Museum Honors Hispanic Culture

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SAN ANTONIO, April 12 — With a hot pink carpet on the sidewalk and a 600-piece mariachi band in the wings, this city has swung into fiesta mode to welcome the nation’s largest Latino museum, a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution....

The museum is in a 39,000-square-foot former food market, sheathed in Mexican pink panels and punched tin with pinpoint light holes recalling a giant luminaria. It joins a growing cultural zone including a 1949 movie palace, the Alameda, being renovated for stage productions shared with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The Smithsonian, which a study panel of Latino professionals condemned in 1994 for “a pattern of willful neglect” toward Hispanic culture, signed its first major affiliation agreement with the Museo Alameda, agreeing to loan treasures from its vast Washington holdings. It has since signed similar agreements with about 150 other institutions, including five other Hispanic museums, in 39 states.

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