The Mexican Museum (TMM), announces that it is embarking on a unique partnership with theCenter for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). The new collaboration is aimed at creating an exchange of ideas, artists, and scholarship that will bring innovative cultural programming to a wider audience in the Bay Area and California. The Mexican Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the premier West Coast museum of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latin American and Latino art, culture and heritage.
“We are very excited about this tremendous partnership between The Mexican Museum and the Center for Latin American Studies,” said Andrew M. Kluger, Chairman of The Mexican Museum Board of Trustees. “Our goal is to link the intellectual vitality of their program with the extraordinary richness of what the museum offers.”
UC Berkeley Professor Harley Shaiken, director of CLAS, sees the strategic museum-university relationship as highly innovative and hugely beneficial to many communities in the Bay Area in terms of lectures, conferences, art and music programs, and other events.
“CLAS has organized an exceptional program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and sciences on the Berkeley campus,” said Shaiken. “We look forward to providing a link between all the cultural vitality of the UC Berkeley campus and the exceptional collections, cultural experience, and people of The Mexican Museum.”
Past CLAS programs have included former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Hass together with artist Fernando Botero, discussing Botero’s work as part of a CLAS-sponsored exhibit of his Abu Ghraib paintings; an appearance by legendary Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil; appearances by Mexican filmmakers and actors Diego Luna and Demián Bichir, as well as other prominent members of the film industry; and a presentation on the murals of Diego Rivera by Graham W.J. Beal, Director of the Detroit Institute of the Arts.
Along with what the collaboration could mean for audiences in San Francisco and beyond, Kluger says that one of the primary goals of the collaboration between CLAS and TMM is to help bring the museum’s collections to a broader audience in the Bay Area. This includes local schools, community colleges, and immigrant communities, as well as scholars and other groups who are not traditionally museumgoers.
“The Mexican Museum has grown into a tremendous educational resource over the years, initiating partnerships with the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the University of San Francisco, among others,” said Kluger. “Through these partnerships, we have been able to use the wealth of our resources to help both student and professional artists and to introduce children to the arts and culture of Mexico. The public has also come to see how The Mexican Museum plays a crucial role in maintaining cultural ties between our two nations.”