Experience the vibrant colors and rich cultural heritage of Mexican art at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Mario Hernandez, the gallery education coordinator, welcomes visitors to explore the museum’s diverse collection of Mexican artwork. Join Ladonna and other guests as they immerse themselves in the beauty and accessibility of the museum’s exhibits. From colorful installations to thought-provoking pieces, every artwork tells a story and celebrates Mexican culture. Discover the museum’s dedication to accessibility, with automatic doors, ramps, lowered labels, and smooth, even floors ensuring a comfortable and inclusive experience for all visitors.

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MARIO: My name is Mario Hernandez. I am the gallery education coordinator at the National Museum of Mexican Art. We’re the only institution in Chicago that is dedicated specifically to highlighting Mexican artwork. The museum opened its doors during the time where the Mexican population was growing very rapidly, and there was a need to have a place in Chicago that highlighted the work of Mexican artists.

MARIO: Hi, how are you? Welcome to the National Museum of Mexican Art. My name is Mario.

LADONNA: Ladonna.

MARIO: Nice to meet you.

LADONNA: I personally really love museums. I go to a lot of museums. The importance of the arts is just everywhere here. There are examples of why art matters. It’s colorful and the work is exciting and intriguing. It’s also very accessible. The artwork is beautiful and varied, so no matter what type of art speaks to you, there’s something here.

MARIO: The piece pays tribute to her father and to all field workers. The bottom of the installation, we see objects that her father would take with him to work every single day. Wow. This is a great place to visit, not just to learn about Mexican art and culture, but also to engage with people. We do a lot of programs.We do a lot of community events. So accessibility was a big part of the mission that the educators who founded this place had in mind.

LADONNA: I’m always a little nervous coming to any new venue because sometimes you call and you check the website and they said there were no stairs, but there’s one. I was able to get parking right by the front door. The doors opened automatically and there really was a ramp and no steps. So it was a good experience.

MARIO: One of the things you’re going to notice is that our labels are placed a little bit lower. Of course, this makes it easier for people to access the information on the labels.

LADONNA: Everything was open. Everything was easy to reach, easy to see. The floors are smooth and even and there was no place that I felt unsure of or unsteady. It’s a comfortable place to be.

MARIO: Sometimes we forget that we all have different abilities or capacities. Part of the challenge for an institution is to get used to doing that work.

LADONNA: People with disabilities are people and we should get to go places.

MARIO: When we opened our doors, we wanted to open a free museum that people felt welcome and comfortable to come into.

LADONNA: I feel like this venue not only accommodated but welcomed me.

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