By Lupita Peimbert.
(Culture) – Around 350 people gathered Tuesday, July 19, by what will be the permanent home for The Mexican Museum in the Yerba Buena Gardens Art District in San Francisco, a dream long-time-in-the-making.
The Mexican Museum is a source of great pride for Mexicans living in California whether categorized as Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, or Latin-Americans, as the passion for Mexican and Latino arts is a shared passion.
Hispanidad, Latinidad, Orgullo Latino —However one wishes to call it.
Founded in 1975 in the Mission District by visionary Peter Rodriguez*, and currently housed at Fort Mason, the Mexican Museum promotes Mexican and Latino art, culture, and heritage. The key location for its new building, highly visible, puts The Mexican Museum in the map for visitors from around the world, and for local residents.
The dedication ceremony and cornerstone presentation was attended by local political figures, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico Claudia Ruiz Massieu, the recently appointed Mexican Consul in San Francisco Gemi Gonzalez Lopez, and the members of the current board of directors, who have been working tirelessly to make this event happen.
“We want to defy negative stereotyping. When want the general public to know that when it comes to solving problems, Mexicans and the Mexican community are always willing to be part of the solution,” said Ruiz Massieu during her speech.
Equally relevant was the presence of dozens of past board members, artists, community leaders and people who appreciate Mexican and Latino culture.
“I wish we remain connected, and that we acknowledge everyone who has been part of this great project for years,” said Mario Diaz, an executive from Wells Fargo Bank, the institution who supported bringing the project back when everybody thought it was going to die. “As construction begins, it is important that a plan is developed for operation sustainability and program creation.”
The Mexican Museum is being constructed in Jessie Square adjacent to 706 Mission St (between 3rd and 4th streets), and it is said it will be ready in 3 years.
Having the Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Museum of African Diaspora and the SFMoma –the Museum of Modern Art as neighbors, makes the Mexican Museum a player in a prominent league; a member of a cultural circle for art relevancy, the passing of historic tradition, and a platform for true community action.
Notes from the writer:
- Peter Rodriguez, an artist and founder of the Mexican Museum passed away on July 1, 2016, and a memorial service will take place on Thursday, July 28, at St. Dominic’s Church, 2390 Bush Street in San Francisco, beginning at 11:30 am. The public is invited.
- Currently, the Mexican Museum in association with the Smithsonian Institution is located at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd -Building D San Francisco 94123. It is open Thursday to Sunday 12-4pm. People are encouraged to visit.
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