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Policy Report Arts & Culture

Invisible No More: An Evaluation of the Smithsonian Institution and Latino Representation

LPPI evaluated the Smithsonian Institution’s progress in increasing Latina/o representation within its workforce and exhibitions. Findings reveal a severe lack of representation in executive leadership and lack of funding for Latino initiatives.



In collaboration with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC),  LPPI analyzed the Smithsonian Institution’s progress toward implementing the ten recommendations in a 1994 report by the institution’s Task Force on Latino Issues. That report, titled Willful Neglect: The Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Latinos, found that Latinos comprised only 2.7 percent of the Smithsonian’s workforce, with no Latinos in senior management or executive leadership. Almost twenty-five years later, the Latino population in the U.S. has doubled to 17.6 percent of the population, making Latinos the largest minority group. This study, analyzes Latino representation within the Institution’s workforce, programming, collections, and exhibitions. It applies a mixed-methods research framework to evaluate the Institution’s actions in addressing the “consistent pattern of Latino exclusion.” The first report, released September 10, 2018, surveys the extent to which the 1994 recommendations were adopted and implemented. An update using data provided by the Smithsonian was published September 25, 2018.