Hispanic Heritage Month Shines Light on Inclusion

October 2, 2022—With the recent opening of the Molina Family Latino Gallery as a forerunner to the building of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino, there is now an overdue spotlight on the foundational contributions made by the Hispanic/Latinx community to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the nation.

The Museum’s inaugural exhibition—¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States—along with in-person and virtual resources are available to support learning more about and celebrating Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, which continues through October 15, 2022.

The 4,500-sq. ft. Molina Family Latino Gallery currently is located within the National Museum of American History. It is the Smithsonian’s first museum space dedicated to the American Latinx experience on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Authorized by Congress in 2020, the plans for the National Museum of the American Latino’s building are scheduled to be announced in December of this year.

This week, I also am providing the readers of Arts & Cultural Connections with a listing of some of the other events taking place around the country, which provide an opportunity to learn, engage with, and celebrate Hispanic/Latinx arts and culture.

New York: The Latino Society of New York City Parks, in collaboration with the department’s Arts & Antiques Division, is sponsoring an exhibition of the works of 20 artists exploring Latinx cultures through the imagery of native flora. Las Flores de mi País (The Flowers of My Country) is on exhibition at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, and celebrates the artistic and creative talents of New York City’s Latinx community. The exhibition interprets the theme through photographs, paintings, mixed media, textiles, and other forms of visual arts, while reflecting culture or tradition. The exhibition is open through November 10, 2022.

And for family fun in New York, the 56th annual Hispanic Day Parade will take place for the first time in two years on Sunday, October 9, 2022, along Fifth Avenue from 44th to 77th Streets.

Chicago: The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLTA) presents Destinos 2022, an annual citywide festival that showcases Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America. The events, which will continue through October 16, 2022, are held at well-known venues downtown; neighborhood storefront theaters, and cultural institutions throughout the Chicago area. You can find more details at this link.

Los Angeles: The Latino Theater Company (LTC) also is offering a series of plays through October 16, 2022, that explore the Latinx experience in contemporary terms, highlighting new voices within the Latinx, Black, Asian-American, Jewish-American and LGBTQ+ communities.

Near Atlanta: Check out CULTURA on October 14, 2022, an inclusive community festival celebrating the diverse residents of Lawrenceville, GA, located about 45 minutes NE of Atlanta. The family-friendly festival will feature cultural and arts presentations, live music, local artisans, as well as food.

As always, I would like to know what you think. What do you think is important to remember during Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month? I invite you to leave your thoughts and comments below.

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