Laura Belik, MA Design Studies ‘16, spent her summer in Washington, D.C. as a fellow for the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP).
Created in 1994, LMSP provides space for graduate students to “share, explore and discuss the representation of Latino cultures in the context of the American experience.” The program seeks to “increase the representation, documentation, research, knowledge, and interpretation of Latino art, culture, and history,” with a focus on the development of museum practices in the context of Latino cultural studies.
The first two weeks of the program consist of a series of activities such as workshops, guided museum tours, archive visits, and movie screenings to provide fellows with a first-hand look into museum, cultural, and curatorial practices.
The final weeks of the program sees each of the twelve fellows creating and developing their own practicum projects under the guidance of a Smithsonian professional, scholar, curator, or other leader in the museum field. During her time in the fellowship, Belik was paired with Michelle Joan Wilkinson, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), to research the work of black and Latino architects and designers.