Fernanda Espinosa to be a Smithsonian Fellow in Washington, DC

Fernanda is spending her Summer at the Smithsonian Institution in America’s Capitol

Ecuador native, New York based, Fernanda Espinosa is off to do a Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP). She will be working with Ranald Woodaman, Director of Exhibits and Public Programs (and LMSP alumn) – Smithsonian Latino Center, on the Latino DC History Project: Muralism project research.

The Latino DC History Project is a multi-year initiative to document, preserve, and share the stories of Latino/as in the institutions, culture, economy and daily life of the nation's capital. Working with the Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC) Exhibitions and Public Program Director, Fernanda will explore the feasibility of a long-term muralism project in DC as a component of the Latino DC History Project.

Fernanda Espinosa is an Andean immigrant based in Brooklyn, New York. She is a cultural organizer, language justice advocate, and oral history artist.  She is currently a Master of Arts candidate at Columbia University’s Oral History Program and holds a BA in Anthropology as well as in Latin American Literature.

Fernanda is a steward and co-founder of the People’s Climate Arts group, a diverse network of artists and cultural organizers that uses art and culture to help support, mobilize and amplify social movements, while simultaneously creating space for local, long-term projects. The group was a recipient of the 2015 Rauschenberg Foundation Artists as Activists fund. She also co-founded and is a project coordinator of Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), an art and oral history collective working with interviews, murals, and other visual and audio tools. CC 1/19 received The Laundromat Project’s 2015 Create Change commission award.

As part of her thesis at Columbia Oral History MA, Fernanda is working on Hogar de la Distancia (Home of Distance), a sound and visual art project documenting stories of immigrants from Ecuador, one of the largest migrant populations in New York metropolitan area. The interviews and participatory efforts serve as points of departure that inspire audio-visual portraits put together in conjunction with the CC 1/19 collective. In addition to documenting the voices, the project seeks to make visible, honor and recognize the memory and experience of people who migrate and must navigate complex relationships with their loved ones and their homeland from a distance.

With the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program Fernanda hopes to expand her experience in intentional cultural work and continue to create bridges between institutions and Latinx communities by making visible their histories in the United States.  She is also excited to learn more about these communities in Washington through her practicum in muralism research.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. On July 1, 1836, Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation by James Smithson and pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 138 million, including more than 127 million specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.

If you would like more information about this Smithsonian Internships, Fellowships, and Research Associates, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Internships at 202-633-7070 or check out their website smithsonianofi.com