El Museo was founded in 1969 by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz and a coalition of Puerto Rican parents, educators, artists, and activists who noted that mainstream museums largely ignored Latino artists. Since its inception, El Museo has been committed to celebrating and promoting Latino culture, thus becoming a cornerstone of El Barrio, and a valuable resource for New York City. El Museo’s varied permanent collection of over 8,500 objects, spans more than 800 years of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino art, includes pre-Columbian Taíno to modern and contemporary drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, as well as textiles, prints, photography, documentary films, and video. The mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States. Through its extensive collections, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its diverse public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history. By introducing young people to this cultural heritage, El Museo is creating the next generation of museum-goers, while satisfying the growing interest in Caribbean and Latin American art of a broad national and international audience.