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Latino Initiatives Pool

Latino Initiatives Pool

The Latino Initiatives Pool is a federal fund managed by the Smithsonian Latino Center providing financial support to Smithsonian units for exhibits, research, collections, conservation, archival work and school and public programs. These projects must further the understanding and appreciation of Latino contributions in the areas of science, history, art and culture. Acting on the recommendations of a review panel, the Latino Center directs funds to programs and projects which demonstrate the greatest public impact and represent and highlight the U.S. Latino experience.

Since 1995 over 400 Smithsonian programs and projects have received Latino Initiatives Pool support totaling over $20 million. The following are some projects that received funding:

  • Bracero History Project: Legacy of a Community – Supported the traveling bilingual exhibition of the Bracero program (1942-1964) which enabled millions of Mexican nationals to come to the U.S. to work on short-term, mostly-agricultural labor contracts. (National Museum of American History)
  • Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed – A bilingual exhibit that featured objects from NMAI's collection and also included robust public programming, a website and mobile applications. (National Museum of the American Indian/Smithsonian Latino Center)
  • Y.E.S! (Youth Enrichment Through Science) – A program that engaged Latino students in research projects with museum scientists and provided opportunities to enhance communication skills and support college preparation activities. (National Museum of Natural History)
  • Research & Development: Portraiture Now – Staging the Self – Support for development of exhibition featuring the works of contemporary Latino artists who, though a conceptual or aesthetic gesture, attempt to make us aware of how identities are constructed and fluctuate. (National Portrait Gallery)
  • Tradiciones/Traditions: Smithsonian Folkways Latino Music Initiative – Provided support for research, documentation, pre-production, community outreach and concerts for the Folkways Latino Music Recording Initiative with the goal of sharing recordings and other content with national and international audiences. (Smithsonian Folkways)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek matching support from external funders, which ensures the long-term success of projects and demonstrates interest of Smithsonian programs beyond the Institution.

Applications and guidelines for fiscal year 2020 can be downloaded below. For questions, contact Diana C. Bossa Bastidas at or (202) 633-0804. Deadline for fiscal year 2020 is October 23, 2019.

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