A Guide to Hispanic Heritage Month Events

Image © Arte Salazar

10 Fantastic Chicago Hispanic Heritage Month Events
Compiled by Benita Zepeda

While Hispanic Heritage Month is just getting started, there are several activities to celebrate everything Latino. Spanning from September through October, make sure you check out all that the city has to offer for this great month. Here are 10 events you won’t want to miss!

September 16
Latino Music Festival 2011
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kick off this season’s Latino Music Festival with Chicago’s Kaia String Quartet. The concert features work from Hector Villa-Lobos, Domencio Zipoli, Gustavo Leone and Elbio Barilari.

September 17
Navy Pier Fireworks
600 E. Grand Ave.
9 p.m.
Navy Pier is starting off Hispanic Heritage Month with a fireworks show synchronized with a special tribute to Latin music.

September 17
Chicago Cuatro Orchestra
Chicago Public Library
Jefferson Park
5464 W. Lawrence Ave.
1 p.m.
This ensemble will perform a 45-minute family production featuring Puerto Rico’s national instrument, the cuatro.

September 22
Film Screening: Ella es El Matador
Chicago Public Library
3353 W. 13th Street
6 p.m.
This nonfiction film explores the gender roles when it comes to Spain’s traditional idea of the male matador. Bull fighting is viewed as a testament to masculinity, and in 1908 Spain banned women from the sport. This film follows two female matadors who are pioneers currently in the arena, Mari Paz Vega and Eva Florencia. Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco directed it.

September 28
¡Salsation! Theatre Company Presents: Facebooked & Fingerprinted
Columbia College Chicago
Stage Two – 618 S. Michigan Ave. 2nd Floor
6:30 p.m.
This theater company, which was founded in 1998, sought out to create and perform original, Latino-themed comedy. The current show examines Latinos in the 21st century, and is free.

September 9-December 11
Dia de Muertos XXV
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Come explore the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, which throughout the past 25 years has grown in the city of Chicago. This year’s exhibition is dedicated to photographer Milton Rogovin, and surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. The art shows how this tradition is still rooted in many U.S. cities.

October 1 and October 15
McCormick’s Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
These events are from the three-part program “Community, Campus, and Crisis” which explore events surrounding the Yong Lords street gang’s occupation of McCormick’s Stone administration building, which was a rough time in the seminary’s history.

October 1
Harris Theater at Millennium Park
205 E. Randolph Dr.
The Luna Negra Dance Theater is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a program that highlights iconic painter Frida Kahlo, Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and the first queen of pre-modern Spain, Juana la Loca. Tickets are needed for this event.

October 8
Chicago Public Library
Sulzer Regional
4455 N. Lincoln Ave.
2 p.m.
This event explores the music of Veracruz, Mexico, which has a mixture of Spanish and African indigenous influences. Jarocho celebrates music, dance and lyrical poetry. Come see Raul Fernandez, educator and musician, and a group of young musicians, the Jarochicanos from Pilsen, and dance the fandango. This celebration is great for both children and adults!

October 14
Vive la Hispanidad: 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
108 W. Germania Place
This event closes the celebratory in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Come celebrate with artists, literature, music and various Latin foods.