The museum opened as the Texas State Exhibits Pavilion, which was built for the 1968 HemisFair celebration. Today, the museum pursues a mandate as the state’s center for multicultural education by investigating the ethnic and cultural history of the state and presenting the resulting information with a variety of offerings:
• Exhibits, programs, and special events designed to entertain, inspire, and educate
• Outreach programs to schools and other groups
• Teacher-training workshops
In early 2010, the institute formalized an Affiliation agreement with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Affiliate status grants the institute access to the Smithsonian’s artifacts, education, and performing arts programs, expert speakers, teacher workshops, and resources to complement and broaden exhibitions. The Affiliation agreement marks a new era for the institute. A series of upgrades are planned to revitalize main exhibit floor. As The University of Texas at San Antonio strives to achieve national research university status, the museum strives to become a cultural institution of equal caliber.