Museo de las Americas

Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American art museum in the Rocky Mountain region. Museo has served the Denver community for 29 years through award-winning exhibitions, education programming, and special events.

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General Information

Official Name
Museo De Las Americas​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
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Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
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Headquarters Address
861 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
Colorado Location
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Mission Statement

Museo de las Americas is dedicated to educate our community through collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the diverse arts and cultures of the Americas from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programs.

Organization History

April 1991
Museo de las Americas incorporated by Jose Aguayo, Magdalena Aguayo, Ramon Kelley, Ramona Kelley, Emanuel Martinez, Maria Lupita Martinez and Rebecca Arellano. Remigio Pete Reyes prepared the incorporation documents.

August 1992
Jose Aguayo became Museo's first executive director. He establishes an office in one room of the E.T. LaFore Inc. cabinet shop at 861 Santa Fe Drive.

September 1992
Museo de las Americas receives 501 (c)(3) designation.

March 1994
Museo de las Americas purchases the 12,000 sq. ft. property of 861 and 863 Santa Fe Drive which it has occupied partially since 1992.

July 1994
Museo de las Americas unveils its first major exhibition, Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America, in the newly renovated space at 861 Santa Fe Drive.

October 1996
Renovation of Museo's lower level into collection storage space is completed.

March 2000
Museo de las Americas receives the prestigious Downtown Denver Partnership Award.

November 2002
The Fourth Annual Gala de las Americas held at the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver. Nearly 500 guests attended and heard plans for a $10 million expansion of Museo.

April - June 2002
For the first time, Museo de las Americas unveiled its extensive collection of Latin American folk art. Items exhibited were from the 2,000-piece collection donated to Museo by Irving G. and Eleanor D. Tragen in 2000.

April 2003
As part of the plan for expansion funded in part by funding from the NEH, Museo constructs a research library in the basement of the 861 Santa Fe building. This library includes nearly 1,000 books on Latin American art, history, and culture.

July 2004
Museo de las Americas develops a relationship with Eleanor and Irving Tragen, retired U.S. State Department Employees who intend to contribute $665,000 to Museo's Endowment Fund over the next eight years.

September/October 2004
Local collector Rita Bloodworth donates eighty ceramic, shell and jade objects to Museo. These objects were collected by Rita and her late husband while working as geologists in Latin America and will be used in a redesigned permanent Pre-Columbian display.

January 2005
Patty Ortiz, former Director of Programs for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, is hired by the Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director of Museo de las Americas.

October 2005
Museo receives the Mayor's Design Award from the City and County of Denver for improvements made to front entrance and exhibition space by new Executive Director Patty Ortiz.

December 2006
Museo de las Americas is announced as the recipient of the 2006 Martin Luther King Community Service Award. The award was given to recognize the exemplary services and achievements that have positively impacted Denver in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

July 2009
Maruca Salazar is hired by the Board of Trustees as the new Executive Director of Museo de las Americas.

October 2009
Museo de las Americas received the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts from Mayor Hickenlooper.

July 2010
Museo participates in the first Biennial of the Americas with an exhibition titled Liberadores/Liberators.

July 2012
Museo received the Gateway Frontier Award for Santa Fe Redevelopment Corporation.

January 2013
Museo received a grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy for a major exhibition, La Cocina.

July 2014
Museo received $20,000 from the Bonfils Stanton Foundation to help promote innovative ideas to increase community participation.

Received "Best Indoor Display of Outside Art from Westword 2015 "Best of Denver" edition. Received Best Educational Program by Crisanta Duran, Majority Leader of Colorado House of Representatives.

Museo celebrated their 25th anniversary with a wonderful gala raising $30,000 dollars.

Museo received $35,000 from Bonfils Stanton Foundation to help with general operations and the succession project. In September Maruca Salazar retires as Executive Director. Claudia Moran assumes duties as the new Executive Director.

Museo displayed their first-ever STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) exhibit, El Infinito, while partnering with Lockheed Martin.

Museo received the Community ACTS Funds to remodel our office spaces and upgrade the museum galleries.

Museo partnered with the Denver Art Museum to bring Rhythm & Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas to a community museum. This one of a kind exhibition brought to life instruments ranging from 1000 BCE to 1530 CE for contemporary audiences to celebrate the legacy of Ancient American music.

Museo received the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund grant. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the U.S. Regional Arts Resilience Fund, these grants were designed to help mitigate the financial threat of COVID-19 to the sector by providing funding for small- and mid-sized arts organizations that are regarded by their peers as having statewide, regional, or national impact.


"Love to have a place in our community to celebrate culture, art and history" - Tisa Lucero

"Museo is one of my favorite places to get in touch with my roots. They always have excellent exhibits and class offerings. Thank you, Museo for being such a beacon of light for our community!" - Rachel Garcia

"Such a powerful cultural center. Every time I walk in, I feel empowered and a huge amount of pride rushes through my body. Everything is well planned out and you always feel at home. I love Museo!" - Alma Salas

"Wonderful programs. One of the best museums in Denver." - Carina Bañuelos-Harrison

- Featured in Westword, Latin Life, and Univision in 2018.
- Featured on 9news in 2018 for the Latin Fashion Show.
- Received "Best of Denver" award for exhibitions in 2014 and 2015.
- Recipients of Gateway Award in 2012
- Museo was one of 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant
- Featured in major publications such as the New York Times and The Economist magazine

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