Photo: Harmony Gerber/Getty Images
Los Angeles' First Permanent Latin Music Gallery Launches At GRAMMY Museum
The city's first permanent Latin music gallery brought together Latin music's biggest stars, industry professionals, political figures and community members for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration of the historic event.
In collaboration with the GRAMMY Museum, the Latin Recording Academy unveiled the Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence exhibit, showcasing pieces from Latin GRAMMY show performances and moments, on the museum's third floor. These include an outfit the late iconic Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel wore during a performance at the 10th Latin GRAMMYs and an outfit worn by "Despacito" singer Luis Fonsi during his performance at the 18th Latin GRAMMYs.
The Latin Academy is donating more than half a million dollars to expand the museum's Latin-inspired exhibits, including the permanent gallery and the Latin GRAMMY show exhibit. "This is a momentous occasion for the GRAMMY Museum and for Los Angeles," said ribbon-cutting ceremony host, journalist Giselle Fernandez, a former Latin Recording Academy board member.
GRAMMY Museum President Michael Sticka said the museum was proud to be the home of the first permanent Latin music gallery in the city. "We're very excited to play host to that," he said in his remarks.
In a statement prior to the opening, Sticka touched on how the exhibit would expand the ethos of the GRAMMY Museum. "Latin GRAMMY, 20 Years Of Excellence and our newly renovated third floor will greatly amplify the Museum's mission to educate, inspire, and share the significance of all forms of music," he said.
It was not forgotten that the gallery opened in one of the country's cities most-inspired by Latin culture and populated by Latinos. According to 2011 Pew Research Center statistics, Hispanics made up 4.9 million of the Los Angeles County population or 9 percent of the country's Hispanic population.
Hilda Solis, First District Los Angeles County Supervisor and former President Barack Obama cabinet member, reminded the crowd of the significance of the gallery's location. "[This is a] long-time coming for us," she said. "We know the musica is our life, it's our culture, it's our livelihood and it brings us so many good things when things are sour and bad."
The expansion is something Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa had been dreaming of for years. "This is a day of thank yous," he said. "I want to thank Michael, the board of trustees of the GRAMMY Museum and all the employees and staffers of the GRAMMY Museum because they have opened their hearts and their doors to us since the beginning."
The grand event came just a few days after the Latin Recording Academy celebrated its 20th Latin GRAMMY celebration at the MGM in Las Vegas and was a celebration continuing its 20th anniversary celebrations.
Recent Latin GRAMMY Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album winner Christian Nodal and GRAMMY-nominated singer Angela Aguilar, were two stars invited to represent the next generation of Latin music and help cut the ribbon.
The Office of L.A. City Council President Herb Abaroa also presented a certificate declaring Nov. 18 as the official Latin GRAMMY day. The night included performances from GRAMMY- and Latin GRAMMY-nominated Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Raquel Sofia and Latin GRAMMY winners Flor de Toloache and gave the public their first look at the exciting new exhibit and gallery.
The Latin GRAMMY: 20 Years Of Excellence exhibit will be open Nov. 20 until spring 2020; visit the GRAMMY Museum's website to get tickets.