May. 5 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Cinco de Mayo Luncheon gathered downtown businesses and stakeholders to celebrate, promote and learn about the Mexic-Arte Museum, the Cinco de Mayo historic event, and the 5th Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor and District. Guests celebrated Mexic-Arte’s thirty-seven years in Austin with critically acclaimed exhibitions, an expanding art collection, exemplary education programs, exciting cultural events, and a growing permanent collection.
Guest Speakers: Dr. Jesús F. de la Teja – The Meaning and Significance of Cinco de Mayo & Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco – The History of Mexican Americans in Austin
The Mexic-Arte Museum is dedicated to enriching the community through education programs, exhibitions, and the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Mexican, Latinx, and Latin American art and culture for visitors of all ages. Since its inception in 1984, Mexic-Arte Museum has been one of few Mexican and Mexican American art museums in the US. In 2003, the 78th Legislature designated Mexic Arte as The Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas. The Museum is a major part of the fabric of downtown Austin, and thousands of diverse families enjoy annual cultural events, renowned exhibitions, and exciting programming. In fall 2016, then First Lady Michelle Obama presented the Museum and its educational staff with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Award. In conjunction with the Austin History Center, Mexic-Arte developed an interactive exhibition and map, titled Austin’s Mexico: A Forgotten Neighborhood, aimed at uncovering the history of some of the earliest Mexican settlers in the city. In 2018, Austin voters approved a $20 million bond to improve the Museum, managed by the City of Austin Public Works Department. Architects from El Paso and Austin are working with Mexic-Arte on the Schematic Phase of the Museum Building Project.
Cultural Heritage District Designation – Mexic-Arte Museum & stakeholders are working to earn a Cultural Heritage District Designation for the 5th Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor. The District is defined by the geographic anchors of Republic Park on West 5th Street and Plaza Saltillo on East 5th Street. The area is full of and surrounded by significant historic, cultural, heritage, and community sites, deserving of both preservation and active use. Cultural District status will preserve, develop, and highlight all the cultural assets and businesses along and around 5th Street Cultural Heritage District Designation will transform this downtown area into a beautiful and educational destination.
Cinco de Mayo: Honoring Our Mexican, French, and American Heritage – In 1886, Lino Torres and Emile Tarratasplanned a Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Austin, likely at what is today Republic Square. Cinco de Mayo means 5th of May. It is a day and holiday that commemorates a single victorious battle by Mexico over France, though not independence from France or Spain; Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821. Mexico won the battle at Puebla, a town near Mexico City, on May 5, 1862, but they ultimately lost the war to France. Cinco de Mayo is now a day Mexicans and Americans today celebrate annually because of what it represents to Mexico.