Funny Or Die owner Henry R. Muñoz III will donate $1 million dollars to establish a theater at the Smithsonian’s future National Museum of the American Latino.
Muñoz, who is a health care entrepreneur, announced the news with his husband Kyle Ferari-Munoz on Wednesday. The donation will go towards establishing the SOMOS Theatre, a performance space at the proposed museum which will share its name with SOMOS US, the healthcare network serving New York and other areas that Muñoz helped co-found.
Muñoz currently serves as the board of trustees chair for the museum, and has played a key role in the museum’s foundation. He was appointed by Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the House, to serve as chair for the commission on the museum. The commission’s report ultimately helped legislation pass in December 2020 calling for the Smithsonian Institution to establish the museum on the National Mall of Washington, D.C.
The 18-person board of trustees for the museum is currently working to acquire artifacts, develop contents for the museum, coordinate fundraising and find a permanent location. Jorge Zamanillo serves as the director for the museum, while other board of trustees members aside from Muñoz include actors Eva Longoria and Sofía Vergara, Coca-Cola North America president Alfredo Rivera, journalist Soledad O’Brien and musician Emilio Estefan.
In addition to heading the board of trustees for the Museum of the American Latino, Muñoz currently serves on the latino advisory boards of the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center, and was the first latino to serve on the national board of the Smithsonian. He also serves on the board of the Cooper-Hewitt, and helped establish the Latino Heritage Fund of the National Parks Foundation.
Muñoz recently outilined his vision for Funny Or Die under his ownership when he was featured as a guest last month on Variety podcast “Strictly Business.”
“There’s so many components to what it means to say, ‘This is my identity.’ I’m brown, I’m Latino and I’m gay. I’m a businessman and I’m an activist and I’m a philanthropist. I have many interests. And so I’m really working very hard with a group of people who have been at Funny or Die for a long time and a new generation of talent at Funny or Die to open up that aperture,” he said.