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Sandra Cisneros
John Quinones
Writer Sandra Cisneros and ABC News correspondent John Quinones

Institute of Texan Cultures hosts Smithsonian photo exhibit on Latino achievement

(Aug. 14, 2005)--A photographic exhibition featuring notable Latinos, developed by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, makes its only Texas stop on a eight-city national tour at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures through Oct. 16.

The "Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement" ("Nuestros Caminos/Nuestras Historias: Retratos del Logro Latino") exhibition presents narratives and photos of 24 individuals and one extended family and represents a broad spectrum of Latino experiences and success stories.

The exhibition, which is touring through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), is brought to San Antonio in partnership with Centro Alameda and The University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio (ITC).

The exhibit includes several photos and narratives of Latinos with San Antonio and South Texas ties, including John Quinones, ABC news correspondent and St. Mary's University graduate; Sandra Cisneros, author of the classic, "The House on Mango Street," and resident of San Antonio's King William neighborhood; and the Garza family, a Rio Grande Valley extended family boasting three generations of college graduates.

The exhibit, its national tour and related programs are made possible by the Ford Motor Co. Fund, which also provided support for the exhibition's presentation in San Antonio and related education programs.

"The exhibition is an anthology of compelling biographical portraits that evoke the depth and breadth of Latino contributions to American society," said Luben Montoya, acting director of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. "There are well-known names in the exhibit as well as people who may not be as famous, but whose inspirational stories need to be told."

Among the exhibition's featured subjects are New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, athlete Rebecca Lobo, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Mario Molina and labor leader Dolores Huerta. The exhibition includes personal stories, photos, oral histories and dichos (traditional sayings).

"These stories celebrate what's at the heart of so many Latino success stories -- a desire to achieve and make a difference," said Sandra Ulsh, president of Ford Motor Co. Fund. "Visitors to this Smithsonian exhibit will have the opportunity to learn about Latinos who have made varying but very important contributions to the American fabric."

Special events during the exhibition include a Sept. 7 lecture hosted by Centro Alameda and ITC, to coincide with Fotoseptiembre, a Family Day on Oct. 2 to help commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and a photography and essay contest for high school students to run Aug. 15-Sept. 21 with an awards ceremony during the Oct. 2 Family Day event.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is at 801 South Bowie St. in downtown San Antonio. Hours of operation are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday and closed Monday. Admission is $7, adults; $4, seniors (65 years and older), military personnel (ID required) and children ages 3-12. Admission is free to children age 2 and under and ITC members.

For more information, call (210) 458-2330.

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