contributions of the Latino community.

The Smithsonian’s Center for Latino Initiatives advances the knowledge and understanding of Latino contributions to U.S. history, art, culture and science. The Latino Initiatives Fund, administered by the Center, supports Latino-focused research, educational and public programs and promotes the inclusion of Latinos and Latino perspectives in the activities of the Smithsonian.

Each year SITES shares the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside of Washington, D.C. One of the Smithsonian’s four National Programs, SITES makes available a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown not only in museums but wherever people live, work, and play: in libraries, science centers, historical societies, community centers, botanical gardens, schools, and shopping malls. 2002 is SITES’ 50th anniversary of connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.

The International Museum of Art & Science (mcallenmuseum.org) in McAllen (formerly McAllen International Museum) has served the Rio Grande Valley for over 28 years. It continues its mission of promoting understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences through exhibitions, cultural events and educational and science outreach programs. iMAS is nationally accredited by the American Association of Museums, a professional status held by less than 10% of all museums in the United States. It is the only accredited art and science museum between Corpus Christi and Monterrey, Mexico and between Laredo and Brownsville.

Time Warner Cable (www.twcrgv.com) serves over 100,000 customers in the Rio Grande Valley, with state-of-the-art fiber optic technology and programming including Digital Cable and Road Runner High Speed Online service. Time Warner Cable of the Rio Grande Valley is part of Time Warner Cable, which owns and manages the world’s most advanced, best-clustered cable operations, with 90 percent of its 12.8 million customers in systems of 100,000 subscribers or more. It is a division of AOL Time Warner, Inc.
International Museum of Art & Science
(956) 682-1564
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