(Tucson, Ariz.) December 7, 2022 -- The history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society through the lens of baseball will be shared in the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s (SITES) new bilingual (Spanish and English) exhibition, “¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas.” The exhibition will be on view at the Tucson Desert Art Museum (TDART) from January 14, 2023, to April 9, 2023.

“¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas” was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Museum of American History. The exhibition received generous support from the Cordoba Corporation and Linda Alvarado, and federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. This exhibition is made possible locally with funding from a grant from Arizona Humanities; support from Adara Wealth Management and media sponsor, Tucson Lifestyle Magazine.

The exhibition captures the excitement of the game, from community baseball teams to the Major League, highlighting how the game can bring people together regardless of race, class, and gender. It will feature reproductions of historic and personal photographs, and graphic elements as well as a short bilingual video produced by “La Vida Baseball.”

Throughout the 20th century in the United States and Latin America, baseball provided a path for a better future. Workers in agriculture and industry in the United States used baseball to make ends meet and as a socially acceptable space to find community and organize for rights and justice.

“¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas” has been made possible through close collaborations with over 30 partners in 14 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico to help bring visibility to Latino community histories through baseball. Smithsonian curators collaborated with partners and local communities across the country to document and preserve baseball stories at the heart of Latino communities. The traveling exhibition will visit 15 cities through 2025.

To highlight how baseball has played a formative role in Tucson’s barrios, this local exhibition also features archival photography that highlights the importance of baseball in Tucson’s own local barrios, including Barrio Anita, as well as a collection of historic baseball memorabilia from Arizona.

TDART will host two events in connection with this exhibition: an opening reception on January 24 (4:30 -6:30 PM). At the opening reception, there will be a video screening as well as remarks by Rafael Barceló Durazo, Mexican Consul; a current University of Arizona Men’s Baseball player (yet to be named); Eddie Leon, Tucsonan and former professional baseball player in Mexico and for the New York Yankees. Ticket information available on website. The event in March (date to be determined) will feature a panel discussion by Alex Nuñez, PhD candidate, University of Arizona, and Assistant Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the Honors College.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit http://sites.si.edu.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum's building is currently closed but its online exhibits and learning resources can be accessed at http://americanhistory.si.edu.

About the Tucson Desert Art Museum The Tucson Desert Art Museum, a non-profit museum, opened its doors to the public in 2013. Our mission is to display art and artifacts of the Desert Southwest and surrounding regions, and educate our guests about the history, cultures, and art of the region.

At the core of the Museum is one of the Southwest’s premier collections of Navajo and Hopi pre-1940s textiles, including displays of chief’s blankets, Navajo saddle blankets, optical art textiles, and Yei weavings. The Museum also has a diverse range of historical artifacts, classic and contemporary Southwestern paintings, including works by Maynard Dixon, Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Gerald Cassidy, Ed Mell, Ray Roberts, Peter Nisbet, Howard Post and other great artists of the Southwest. Special highlights of the museum include exhibits on Navajo sand painting, early armaments of the Southwest, and artifacts from the Mesoamerican period.

The Museum also maintains rotating special exhibits, which change out each year. Nowhere else will the visitor find such an eclectic array of southwestern art and artifacts. Our motto is “visualize history through art.”

Located at 7000 East Tanque Verde Road, just west of Udall Park, surrounded by the magnificent panoramic views of the Catalina and Rincon mountains. The Museum is a center for art, culture, and education on Tucson's east side.

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