Feb 12, 2010

Commission on the National Museum of the American Latino Awards Four Contracts and Accelerates Museum Timeline

Washington, DC – Chairman Henry R. Muñoz III announced today that the Commission on the National Museum of the American Latino (Commission) has awarded four contracts to selected firms from across the country and will accelerate the timeline of the Commission’s report to Congress. Almost $1 million in contracts were awarded to four firms with expertise in the following areas: public engagement, governance, collections and programs, and site assessment. The firms were selected through a competitive process based on each firm’s experience and expertise in the above mentioned areas.

Balsera Communications, founded in 1999, is a full service public affairs firm based out of Miami, Florida. The Balsera team is distinguished in the public relations, advertising and marketing field and has developed award-winning messaging and communications campaigns geared toward Latino audiences as well as campaigns that convey Hispanic themed messages to general market audiences. Balsera Communications will serve as public communications consultant and coordinate a series of public engagement sessions across the country to solicit input from various sectors of the Latino community.

Landair, founded in 1992, is a certified Woman’s Business Enterprise based in New York. Landair specializes in strategic planning, governance and leadership consulting and has worked with the most prominent Latino specific museum institutions in the United States. Landair will develop a governance plan and structure for the potential National Museum of the American Latino.

Lord Cultural Resources, based in New York, is a global professional practice dedicated to creating cultural capital worldwide. In the last five years alone, the firm has undertaken collection searches and program planning for eight new national museums. Lord Cultural Resources will research available collections and develop a collections and programs plan for the potential Museum.

Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), based in Philadelphia has a national reputation for planning prominent public buildings and spaces. The WRT team will engage the expertise of architects, city planners, urban designers, landscape architects and professionals in multiple allied fields to conduct a rigorous and quantitative analysis of site assessment study with site options and building programming alternatives for the potential Museum.

With the new contracts in place, the Commission has accelerated the timeline for delivering a report to Congress from two years to one year. "The Commission has committed to an aggressive schedule within which to accomplish its work," said Chairman Muñoz. "The expertise and experience of our new contractors and the capable support of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will enable us to complete a comprehensive report to Congress by September 2010." The Commission will meet at the end of the month with the newly selected contractors to discuss next steps in this monumental effort.

The Commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, DC was established by Congress and convened for the first time in September 2009. The 23 members of the Commission were appointed by President Bush and President Obama and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Contact: Dennis Vasquez, 202.208.7468

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