National Hispanic Heritage Month, held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, recognizes the contributions made by, and cultural significance of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States. In California alone, Latinos make up the largest ethnic group in California, so there are plenty of reasons and ways to celebrate.
Here are five options:
El Grito – A Celebration of Mexican Independence
The Segerstrom Center celebrates Mexican Independence with Latin film and television star Blanca Araceli and live performances by Mariachi Infantil, R.H.Y.T.M.O., Relámpago del Cielo, Mauro Calderón and others. El Grito, meaning “the scream” in Spanish, refers to the battle cry announcing war with Spain, uttered by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the parish priest of the town of Dolores, Mexico, on Sept. 16, 1810. At the Segerstrom, the El Grito ceremony will be presided by Consul of Mexico in Orange County, Mario Cuevas-Zamora. Guests are encouraged to donate items for care packages for the military including: travel lotion, travel shampoo, tissue packs, granola bars and lip balm. Free.
Cine Sin Fronteras
The eighth edition of the free mini-film festival Cine Sin Fronteras takes place on Saturday, Sept. 15 from noon to 3:30 p.m., at the Vincent Price Art Museum (located on the campus of East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park). The festival showcases contemporary, experimental films from the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico, and screens Relato Familiar, Coyolxauhqui and The Sound We See. The event also includes a Q&A with Paolo Davanzo, founder and executive director of the Echo Park Film Center, and Lisa Marr, the Center’s operations director, plus, live music from the Latin folk rock band El Rio. Free with RSVP.
Fiestas Patrias – Mexican Independence Day
¡Viva México! El Pueblo Historical Monument in Downtown Los Angeles is considered the original birthplace of the City of Angels, so there’s no better location in LA to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. The fiestas take place on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 15-16) from 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. with live music, dancing, cultural activities, historic displays, artisan exhibits, carnival games and food.
Cal State LA hosts Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s premier Latino dance organization, at its Luckman Fine Arts Complex on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8:00 p.m. For nearly 50 years, the organization has brought people and communities together to explore Latino cultures through dance. Ballet Hispánico returns to the Luckman this month to showcase their all-Latina choreographers program: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Línea RectaCon Brazos Abiertos, and Tania Pérez-Salas’ 3. Catorce Dieciséis. Tickets: $28, $38, $48.
UCLA Luskin Lecture: Jorge Ramos
The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs hosts journalist Jorge Ramos for a lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on the Westwood campus. Ramos is the long-time host of Univision Noticias’ evening news and its Sunday news magazine Al Punto. He’s gained a reputation during his 30+ year career for fighting for the rights of marginalized communities in both Mexico and the U.S. Admission is free, but registration is required for each attendee.
Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.