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Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us in Arkansas. The celebration begins on Sept. 15 each year, the day Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence from Spain. Mexico celebrates on Sept. 16, while Chile celebrates on Sept. 18. The celebration to honor Hispanic heritage first began in 1968 and ran for a week. In 1988, President George Bush expanded the celebration to last a month each year, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The month highlights a variety of cultural events, discussions, and educational events over the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people in the past and present.
University of Arkansas
This month, the University of Arkansas has a slate of events, including kick-off events for Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Leadership Council’s Mentoring Program, “LatinX on the Rise.”
Find the events at the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
UAFS is celebrating all month with a visual display of flags in the Smith Pendergraft Campus Center. The Boreham Library will also display books by Hispanic and Latin authors all month long. On Thursday, Sept. 30, Angela Vivar, M.Ed., will give a speech at 12:15 at the Campus Center Reynolds Room. Vivar is a high school to college and first-year retention specialist. She focuses on helping first-generation college students thrive.
Thursday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., drop by the Campus Center Fireplace for a “cafecito y pan dulce” and enjoy coffee, culture and conversation.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, UAFS will close out the month of celebration with a Hispanic Heritage Month Open Forum at the Campus Center Reynolds Room from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Find more information on all UAFS Hispanic Heritage month events here.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
U.A. Little Rock celebrates this month with a fun event for students, “Loteria Game Night.” Loteria is a traditional Mexican game. The event is Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The Multicultural Center will host First Friday @ the MC – Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Oct. 1 from 12 to 2 p.m. Join in for an afternoon of food, games and trivia.
Arkansas State University
At Arkansas State University, Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the celebration of the establishment of the new chapter on the campus of the Latina sorority Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha. The sorority will host events the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 with an informational meeting Thursday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in the Arkansas River Room of the student union. SIA will also have a cooking class online, with information posted on their Instagram account. Finally, the sorority will wrap up the month with a Loteria night on Oct.11 at 6 p.m. in Centennial Hall.
The Latin Art Organization of Arkansas will host the Festival del Mariachi in Springdale Saturday, Oct. 2. This event celebrates Northwest Arkansas’s Hispanic heritage through ballet folklorico dancing, food vendors, mariachi music and more. The festival begins at 6 p.m. Find out more at the Latin Art Organization of Arkansas’s Facebook page.
North Little Rock
The Hispanic Heritage Month Art and Food Festival takes place at Argenta Plaza Saturday, Oct. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival host is Seis Puentes Education and Resource Center and features art, dancers, live music, food and more.
Central Arkansas Library System
The Central Arkansas Library System celebrates all month by offering pick-up craft packets for families to take home and create while learning about and celebrating Latinx culture.
The CALS film series this month features films that examine life within Latin cultures and countries. The movies are shown Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m.
CALS also hosts a Spanish book club each month. Find out about all the events in the CALS September Program Guide.
Springdale Public Library
The Springdale Library will offer a Hispanic Heritage Family Activity Box for pick-up beginning Oct. 9. Families must register for the activity box on Oct. 9 and have one week to collect the box. The box includes themed activities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
The library also features a bilingual children’s storytime each week at 4 p.m. The Chispas Spanish Story Time for Families is currently held online and involves stories read in Spanish and English, songs, and more.
Fayetteville Public Library
The Fayetteville Public Library is hosting events this month for all ages to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Saturday, Oct. 2, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) will host the Voces Latinas (Latinx voices) community concert held in the event center of the library. The concert is part of SoNA’s new series: SoNA Beyond with Voces Latinas, curated by four Latinx artists in the community: Lia Uribe, Fernando Valencia, Raul Munguia and Cristian Martinez Vega. Before the concert, enjoy a community festival at the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Gathering Glade. The event begins at 4:30 with food trucks, music and more.
Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Glade, the library will show an outdoor movie in Spanish. El Libro de la Vida (The Book of Life) is a family film, and families can bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit outside and enjoy the film. The first 50 attendees receive goodie bags, and everyone gets a chance to win a “weekend in Fayetteville” experience. Popcorn and slushies will also be available.
A Hispanic Artists’ Panel Discussion takes place Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. This discussion features local Latinx artists sharing their work and what it means to be a part of the Latinx and Northwest Arkansas communities.
This month, find an event near you to celebrate the history, contributions and future of Hispanic and Latinx people and cultures in Arkansas.
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