With 61 million Hispanics living across the United States – or 18% of the country’s population – it’s no wonder that the rich, colorful and diverse cultures of the Latin American people have seamlessly integrated into the American cultural fabric.
For more than 50 years, families whose ancestors arrived in this country from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America have celebrated their history and contributions to North American heritage each fall during the Hispanic Heritage Month.
The original commemoration was enacted in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, before finally being extended to one month – from September 15 to October 15.
After last year’s COVID-forced hiatus, Hispanic Heritage Month is back – but not as big as it used to be. The New York City Hispanic Parade, which runs up Fifth Avenue on the Sunday before or after Columbus Day, has been canceled this year due to the pandemic, as have many other smaller parades and festivals honoring specific countries of the Caribbean and Latin America.
And while some in-person events to mark the date return to New York in 2021 – requiring proof of vaccination as part of the city’s new mandate – others allow anyone with a screen and a login. Internet to celebrate Hispanic culture in the United States.
Here’s a guide to get you started.
Theater, Dance, Music
September 17-19, various times – The Riverside Theater, 91 Claremont Ave.
The Washington Heights-based People’s Theater Project is back on stage with a full season of in-person events. The season begins with the world premiere of “Doña Mañana”. Set in the year 3050, this dystopian drama celebrates the immigrant experience, as the first woman, Afro-Latina president and her team embarked on a quest to dismantle the system and bring total liberation to the people. Must be fully vaccinated for to assist.
Unicornios en Cautiverio (Unicorns in captivity)
September 17-19, multiple times – Thalia Spanish Theater, 41-17 Greenpoint Ave. Queens
New York City Artist Corps and Latinx Performance Ensemble – a group that promotes bilingual Latinx theater in the United States and Latin America with a focus on race, social justice, immigration, and LGBTQ issues – presents the premiere World of “Unicornios en Cautiveiro (Unicorns in captivity)).” The show, about the anxieties of the COVID-19 pandemic seen through the lens of a Puerto Rican family in New York City, addresses sexual diversity, acceptance and family. Free event, performed in Spanish with English surtitles.
September 17, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Teatro LATEA at Clemente, 107 Suffolk St.
Accent Dance NYC, a non-profit organization focused on performance arts education, celebrates Heritage Month with an evening of entertainment and dance at Teatro LATEA (Latin American Theater Experiment Associates) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan . The evening will feature a new piece by acclaimed Mexican choreographer David Fernandez – which highlights the importance of family through a boy’s journey during the pandemic while exploring Mexican folk art and mythical creatures – as well as works of tango, salsa and contemporary ballet. teatrolatea.org
Long live! Broadway when we see each other
September 18 at 5 p.m. – Times Square, Manhattan
Celebrate the rebirth of Broadway with a star-studded performance honoring the contributions of Latino artists to the world’s most famous stages. Broadway powerhouses Bianca Marroquín and Ana Villafañe, along with Tony Daphne Rubin-Vega and Robin de Jesús winners are just a few of the big names attending the free outdoor event at Duffy Square in the heart of Times Square. .
Estamos Bien – La Trienal 20/21
Ongoing, closes September 26 – El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave.
El Museo’s first large-scale national survey of Latinx art showcases the work of 42 artists and collectives from the United States and Puerto Rico who use their work to be resilient in their culture while addressing issues such as social justice, climate change and the effects of the COVID pandemic -19 on minorities. “Presenting a major study of Latinx art today is not only urgent, it is also a great opportunity to continue to prove its relevance nationally and globally,” said Rodrigo Moura, chief curator of the museum. .
Lost through the pages (Whispers of the Caballeros)
Ongoing, closes October 6 – Baxter St. at Camera Club New York, 126 Baxter St.
Colombian-American queer Antonio Pulgarín celebrates the two communities he proudly represents in a new exhibit in Baxter St at the Camera Club in New York City. By fusing archival queer images from the 1980s to the present day with aspects of her Colombian cultural identity, the lens-based artist aims to democratize the history of beefcake imagery by including her own experiences, while honoring the queer community of BIPOC. The artist will participate in a virtual conversation via Zoom on September 23 at 6 p.m., and a Coffee conference via Instagram Live on September 25 at 2 p.m. ET.
TV and virtual
Virtual Hispanic Heritage Race
Sep 15 to Oct 17
Latinos Run, an organization founded in New York with more than 25,000 members worldwide, promotes running as a means of improving the physical and mental health of members of the Latinx community. This year, the group is offering a virtual 5K, which can be completed anytime between September 15 and October 17, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Complete the challenge however you like (running, walking, at the gym, or even in another run) and earn a Hispanic Heritage Month themed medal.
Billboard Latin Music Awards
September 23, 8 p.m. (Red carpet special starts at 7 p.m.) – Telemundo
The 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards will celebrate the best Latin music of the year in a star-studded fiesta at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Bad Bunny tops the list with 22 nods, followed by Maluma with 11, J Balvin with nine, and Karol G, Anuel AA and Black Eyed Peas with eight each. Appearances by Camila Cabello, Marc Anthony, Banda MS, Karol G, Natti Natasha, Prince Royce, Ana Bárbara and more.
A neighborhood party at La Calle
October 1, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – YouTube
For more than 50 years, the world-renowned Ballet Hispánico has celebrated the diversity of Latin culture through dance performances, educational programs and social advocacy. On October 1, a scaled-down and fully virtual version of its fourth annual block party will be broadcast on the Ballet Hispánico Youtube channel, featuring the famous dancers of the company performing a solo from “Arabesque” by Vicente Nebrada and an excerpt from “18 + 1” by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, as well as distinguished guests including the Afro Dance and Drum Company -Portorican Bombazo and Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
For those who cannot watch it live, A La Calle Block Party will be available to stream on demand until October 15.
VOICE on PBS
October and November, check your local announcements
A new season of Latino Public Broadcasting’s flagship series “VOCES” is come to PBS stations in October to celebrate the diversity of the Latinx cultural experience. The stories include a portrait of a once-advertised Cuban writer who was silenced by the revolution; two Mexican-American brothers and Vietnam veterans, who risk deportation; and an overview of Latinx’s performance in Hollywood.
Out and about
Carnival of Latin Culture
September 12 – boul. in Corona, Queens
For 15 years, the carnival brought art, dance, music, food and activities for kids to Corona, Queens to celebrate the first week of Hispanic Heritage Month. Organizers estimate that 80,000 people attended the event in 2019, the latest to take place due to the pandemic.
26th Annual Panamanian Day Parade
October 9 at noon – Crown Heights, Brooklyn
The world’s largest Panamanian parade outside the Republic of Panama arrives at Crown Heights to commemorate Panama’s separation from Colombia, which took place in November 1903. The parade begins at Bergen St. and Franklin Ave., and heads to a street fair on Classon Ave The fair, which attracts over 30,000 people, features art, music, as well as Panamanian, Caribbean and Latin American food.