Each year, from September 15 to October 15, the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the economic, cultural, and social contributions of the more than 45 million Latinos residing in the U.S. In Arizona, 30% of the population is of Hispanic or Latino origin (2009).
September 15 is the anniversary of Independence Day for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Two other countries, Mexico and Chile, declared their independence on September 16 and 18, respectively.
Community Events Celebrating Hispanic Heritage MonthThese events appear in date order. Check back often, as I add events as they come to my attention.
Looking for El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) activities and events? Those are usually later in the month or in early November. When Hispanic heritage Month is over, you can still participate in Day of the Dead traditions.
Various dates in September 2012. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Phoenix Art Museum presents the latest narrative, documentary and short films by, from or about Mexico, Spain, Central and South America. Many of these films have screened at film festivals across the world and most can only be seen here at this Museum.
Fiesta de Septiembre
Saturday, September 1, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Fiesta de Septiembre to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month. The event takes place in Historic downtown Wickenburg. Events scheduled during the Fiesta include Mariachi groups, folklorico dancers, salsa and margarita contests,outdoor mercado, food and beverage cantina, historic photo exhibits and crafts booths, and a food fair.
Latin-Themed Concerts at MIM
Various dates in September 2012. The Musical Instrument Museum presents the following performances:
September 14, 2012 - Arturo Sandoval, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
September 17, 2012 - La Catrina String Quartet, 7 p.m.
September 26, 2012 - Plena Libre, 7 p.m.
October 8, 2012 - Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro , 7 p.m.
October 9, 2012 - Danilo Pérez Trio, 7 p.m.
October 19, 2012 - Carlos Nuñez Group , 7:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $27.50. Parking is free.
¡Viva México! Día de la Independencia Méxicana
Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. A homemade salsa competition, a kid’s activity zone and vendors serving Mexican and Southwestern style food. Live entertainment includes mariachi bands and performances by Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ—a dynamic dance group dedicated to the awareness and education of Mexican culture through folkloric dance. El Palacio, 2950 E. Germann Road, Chandler. Tickets required. A percentage of the proceeds from El Palacio’s Mexican Independence Day Fiesta will benefit Xico, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting local Chicano and Native American artists.
Fiestas Patrias at MIM
September 15 and 16, 2012. The Musical Instrument Museum hosts a two-day event with music, dance, and cuisine of Mexico in honor of the country’s independence from Spain in 1810. MIM has partnered with the Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix to showcase the culture of Mexico in an accurate and educational way. MIM will also officially reopen the updated Mexico exhibit in the museum’s Latin America gallery. The event will include activities for the entire family such as performances of Latin, jazz, acoustic pop, and rock by the Gustavo Angeles Trio; children’s face painting; performances by Fiesta Mexicana Dance Company; a spotlight on Mexican instruments from MIM curator Daniel Piper; hands-on craft activities including traditional papel picado banners, tissue-paper flowers, and musical rattles inspired by the Tarahumara sonaja rattle on display in the Mexico exhibit. All activities are free with museum admission. A selection of Mexican-inspired dishes will also be available for purchase from the Café at MIM such as Mexican pork pozole stew with Mexican-lime perfumed rice and Mexican mole-spice braised beef with sweet corn pudding.
Mexican Independence Day Celebration
September 15 and 16, 2012. Councilman Michael Nowakowski invites residents to the largest Mexican Independence Day Celebration in Maryvale from 2 to 10 p.m. at Desert Sky Mall, 7611 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix. The two-day celebration features authentic Mexican food, arts, carnival rides and world-class artists. On behalf of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Councilman Nowakowski will present $100,000 in scholarships to students at 8 p.m.
Hispanic Heritage Day at Arizona Diamondbacks
Sunday, September 16, 2012. Join the D-backs as they play the rival San Francisco Giants and recognize the fans, players and the Hispanic community. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. outside the stadium along the Plaza and 4th Street and include Lucha Libre USA wrestling matches, food trucks, tailgate games and inflatables. In addition, there will be Folklorico dancers and Mariachi performers throughout the ballpark prior to the game. D-backs players and coaches will wear their customary black jerseys with “Los D-backs” across the front for the fifth consecutive season. Following the game, the jerseys will be available for auction at dbacks.com/auctions with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The D-backs will honor prominent business leaders in the Hispanic Community on the field prior to the game. Chase Field, Phoenix.
¡Celebramos! Hispanic Heritage at Phoenix Public Library
Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N. Central Ave.) will host 5 free programs in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month:
Thursday, September 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Author and community historian Frank Barrios shares stories from his book “Mexicans in Phoenix.”
Thursday, October 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Música de las Américas with La Familia Guerrero.
Thursday, October 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Día de los Muertos: Storytelling with Zarco
Saturday, October 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring the kids to make paper-mache skulls in honor of the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
Sunday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Families are invited to create masks from paper with Emily Costello and Zarco using simple folding and cutting techniques.
Chandler's Mariachi Festival
October 6, 2012. Featuring performances by Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Flores Mexicans, Particia Martin, Ballet Folklorico Quetazalli at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
The Sonoran Desert Chorale presents Music of Nueva España
On October 6, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. (First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Avenue, Mesa) and October 7, 2012 at 3 p.m. (Valley Presbyterian, 6947 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley) Music of Nueva España will celebrate aspects of Latin America's sacred heritage with origins in the rituals of Central America's indigenous cultures, and the traditions of Mexico's great cathedrals. The concert will include 16th century music of the Aztecs sung in their native Nahuatl language, sacred texts in Quechuan from the heights of the Andes, as well as music written by chapel masters from Mexico City. Single tickets for adults are $15 each, tickets for seniors are $12 each, tickets for children are $12 each, and groups of 10 or more are $12 each.
Hispanic Women's Conference
October 11 & 12, 2012. The largest gathering of Latinas in the nation will meet in Downtown Phoenix. The conference aims to motivate, educate, and provide a prime opportunity to build lasting and beneficial relationships with other women and sponsoring organizations nationwide.
Sunday, October 14, 2012 from noon to 8 p.m. Tempe Tardeada is a perfect time for families to explore and discover Tempe's Hispanic roots and culture, dating back to the mid-1800s, through entertainment, music, dance, art and exhibits. The entertainment stage will feature music ranging from traditional mariachi and boleros, to salsa and Latin dance music. This free event takes place at the Tempe Community Complex, located near the Tempe Public Library at Rural Road and Southern Avenue.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.