Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino official logo (from press release).


Today, the Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS) will host the final inaugural American Latino Influencer Awards of this year in Miami, Florida. With nearly a dozen distinguished Miami leaders forming part of the host committee, including FRIENDS Honorary Board co-chair Emilio Estefan, the awards ceremony will honor three prominent Latino leaders who have dedicated their time and efforts to the arts and public service sectors of the greater Miami community. These leaders exemplify the many ways that American Latinos are critical to the formation of our nation’s culture with major contributions in various sectors from coast to coast and everywhere in between.

“Our Miami reception and awards presentation to some of our most prominent area leaders will celebrate and increase awareness of the valuable contributions of U.S. Hispanics,” said Aida Levitan, Board Member of FRIENDS and Commissioner of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission. “Ultimately, it will be through the establishment of a Smithsonian American Latino Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that we can assure that these contributions are recorded and recollected for generations to learn from and emulate.”

The Miami awards ceremony will recognize the leadership of Eduardo Marturet, Music Director and Conductor of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, Emilio Gonzalez, Director of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, and Mayor of the City of Miami, Tomás P. Regalado.

“It is an honor to conclude our inaugural American Latino Influencer Awards series in a city with such reach and deep American Latino history,” stated Cid Wilson, Chair of FRIENDS. “The impact of the Spanish, Cuban and Latin American people dates back hundreds of years in the state of Florida. It is history that is rich and undeniable. Our honorees tonight continue that tradition of personal commitment and sacrifice to the state and the nation.”

The Miami awards is the closing of the inaugural American Latino Influencer Awards, and the final national event of the year. The awards are made possible through the generous support of AARP, Coca-Cola and Target.

FRIENDS traveled to Houston, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada to similarly honor local Latino leaders and their contributions to their respective communities. Honorees have included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Senator Dean Heller; State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Curator Mari Carmen Ramirez of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; NV Energy; BBVA Bank and Manny Cortez (posthumous award received by his daughter Nevada Attorney General, Catherine Cortez-Masto).

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