The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture graciously accepted a $5.5 million donation from the Ford Motor Company. The gift will go toward the completion of the Museo Americano and the restoration/renovation of the historic Alameda Theater.
"Ford is an institution in Texas and their generosity and commitment to the celebration and preservation of Latino arts and culture is paramount as we near completion of this historic project," said Henry R. Muñoz III, founding chairman of The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture. "This is a historic day for San Antonio and for those who will visit the Museo Americano and The Alameda Theater."
The mission of the Museo Americano, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, is to tell the story of the Latino experience in America. Scheduled to open in the Fall of 2006, the 39,000 square foot building will include approximately 15,000 square feet of exhibition space. With nearly four million annual visitors to Market Square, the Museo Americano expects an annual attendance of more than 300,000 per year, which will make it the most visited museum in San Antonio. The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture is the only cultural organization in the nation formally affiliated with both The Smithsonian Institution and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"Ford has a long history promoting arts and culture in Texas," said Sandra Ulsh, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. "We are excited to continue this tradition today through our support of The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture."
Built in 1949, the 2,400-seat Teatro Alameda was the largest theater palace ever built in this country dedicated to Spanish-language entertainment. Among the theater's most unique and remarkable features are its breathtaking murals. Filled with signs and symbols of the 50 plus years it brought the greatest Spanish language talents to its stage and screen - the Alameda Theater is being restored as a full-time Latino performing arts center.
"As the only organization in the nation with partnerships with both the Smithsonian Institution and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ford's generous gift further establishes The Alameda Theater complex's position as a hub for cultural events in San Antonio and South Texas," said Ruth M. Medellin, executive director of The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture. "The addition of the Museo Americano and the renovation and restoration of the Alameda Theater will secure our position as the premier organization that provides the community with quality art and culture programming and events."
"The Alameda Theater complex has been an important part of San Antonio's history and in the history of Latino arts and culture," said San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger. "Ford's monumental contribution will allow San Antonio to be at the forefront of Latino arts and culture."
"This is a historic day for San Antonio," said Bexar County Judge Nelson W. Wolff. "The Alameda represents part of our rich heritage and I am thrilled to see this project come alive. I applaud Ford's vision and support in being here and giving the citizens of San Antonio this gift, one that will ensure that our legacy continues to shine for many generations to come."