The Coca-Cola Company is donating $2 million to support The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino and Molina Family Latino Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The Molina Family Latino Gallery opens this summer inside the National Museum of American History. The Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to Latino contributions to the United States will serve as a preview of the National Museum of the American Latino, which will explore Latino achievements in art, history, culture and science—past, present and future—through dynamic, multidisciplinary exhibitions and programming. Planning and development of the new museum is underway, with a projected opening in 10-12 years.
“The Smithsonian is shining a much-needed spotlight on the tremendous contributions of Latinos in this country, and Coca-Cola is proud to contribute to this landmark effort,” said Alfredo Rivera, president for North America, The Coca-Cola Company. “Through our partnership, we aim to make a difference in communities by celebrating stories, empowering learning and boldly shaping a better shared future where diversity, equity and inclusion play a central role.”
The inaugural exhibition at The Molina Family Latino Gallery, “Presente! A Latino History of the United States,” introduces visitors to critical concepts, moments and biographies that shine a light on the historical and cultural legacy of U.S. Latinas and Latinos through bilingual exhibitions, public and educational programs and robust online offerings.
The $2 million donation establishes The Coca-Cola Company as a corporate founder of the Molina Family Latino Gallery and founding donor of the National Museum of the American Latino. Rivera who has played a key role in the partnership, was appointed to the museum’s Board of Trustees in June 2021.
“Both the Molina Family Latino Gallery and forthcoming National Museum of the American Latino will strive to complete large gaps that exist in the story of American culture and history, gaps that overlook the struggles, achievements, and contributions of American Latinos,” said Eduardo Díaz, interim director of the National Museum of the American Latino. “Generous gifts like this recognize the urgency of that mission, and we thank The Coca-Cola Company for their support. That support will enable us to share centuries of history with generations of visitors from across the country and around the world.”
Rendering of the Molina Family Latino Gallery entrance. Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino.