¡Viva el Arte! 8 Must-See Museums About Hispanic Heritage Across the U.S. Tasmiah Rashid September 14, 2021 Arts & History, Hispanic American Heritage Month All across the United States, communities are doing more to recognize the innumerable contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to American history, society, and culture. There are now numerous festivals, events, and exhibitions throughout the year (as well as during Hispanic Heritage Month). So it can be hard to know the best places to discover and appreciate the rich history of Hispanic heritage and culture. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a list of the ones that are always worth a visit. Here are 8 must-see museums about Hispanic Heritage across the U.S.: Bowers Museum – Orange County, CA View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bowers Museum (@bowersmuseum) It’s no secret that California is home to one of the largest Hispanic populations in all of North America. But have you ever wondered when it all started? Although it may not answer all of your questions, the Bowers Museum in California is sure to offer some insight and some answers to at least a few thanks to its many temporary exhibitions featuring California’s first Spanish Missions, artifacts used by Hispanic migrants, or lifestyle during Mexico’s rule. Be sure to check it out when in OC! La Villita Historic Arts Village – San Antonio, TX You love exhibits but cringe at the thought of stepping into a formal museum. That’s a tough one to crack if you’re trying to see, experience and celebrate Hispanic Heritage, arts, and culture. Or so you’d think! For a more immersive take on an exhibition, how about walking through a small village brimming with all the above? La Villita, on the south bank of the San Antonio Riverwalk and just a short drive from the famed Alamo battle site, was once one of San Antonio’s first neighborhoods. Now, this small-village-turned-arts-community is on the U.S. government’s National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District and brims with everything from Mexican folk art galleries to Spanish architecture and handmade jewelry and pottery. Stop by and stroll through this papel picado-decorated, tiny town for a one-of-a-kind experience! El Museo Del Barrio – New York City, NY View this post on Instagram #ARTE “Oscar Castillo’s photograph of the ruins of the Maravilla Housing project casts murals as miraculous apparitions that suggest hope rising from destruction. Castillo documents two murals by David Lopez that had become a popular community shrine. The murals were so valued by local residents that they were saved during the demolition and reinstalled at another site. The artist’s detailed title, which identifies the cross streets where the original shrine was located, conveys his intent to record a community memory.” – @americanart | 📸 Oscar Castillo, Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe at Maravilla Housing Project, Mednik Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue, East Los Angeles, early 1970s, printed 2012, Courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum. . . . ON VIEW NOW at @elmuseo a part of the exhibit Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography organized by @wheightsgirl @americanart #losangeles #westcoast #chicano #latinx #arte #virgendeguadalupe #mexico #urban #community A post shared by El Museo del Barrio (@elmuseo) on Sep 14, 2018 at 5:22am PDT Are you going to be in New York City and have an interest in Caribbean, Puerto Rican, and Latin American heritage? El Museo del Barrio is your unique and excellent option. It is the only museum specializing in Hispanic origin in NYC and guarantees you a memorable and fantastic experience. Besides offering you extensive lessons about the cultures and arts, the museum is also famous for its vast collection of fine art and a range of cultural festivals featuring the Pan-Latin café. Moreover, during your visit to the museum, you should also participate in some youth and educative programs and literary discussions. The programs aim at teaching you more about the highlighted cultures and a platform for sharing your knowledge about the same. The next time you are looking for a museum with an outstanding specialty in Hispanic heritage within NYC, you know where to visit. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture – Chicago, IL “Unrealism” by Alan Levine under CC BY 2.0 Popularly known as the NMPRAC, the museum is located in the center of Chicago’s Rican community, Humboldt Park. It is the only American museum that extensively showcases Puerto Rican culture and art exhibitions throughout the year. A visit to NMPRAC guarantees you access to a range of fantastic community arts and cultural programs. These arts may include crafts festivities, fine art (outdoor), art workshops (hands-on community), park films, and visual art exhibitions. As you approach the museum, you should also note the unusual brick archway entry, representing the Rican culture and its various aspects. Besides enjoying the unique galleries and exhibitions at the museum, the facility also offers an excellent opportunity for you to shop and taste different cuisines. There is also an appealing court where you and your loved ones can enjoy outdoor activities such as festivals and outdoor performances. You can also rent the space for private events such as weddings. It is a perfect place to explore and appreciate the unique Rican culture and art! You may also like: 10 Locations to Appreciate Hispanic Heritage in the U.S. Museum of Latin American Art – Long Beach, CA View this post on Instagram A post shared by Museum of Latin American Art (@molaa.art) Commonly referred to as MOLAA, the Museum of Latin American Art combines a cultural center and museum. The facility is highly devoted to showcasing the Latino and Latin American arts and heritage through paintings, lithographs, and sculptures. If you are a lover of gifts and souvenirs, it should also be your excellent choice anytime you visit Long Beach, CA. There are also excellent restaurants near the museum where you can enjoy great food and try out new cuisines with your loved ones. A visit to MOLAA is not just about Latino and American Latin art and heritage but also festivities, appreciating new cuisines, and enjoying the sunshine at the beach, among other exciting activities. El Museo Latino – South Omaha, NE View this post on Instagram A post shared by El Museo Latino (@el_museo_latino) One of the most prominent Hispanic museums in the United States, El Museo Latino was founded in 1993 by Magdalena Garcia and quickly grew into a Hispanic heritage stalwart. It aims at creating more awareness about the Hispanic culture and arts in Omaha and beyond through the educational and dance programs. Besides educating people about the culture, the museum also hosts year-round programs to raise money to sponsor the largest Cinco de Mayo festival in the Midwest. The latter is held every first weekend of May every year. The facility boasts of a variety of Latino arts and exhibitions from all levels-local, national and global. The displays include prints, sculptures, photography, and paintings. Unlike other museums, El Museo Latino aims at ensuring a year around Latino culture and not just a single day or one-month celebration. National Hispanic Cultural Center – Albuquerque, NM View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nat’l Hispanic Cultural Center (@nhccnm) This facility is another unique and outstanding museum that focuses on the Hispanic heritage. In addition to the fantastic art exhibitions and culture, the National Hispanic Cultural Center is known for its exemplary indoor and outdoor performances. Besides, a visit should also guarantee you access to great music and a memorable theater experience. With all the restaurants within and around the facility, good food is a given. So get ready to book cheap flights in October to New Mexico, because it’s definitely the time to go in order to explore, experience, and appreciate the Hispanic culture and taste their cuisine while creating unforgettable memories! Have any favorite Hispanic heritage exhibits to add to the list? Let us know what they are in the comments section!