October 5, 2012
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Unveils Hispanic Heritage Exhibit at State Capitol

TOP Governor Cuomo Unveils Hispanic Heritage...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of a new exhibit in the State Capital, "El Futuro es Ahora," that honors prominent Hispanic New Yorkers in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.


This exhibit on the Second Floor of the State Capitol is part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to highlight New York's history, which has included the restoration of the Hall of Governors, the Black History Month and Womens History Month exhibits, as well as displays honoring Independence Day and Memorial Day.


"Learning about the members of New Yorks Hispanic community is important to understanding our states past as well as its future," Governor Cuomo said. "This exhibit highlights both the historic contributions Hispanics have made over the last two centuries, as well as features Hispanic men and women who today are leaders in their respective fields. Every day, members of the Hispanic community, through their hard work and dedication, are helping to shape New Yorks future and I am honored to help share their stories with the all those who visit the State Capitol."


The El Futuro es Ahora exhibit features twenty-five Hispanic New Yorkers who have had a significant impact on the states history. The rich contributions of these New Yorkers are grouped into five different categories: Government and Public Service; the Arts; Business and Innovation; Social Justice; and Sports. Each person in the category has a photograph and brief biography displayed. Each of the biographies, category introductions and a timeline of significant dates in the Hispanic community are displayed in both English and Spanish.


In addition to the individuals featured, the exhibit contains several artifacts that will help visitors interpret and understand the history of the Hispanic community in New York. The artifacts reflect the categories that are highlighted in the exhibit.


Prominent Hispanic New Yorkers featured in the exhibit include:

  • Justice Sonia Sotomayor, first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice
  • Judge Carmen Ciparick, first Hispanic Judge on the Court of Appeals
  • Herman Badillo, New Yorks first Hispanic Congressman
  • Congresswoman Nydia Velzquez, New Yorks first Hispanic Congresswoman
  • Oscar Garcia Rivera, first Hispanic elected to the State Legislature
  • Olga Mendez, first Hispanic woman elected to the State Legislature
  • Angelo Del Toro, important State Legislator and first Hispanic chair of Black and Puerto Rican Caucus
  • Oscar Hijuelos, first Hispanic author to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Tito Puente, Musician
  • Rita Moreno, Actress and singer
  • Joan Baez, Musician and activist
  • Oscar de la Renta, Fashion designer
  • Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, Community health advocate
  • Ben Fernandez, Prominent business leader and politician
  • Nina Tassler, Entertainment industry leader
  • Elsa Salazar Cade, Award winning teacher
  • Joseph Unanue, Founder of Goya Foods
  • Luisa Moreno, Labor leader
  • Raphael Montaez Ortiz, Founder of El Museo del Barrio
  • Dr. Antonia Pantoja, Civil Rights advocate
  • Luis Ubias, President of the Ford Foundation
  • Esteban Belln, First Hispanic professional baseball player in the United States
  • Ignacio Molinet, First Hispanic professional football player
  • Lisa Fernandez, Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Rebecca Lobo, Former WNBA player


Examples of artifacts featured in the exhibit include:

  • One of Tito Puentes timbales and an autographed drumstick
  • First edition copy of Oscar Hijueloss, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
  • Governor Andrew Cuomos Executive Order Number 26 which required the states public information be available in the seven most commonly spoken languages in New York State
  • Photographs of Raul Julia performing for the Public Theater
  • Spanish language newspapers
  • 18th and 19th century travel journals

The exhibit will remain open throughout the fall. For more information visit: http://www.hallofgovernors.ny.gov/hh/hispanic-heritage


To read this release in Spanish, please visit: http://www.hallofgovernors.ny.gov/themes/bartik/images/hispanic-heritage/documents/10.04.12-Unveils-Hispanic-Heritage-Exhibit-Spanish.pdf