Each year the Smithsonian Latino Center in D.C chooses 15 exceptional Latino American students, who demonstrate leadership, ability in scholarly research and are knowledgeable in Latino history, museum studies, historic preservation with arts and science management.
Contenders, for the professional-development opportunity for graduate students, were chosen from a national pool of applicants; therefore, the 2013 participants came from universities in Arkansas, Ohio, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New York, Texas, Washington, D.C., which offer two components.
The first component covers two weeks of presentations, workshops and discussions with leading Smithsonian curators, researchers and scholars. Participants learn about current and future Smithsonian projects, museum best practices and behind-the-scenes tours and methods of collections and exhibits.
The second component is a four-week internship served at a Smithsonian museum or research center to advance a Smithsonian project or program plan. Expanding on a partnership in 2012, the Latino Center will continue to collaborate with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to offer two more internships.
Focus, on this year’s Latino Museum Studies Program, will include a conversation with Smithsonian museum and research center directors about the role of ethnic-specific museums, a field trip to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a tour Smithsonian’s Cultural Resources Center, which houses over 12,000 ceramic vessels from Central America.
Highlights of the planned activities should fill up their next six weeks with Museum Studies Program, which the interns are participating in meetings with representatives from the National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund and the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino.
The Smithsonian Latino Center projects will span from immigration projects and art conservation to Latino solidarity movements and research on the indigenous people of the Caribbean. The Latino Museum Studies Program will continue to be supported by the Anheuser-Busch Foundation.
The Latino Museum Studies Program provides a national forum for graduate students to share, explore and discuss the representation and interpretation of Latino cultures in the context of the American experience. It provides a unique opportunity to meet and engage with Smithsonian professionals, scholars from renowned universities, and with leaders in the museum field.