ASU students in D.C. for Smithsonian program focused on increasing Latino representation

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Monday, September 26, 2022 - 5:34pm
Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 1:34pm

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 Arizona State University students in D.C.
Francesca Galvan
Several Arizona State University students are participating in the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program in Washington, D.C., this semester.

Several Latino Arizona State University students are working with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., this semester.

The ASU students make up eight of 20 undergrads participating in the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program.

The idea is to expand the pipeline of Latino museum professionals who are passionate about the presentation and preservation of culture and history through the lens of their own lived experiences.

Francesca Galvan is participating in the program and studying animation at ASU. She said there’s a lot to learn about what it means to be Latino.

“I’ve definitely discovered and explored that meaning through this program," Galvan said. "It’s a way for us to tell our Latino stories in an authentic manner. If you tell these stories without bringing Latinos in that space, the narrative isn’t complete.” 

Each student is working on an individual practicum with one of the Smithsonian’s museums or offices. Galvan is writing stories for the Smithsonian's Folklife Magazine.

"I get to tell stories from my community, from my culture, from my family that wouldn't necessarily have been shown without this opportunity," Galvan said.

She wants to work for a major studio, like Disney, so Mexican-Americans, like her, will have more representation in animated shows and movies.

"Growing up, I didn't see myself being represented in the media," Galvan said. " So I felt my story wasn't worthy of being shown and that had a significant impact on me."

All of the students in the program were provided with travel, living arrangements and a living-wage stipend. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the name of the Smithsonian Institution.