CARLOS TORTOLERO

About

Carlos Tortolero is the Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in Chicago.   He founded the museum in 1982 and the museum opened its doors in 1987. From 1975-1987, Tortolero worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Chicago Public School System. He is a recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts from Columbia College (Chicago), 2016 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2017 from the University of Illinois (Chicago. He has served on numerous boards including the University of Illinois, the American Alliance of Museums, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Illinois Humanities Council, and Choose Chicago. He has won numerous awards for his work including the Ohtli Award which is the highest honor given by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico and is given to individuals “Who have distinguished themselves in the services of the Mexican community outside of Mexico."  He was awarded the City of Chicago’s highest honor in the arts – The Fifth Star Award and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance’s National Cuatro Festival Award, Chicago, in (2016). Tortolero has written for several books as well as numerous articles for national and international publications.  He has also made presentations across the U.S. and internationally. He has taught classes at University of Illinois at Chicago, The School of the Art Institute, and Northwestern University. Tortolero has a B.A. in Secondary Education and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.A. in Bilingual Education Supervision from Chicago State University. The National Museum of Mexican Art is the first Latino museum (1997) accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.  The second Latino museum was accredited in 2016. The National Museum of Mexican Art has become a national model for its exhibits, performances, arts education programs, advocacy of cultural equity issues, and as a model for how museums need to change. Twenty exhibitions organized by the NMMA have traveled across the country and eight have traveled to Mexico.  There are over 10,000 pieces in the Museum’s permanent collection. Over 150,000 individuals attend Museum’s exhibits and events. The Museum is the only organization in the nation to have won two White House Awards for excellence in youth arts programming.  The Museum also has a very extensive performing arts program.  The museum’s educational program is a national leader.
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