National Latino Museum: Think Again

There is a tendency, common among some of us, to gleefully promote the idea of diversity. It’s true. Our journey has been the longest. And what better way to illustrate our country’s colorful history and diversity by erecting a museum to those who have shaped it’s past and future. The building for Native Americans stands while planning begins on a structure for African-Americans. Now, we turn to a museum for Latino’s. I’m all for it. But once again, we’re caught in the excitement of having a museum and are not too focused on the planning aspect. For one, I believe another museum on the National Mall is a bad idea. Why? The Mall is crowded, and there are plenty of downtown neighborhoods that could use revitalization with the aid of a major cultural project.  Imagine a museum mixed in with a piazza and retail/dining outlets. Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia is a prime example. The exhibition space could be smaller, but the experience is more intimate. A memorable experience felt in stark contrast to the one at the Native-American museum where the visitor count dropped before stabilizing. Land and building space may be cheaper and there would be less jumping through bureaucratic hoops to attain approval and funding. By following some of the recommendations, I believe the project directors/commission would be doing taxpayers a favor by saving a great deal of money. And that’s wise in an age where most are head over heels about the deficit.

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