Did You Know? | National Museum of Mexican Art

Did You Know?

  • The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) has provided free access to all since 1987 and is committed to remaining free and accessible to individuals from all backgrounds. It is the only major museum in Chicago that is free to the public—everyday!
  • The NMMA receives more than 160,000 annual visitors from around the globe.
  • The NMMA is the only Latino museum in the country that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
  • The NMMA was founded in 1982 by a group of Chicago Public School teachers with a starting budget of $900. 
  • The NMMA has created more than 100 visual arts exhibitions, including 12 that have traveled nationally and internationally such as Art of the Other Mexico, Women Artists of Mexico: Frida’s Contemporaries and African Presence in Mexico.
  • The NMMA is one of the premier repositories for Mexican art in the nation and its permanent collection contains over 7,000 objects making it one of the largest collections in the nation.
  • The Museum’s education programs directly serve more than 60,000 K-12 students annually. Its educational curriculum, developed by Museum staff, is distributed throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
  • On December 5th, 2006, the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum changed its name to the National Museum of Mexican Art in recognition of its 20th Anniversary and its status as the largest and leading Mexican cultural institution in the U.S. 
  • The NMMA is a first-voice organization, dedicated to empowering the local and national Latino community. The Museum insists that the community it represents interpret its own culture.
  • Yollocalli Arts Reach and Radio Arte WRTE-FM 90.5, both youth initiatives of the National Museum of Mexican Art, won the prestigious White House “Coming Up Taller” Award.
  • The NMMA’s performing arts programming like the Sor Juana Festival and Del Corazón Festival showcases the richness and diversity of music, dance, and theatre by Mexican artists in the United States and Mexico.  Past performers include: Ozomatli, Lila Downs, Celso Pina, Angelica Aragon, Diana Bracho, Eugenia Leon, Tania Libertad, Lola Beltran, etc.
  • The NMMA has hosted a number of events with acclaimed Mexican authors, scholars and intellectuals like Octavio Paz, Elena Poniatowska, Carlos Fuentes, Carlos Monsivais and Sandra Cisneros.
  • The NMMA is committed to Mexico’s folk artists by including their works in numerous exhibitions, inviting them to provide public demonstrations and hosting an annual Folk Art Week.
  • The NMMA’s annual Día del Niño Family Festival, rooted in the Mexican tradition of celebrating children, is the nation’s largest children’s celebration dedicated to promoting healthy living. Each year the Festival serves over 8,000 individuals, some traveling as far as Indiana and Quad Cities.
  • NMMA was named one of “100 Best Charities in America” by Worth magazine.