History

April 1991 –

Museo de las Americas incorporated by Jose Aguayo, Magdalena Aguayo, Ramon Kelley, Ramona Kelley, Emanuel Martinez, Maria Lupita Martinez and Rebecca Arellano. Remigio Pete Reyes prepared the incorporation documents.

August 1992 –

Jose Aguayo became Museo’s first executive director. He establishes an office in one room of the E.T. LaFore Inc. cabinet shop at 861 Santa Fe Drive.

September 1992 –

Museo de las Americas receives 501 (c)(3) designation.

March 1994 –

Museo de las Americas purchases the 12,000 sq. ft. property of 861 and 863 Santa Fe Drive which it has occupied partially since 1992.

July 1994 –

Museo de las Americas unveils its first major exhibition, Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America, in the newly renovated space at 861 Santa Fe Drive.

October 1996 –

Renovation of Museo’s lower level into collection storage space is completed.

March 2000 –

Museo de las Americas receives the prestigious Downtown Denver Partnership Award.

November 2002 –

The Fourth Annual Gala de las Americas held at the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver. Nearly 500 guests attended and heard plans for a $10 million expansion of Museo.

April – June 2002 –

For the first time, Museo de las Americas unveiled its extensive collection of Latin American folk art. Items exhibited were from the 2,000-piece collection donated to Museo by Irving G. and Eleanor D. Tragen in 2000.

April 2003 –

As part of the plan for expansion funded in part by funding from the NEH, Museo constructs a research library in the basement of the 861 Santa Fe building. This library includes nearly 1,000 books on Latin American art, history, and culture.

July 2004 –

Museo de las Americas develops a relationship with Eleanor and Irving Tragen, retired U.S. State Department Employees who intend to contribute $665,000 to Museo’s Endowment Fund over the next 8 years.

September/October 2004 –

Local collector Rita Bloodworth donates eighty ceramic, shell, and jade objects collected by her and her late husband while working as geologists in Latin America to Museo.  These objects will be used in a redesigned permanent Pre-Colombian display.

January 2005 –

Patty Ortiz, former Director of Programs for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, is hired by the Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director of Museo de las Americas.

October 2005 –

Museo receives the Mayor’s Design Award from the City and County of Denver for improvements made to front entrance and exhibition space by new Executive Director Patty Ortiz.

December 2006 –

Museo de las Americas is announced as the recipient of the 2006 Martin Luther King Community Service Award, given to recognize the exemplary services and achievements of that have positively impacted Denver in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

July 2009 –

Maruca Salazar is hired by the Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director of Museo de las Americas.

October 2009 –

Museo de las Americas received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from Mayor Hickenlooper.

July 2010 –

Museo participates in the first Biennial of the Americas with an exhibition titled Liberadores/Liberators.

July 2012 –

Museo received The Gateway Frontier Award for Santa Fe Redevelopment Corporation.

January 2013 –

Museo received a grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy for a major exhibition, La Cocina.

July 2014 –

Museo received $20,000 from The Bonfils Stanton Foundation to help promote innovative ideas to increase community participation.