Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today announced her support for bipartisan legislation to create a new Smithsonian American Latino Museum and to designate a site for the institution on the National Mall.
"The story of Latino Americans in the U.S. is the story of our nation and a rich part of the heritage of Nevada and the West. I am proud to support the creation of this new museum that will document the history, culture and enormous contributions made by Americans of Latino heritage today and throughout our nation's past. The Smithsonian American Latino Museum will be a unique institution for Americans of all ages and from all backgrounds that will celebrate our great nation by chronicling the influence of Latino heritage in America over the centuries," said Berkley.
The newly introduced legislation follows the recommendations of a bipartisan Commission that studied the creation of the National American Latino Museum. The bill:
(1) Establishes within the Smithsonian Institution a museum to be known as the "Smithsonian American Latino Museum.''
(2) Designates the museum's site as the Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall, at 900 Jefferson Drive Southwest in Washington, DC.
(3) Authorizes the Smithsonian Board of Regents to prepare a plan of action for the museum, as referred to in the May 2011 Report to Congress submitted by the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino, in consultation with the Secretary of Interior, the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission and federal and local agencies.
(4) Authorizes the Regents to identify and evaluate viable funding models for both the construction and operation of the museum, within 18 months after the bill is enacted.
(5) Authorizes the Regents and Secretary of the Interior to enter into an agreement that allows for the planning, design and construction of an underground annex facility, in a manner harmonious with and to protect the open space and visual sightlines of the Mall.