In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Hispanic Heritage Week bill, which designated the week of September 15 as “National Hispanic Heritage Week.” Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan signed another bill, which expanded the week into a full month of recognition and celebration.
The month begins on September 15 because this date is the anniversary of independence for a handful of Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively.
While celebrations continue and are enjoyed in communities across the United States, there is not a consensus on the correct term to use for this national holiday. In recent years, U.S.-based Spanish-speaking communities and/or communities with Central and South American heritage have raised concerns about the continued use of the pan-ethnic term “Hispanic,” which inherently ties a large group of people together through their ancestral connection to the colonizing country of Spain. And, while the pan-ethnic gender-neutral term “Latinx” has emerged and is often used in academia, many everyday people do not identify with the word.
This year, perhaps in response to these recent conversations, The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) along with Federal agency partners, employee resource groups, and members of the general public, selected the Hispanic Heritage Month theme Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.
Learn about and celebrate Latino culture by attending exhibitions, talks, and events that center Latino artists, experiences, and stories. Below, see a list of programs for the month happening across Texas. The descriptions have been provided by the presenting organizations:
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center
Arte Texas Presents: La Lucha Sigue Eastside Stories
September 10 – October 8, 2022
Our La Lucha Sigue exhibit symbolizes the artwork that has a connection to the cultura, to our identity, and to our history. These native East Austin artists as well as our activist heroes have fought the lucha through battles in our community as well as honor our elder leaders who fought hard for equality, injustice, humanity, and most of all for a good quality of life. This lucha exhibit is the expression of East Austin Cultura. It displays passion, pain, knowledge, sweat, decades of hard work, and our history.
Arte Texas’s mission is to create a forum to connect veteran artists with emerging talent and for artists, to give back to the community they are rooted in and draw inspiration from their works of art in their environment. Arte Texas is focused on preserving, restoring, and celebrating the murals of street art, public art painting from the heart and soul of East Austin, a historical community where our Indigenous people are rooted: Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano/a, Latino/a.
Curated Conversations: The New World Order Of Casta Paintings
Thursday, September 15, 2022, Noon, via Zoom
Colonial Latin America was a mosaic of races and cultures that intermingled, and very often married. As a result of this new diverse population, a popular art genre emerged in the 18th century: Casta paintings.
Casta paintings depict several scenes of mixed-race couples with their children. In each, artists labeled family members with an invented racial category, or “caste.” The Spanish crown and elites tried to create order in New Spain (now Mexico) with these idealized paintings. The reality, in which divisions of race and class were fluid, was much more complicated.
Learn more about this Mexican art genre with curator of Painted Cloth, Rosario I. Granados, and historian Susan Deans-Smith.
ELA 26: Histories Of Transformation / Historias De Transformación
Friday, September 16th, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The ELA (Emerging Latinx Artists) exhibition is in its 26th iteration. ELA highlights emerging Latinx artists based in Texas, while also giving emerging curators the chance to curate an original concept and design. This year’s curatorial team consists of Luisa Perez, Mexic-Arte Museum’s Education Associate and Isabel Servantez, Mexic-Arte Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programs.
This is a collection of artists that have not attempted to assimilate within the dominant culture of the United States but have adapted to survive and thrive within it. These artists have adapted to present the mix of their cultural backgrounds and that of the United States, often representing a mix of two or several cultural influences. With each artist, their choices have shown a unique voice commenting on the ever-shifting landscape of the world around them or the world in themselves.
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Free Admission for Hispanic Heritage Month
Saturday, September 17, 2022, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by visiting PPHM and seeing our Quinceaneara Traditions exhibition. Admission will be FREE from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday September 17 graciously sponsored by Telemundo, Atmos and Las Parrilladas Nortenas.
Latino Cultural Center
Yanga and the AfroMexican Experience
August 25 – October 15, 2022
LATINO ARTS PROJECT presents an immersive art experience at the Latino Cultural Center. This free exhibit brings awareness to the diversity of cultures within our communities and highlights the commonalities we share.
The little known story of Gaspar Yanga will be explored, for the first time, in a separate museum exhibition. Past exhibitions have included Yanga’s story within context of other topics, but this is the first museum exhibition exclusively about Yanga, the first liberator of the Americas. Yanga and the AfroMexican Experience features an entire gallery devoted to Yanga, exploring this historical story with documents from the Archivo General de la Nacion (National Archives) in Mexico City and Archivo General de Indias (Archive of the Indies) in Seville, Spain.
The second gallery is devoted to exploring the cultural impact of the AfroMexican experience. The exhibition explores in depth the influence in music, dance, food and art in each of the three main areas of Mexico with a direct African impact.
Learn about the African experience in the Mexican state of Veracruz, as the main landing site for many of the enslaved Africans that went directly to Mexico on the Caribbean coast, Costa Chica, the southern Pacific area that crosses the Mexican states of Guerrero and Oaxaca and the Texas bordering state of Coahuila that became a refuge for former slaves from the US.
