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Cesar E. Chavez Community Service Medallion

While working as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Chicago public schools, from 1975-1987, Carlos Tortolero began laying the groundwork in 1982 for what would fulfill his dream, vision, and purpose in life. Five years later, in 1987, the doors to the National Museum of Mexican Art officially opened.

What began modestly as a neighborhood-centered museum, under Carlos Tortolero’s leadership, the museum flourished over the years and became the largest cultural organization rooted in the Mexican culture outside of Mexico. With a collection of 21,000 pieces, the museum became the first accredited Latino museum in the United States and was named one of America’s Cultural Treasures by the Ford Foundation. The museum was also recently chosen to receive a philanthropic gift in the amount of eight million dollars.

Now, after 40 years of community service, during which he received three honorary doctorates and numerous prestigious awards, the retired Founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art, Carlos Tortolero, is now the celebrated President Emeritus.

The Cesar E. Chavez Community Service Medallion will be presented during the Latino/a Leaders Recognition Luncheon on Saturday, February 17 at 12:00 pm.
February 15-18, 2024
Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk
301 E North Water Street
Chicago, IL 60611

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