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Friends of the American Latino Museum Announce 2018 Design Contest Winner

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS), a 501(c)3 exclusively committed to advancing the creation of a Smithsonian National American Latino Museum in our nation’s capital, today announced that Cristiano Mattos of Indianapolis, IN, is the winner of the FRIENDS' 7th Annual Design Contest. Presented with the generous support of Target, the winning design was chosen among five finalists through a week long public voting process open to the hundreds of thousands of Friends supporters across the country.

“One of the cornerstones in our effort to building an American Latino Museum is to showcase the diversity within the Latino community, and we are proud that this year’s winning design illustrates just that,” said Estuardo Rodriguez, executive director of the Friends of the American Latino Museum. “Cristiano’s art piece is a beautiful tapestry that pulls from the icons near and dear to so many Latino communities across this nation. We thank him for his contribution to this campaign, and look forward to utilizing his work to further our collective mission for a national museum that best tells the American story.”

“Target supports the Friends of the American Latino Museum’s 7th Annual Design Content because we understand the power of diversity, inclusion and visibility,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for Target. “We commend FRIENDS for starting a tradition that reminds everyone how art has the power to convey an entire community’s aspirations and dreams. Congratulations to Cristiano for his superb work.”

Mattos grew up in the vibrant city of São Paulo, Brazil, where he first developed his appreciation for art. He then studied media arts and animation at the Arts Institute of Indianapolis, and traveled across the United States and the world further developing his traditional art and media techniques.

”During the concept process, I knew I wanted my piece to adequately represent Latin America as a whole. I decided to bring out elements that make the Latino culture so appealing to our eyes and hearts; vibrant color, happiness and diversity. I was very satisfied with the final result and overcome with joy knowing others can experience that vibrancy and happiness as I do. I just wanted say a big thank you to the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino for the opportunity to present my artistry and passion. I also want to thank everyone who voted for my artwork. Thank you very much! Muchas gracias! Muito Obrigado!”

This year’s contest received one of the highest numbers of submissions from artists hailing from across the country, including El Paso, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This year's winning design will be the centerpiece of the organization's digital campaign and posters of the design will be distributed nationwide. In addition, Mattos will receive a $500 gift card courtesy of our presenting sponsor, Target, whose continued support provides an opportunity for FRIENDS’ supporters to contribute their talents to this ongoing campaign.

The Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life.