El Museo Latino
The Polish Home
View from 25th Street
|Location||4701 S. 25th Street, Omaha, Nebraska|
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|NRHP reference #||15000793|
|Added to NRHP||November 16, 2015|
El Museo Latino is a museum featuring Latino and Hispanic art and history that is located at 4701 South 25th Street in South Omaha, Nebraska. Established in 1993, by Magdalena García, it is the first Latino art and history museum and cultural center in the Midwest.
El Museo Latino was established by Magdalena Garcia, a Mexico City native who had moved to Omaha at the age of nine. After working in industry for some years, Garcia had changed her focus to art and museums. In 1988, she obtained a degree in fine arts from the University of Nebraska Omaha; in 1992, a master's degree in museum management from Syracuse University. She returned to Omaha and, in 1993, opened El Museo Latino in the Livestock Exchange Building.
In 1997, the museum moved to the former Polish Home, at 4701 S. 25th Street. The site had originally been occupied by the South Central School, built in 1887. In 1916, the school was essentially rebuilt, as a single-story U-shaped Romanesque Revival-style building. In 1930, following the school's closing, the building was acquired by the American Legion. The Legion found themselves unable to keep up with the mortgage payments, and in 1936 sold the building to the Polish Home, a social organization serving the large Polish immigrant community in South Omaha. As the Polish Home, the building housed a library and served as a venue for Polish-language classes and for events such as dances, wedding receptions, and political rallies. The Polish Home owned the building until 1998, when it was sold to El Museo Latino.
El Museo Latino features exhibits about Latino and Hispanic art and history. Educational programs for kindergarten through twelfth grade, post-secondary, and adult audiences at the museum include lectures, slide presentations, films, art classes, workshops, demonstrations, art history classes, gallery talks, guided visits, and dance classes. Additionally, El Museo Latino is a resource center for Latino studies in the Midwest. Museum highlights have included an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution organized by actor Edward James Olmos , along with works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Photographer David Bacon and painter Terry Rosenberg have also been featured.
El Museo Latino organizes special events highlighting Cinco de Mayo, including an annual almuerzo, or brunch. Hispanic Heritage Month in September features a banquet. During the year, Family Day celebrations are also scheduled as well as special dance performances by the museum's dance company, "CHOMARI" Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, and by visiting artists. The museum also coordinates an annual celebration for El Día de Muertos, including a festival, special exhibits and cultural celebrations.
- Logan, Casey. "Get to Know: El Museo Latino founder picked passion over profession". Omaha World-Herald. 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "El Museo Latino’s García to receive UNO Alumni Citation" University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Association. Retrieved 2007-08-31. Archived 2007-09-29.
- "About Us". El Museo Latino. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Legion Hall Sale Gets Board's Aid". The Omaha World-Herald Newspaper, Omaha, Douglas County, NE, USA. 1937-03-16. p. 4.
- "Crowded Quarters of Omaha Students Board's Problems". The Omaha World-Herald Newspaper, Omaha, NE, USA. 1916-08-15. p. 1.
- "Omaha Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission Minutes: August 12, 2015". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Hendee, David. "Streetcar barn, Polish Home — now El Museo Latino — join National Register of Historic Places". Omaha World-Herald. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Rooney, P. "Latin Omaha: El Museo Latino... 12 years old and just getting started," Omaha City Weekly. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "El Museo Latino: The Diego Rivera Exhibition and other Highlights", Nebraska Arts Council. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "UNO, El Museo Latino to Host Photo Exhibition by David Bacon" University of Nebraska. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- "Press release" City of Omaha. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "History" El Museo Latino. Retrieved 8/31/07.
- Harrison, J. "Graceful Dead: Living Honor the Departed in Upcoming, Hybrid Holiday," Omaha City Weekly. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
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