Dallas Museum of Art Late Nights
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Friday, September 16, from 5:00–11:00 pm
Celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and the life and work of Mexican American artist Octavio Medellín with an evening of music, artist demonstrations, curator talks, a poetry workshop led by Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez, film screenings, tours of the exhibition Octavio Medellín: Spirit and Form, a Texas art scavenger hunt, and more.
Kimbell Art Museum
Open Studios: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Sunday, September 18, 2022, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Join guest artist Karla García to celebrate ancient histories and personal stories with clay sculpting inspired by Maya ceramics in the permanent collection.
El Paso Museum of History
Chicano Power! A force for Change & Progress in El Paso
August 6, 2022 – January 28, 2023
This exhibition focuses on the rise of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in El Paso, Texas. From anti-discrimination activism encompassing farmworkers and labor rights, to anti-war movements wrapped in cultura, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in El Paso, Texas is the story of how youth along with neighborhood mentors and families fought to transform social and systemic inequities into improved conditions. Chicano Power! retraces collective and individual memories rooted in El Paso but also reinforced in acts of solidarity with other Chicano and global communities who fought for the equity of all.
Houston Public Library – Central Houston
Let’s Talk Soccer with artist Betirri
Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 6:30 pm
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to highlight the role of soccer in the Hispanic culture: Let’s Talk Soccer!
Be inspired by our guest speaker Betirri, an international artist recognized primarily by a series of paintings depicting bodiless sport figures in motion, and member of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. This conversation will be moderated by Lourdes Remond, Community Engagement Manager at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Selena Movie Screening
Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Sprawl out with a blanket or lawn chair for an outdoor screening of the 1997 Selena biopic at the Downtown greenspace.
Centro Cultural Aztlan
Las Mujeres Regionales By Frank W. Harris III
Friday, September 16 – Thursday, October 20, 2022
Centro Cultural Aztlan begins its Fall Arts Festivities with a solo exhibition of Las Mujeres Regionales, a series of new works by local artist Frank W. Harris, III. The exhibit opens on Friday, September 16, 2022 from 6 to 9 pm in the Galeria Expresion located at 1800 Fredericksburg Road in the Deco Building and will be on display through October 20, 2022. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Frank W. Harris, III is a native San Antonian and a graduate of Jefferson High School. He attended the Art Institute of San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity University in 1983. Frank’s work reveals a deep emotional influence by his maternal grandmother Doña Petra Ortega’s collection of Mexican calendar art. His fascination with Mexican folk art and textiles would become the subject matter of his paintings. Frank began his own collection of Mexican regional attire from every Region and State that make up the country of Mexico. The exhibition entitled Las Mujeres Regionales is the result of his deep love of Mexican culture and decades of constant creative effort. We thought this would be a great exhibit to celebrate Las Fiestas Patrias and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Tejanos at the Alamo
Saturday, September 17, from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alamo will be celebrating Tejanos connected with the site’s history. This event will feature local cultural organizations, descendants, living history, and more. From early San Antonio settlers to 1836 Alamo Defenders and non-combatants to Juan Seguin to Adina De Zavala and more, Tejanos at the Alamo will highlight the many important Tejano figures who have made an impact on the Alamo and the larger San Antonio community.
San Antonio Museum of Art
La Malinche: Traitor/Savior, An Immersive Performance With Nathan Felix
October 14, 2022, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm
La Malinche: Traitor | Savior is a new chamber opera by composer Nathan Felix about La Malinche, an enslaved Indigenous girl who became Hernán Cortés’ interpreter and cultural translator. The opera is broken into five short acts over the course of which the audience sees Malinche go from a slave to a tool for Cortés’ conquest of Tenochtitlan. Reviled by her fellow slaves, she fearlessly forges a new path in her belief that a new Mestizo ethnicity is the inevitable future and her lasting impact.
Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University
Hispanic Heritage Month – Finding Your Voice Closing Celebration
Saturday, September 17, 2022, 1:00 pm
Celebrate and learn about Hispanic and Latinx art alongside the young people of Café con Leche.
Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University
Dia de los Muertos Alebrijes Workshop
Four-session workshop series starting on September 24, 2022, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Join us for our free four session class workshop to celebrate Día de los Muertos create your own Alebrije with Teaching Artist Auria Sánchez-Henríquez. Alebrijes, often depicted in Spanish folk art, are “spirit animals” that guide the spirits of ancestors on their journey through the land of the dead.
Through the exploration of 3D artistic techniques and themes of remembrance and tradition, the project illuminates the connection among visual language, self-expression, and cultural heritage. Celebrate the culmination of this experience in the Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead Parade in downtown Wichita Falls this Fall.