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LatinosAndBaseball_IGThe Kansas City Museum has been actively collecting historical materials for 77 years, and we continue to participate in innovative collecting initiatives that will grow the collection and enrich content for programs and exhibitions.

The Kansas City Museum is proud to announce that it is one of ten partner organizations in the United States to participate in “Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues,” a multiyear collecting initiative launched by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The initiative will identify artifacts that reflect the social and cultural influence of the game on Latino communities. A news release from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History was issued in July 2016. A news release from the Kansas City Museum was issued on July 12, 2016.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is seeking to document stories from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and plans to collect a number of objects that could include baseball equipment, stadium signs, game memorabilia, food vendor signs, home movies, period photographs, and more. Curators will select objects based on the stories they represent as well as insight into personal, community, and national narratives involving the national pastime.

In addition to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, other Smithsonian participation includes the Smithsonian Latino Center, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The goal of the Smithsonian’s collecting initiative is to work towards the development of a traveling exhibition centered on Latinos and baseball by 2020.

sunburst-and-wordmark“Baseball has played a major role in everyday American life since the 1800s, providing a means of celebrating both national and ethnic identities and building communities,” John Gray, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, said. “Through the lens of baseball, the Smithsonian seeks to illuminate the rich history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society.”

“I am excited to be involved with the partnership of the Kansas City Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to tell the story of Mexican Americans and other Latinos in baseball,” Dr. Gene T. Chávez, Curator for the Kansas City Museum, said.

“Kansas City has long been a baseball town, and Latinos have had a tremendous role in the game. It is time to share their contributions with the nation.” Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera said. “With Kansas City’s World Series status and the new Urban Youth Academy in Parade Park under development thanks to the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Power & Light, the Kansas City Museum is proud to showcase Kansas City through this new partnership with the Smithsonian. Our 2015 exhibition, Mexican American Fast Pitch Softball Leagues: Connecting Communities Across State Lines, has inspired us to contribute local stories to a national narrative.”

HOW TO DONATE
If you are interested in donating materials, please contact either Denise Morrison, Director of Collections and Curatorial Services, at the Kansas City Museum at denise.morrison@kcmo.org or Dr. Gene Chavez, Curator, Kansas City Museum at gtchavez45@gmail.com.