Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Smithsonian

September 13, 2017
News Release
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The Smithsonian invites the public to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15) with a series of vibrant performances, lectures, exhibitions, family activities and tours at various museums around the Smithsonian. All programs are free unless otherwise indicated. For a full calendar of events, visit https://www.si.edu/events/heritagemonth.

Weekend Activities

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a full day of family activities Sunday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including live music, gourmet cuisine and educational activities focused on conservation in Central and South America, Visitors will meet Zoo scientists who are working to save native species and learn about their research. Featured animals from Latin America include Andean bears, two-toed sloths, giant anteaters, golden lion tamarins and Panamanian golden frogs. This program, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center’s ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert program series, is made possible, in part, by NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.

“Hispanic Heritage Month Remix: An Intergenerational Tribute to African American Poetry and Musical Traditions” will be held in the National Museum of African American History and Culture Saturday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program, co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Latino Center, will feature Afro-Latino poets Sandra Maria Estevez and Sammy Miranda, among others, performing pieces that are a reflection of contemporary African American and Afro-Latino issues.

The family program experience will include local DJ Jim Byers as well as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings streaming music of the African American and Afro Latino experience. Young visitors and their families can participate in hands-on activities, and meet experts from local organizations. The program will conclude with a dance concert from New York based Afro-Latino Hip Hop group, Circa 95. This program is made possible in part by Southwest Airlines.

The Anacostia Community Museum will present “From Nicaragua to D.C., an Artist’s Journey” Saturday, Sept. 30, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The discussion will give visitors insight into the artistic and personal journey of artist Luis Peralta Del Valle.


The National Museum of the American Indian will host “Heart of the Earth: A Kaqchikel Maya Dance Experience” Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Twice daily, Grupo Sotz’il will give an hour-long music and a dance performance that addresses environmental issues. Throughout each day, they will also be on hand to tell the stories behind their instruments and masks.

The Anacostia Community Museum will feature “Rhythm Café: The Rumba Club” Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. with performances by the Baltimore-based Rumba Club.

For Young Visitors

Children can stop by the National Portrait Gallery for the museum’s Portrait Story Day Series. Young visitors can participate in an art activity after listening to a story about a well-known Hispanic leader, inventor, activist or artist. The program is organized in partnership with D.C. Public Libraries.

Portrait Story Days: Dolores Huerta
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16–17; 1–4 p.m.

Portrait Story Days: José Limón
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23–24; 1–4 p.m.

Portrait Story Days: Cesar Chavez
Sunday, Oct. 1; 1–4 p.m.

Portrait Story Days: Sonia Sotomayor
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7–8; 1–4 p.m.

Portrait Story Days: Pedro Martinez
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14–15; 1–4 p.m.

The National Air and Space Museum will present “Hispanic Heritage Month: Innovators in Air and Space” Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum-wide event celebrates the contributions of Latinos to aviation and space exploration.

The National Museum of the American Indian in New York will present “The Story of Chocolate” Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event celebrates the history of one of the world’s favorite treats. Visitors can grind cacao beans, create a pottery design with Maya glyphs, and learn about the science, art and cultural traditions surrounding chocolate.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum will host its “Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day” Saturday, Oct. 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can dance in the courtyard, create colorful crafts and participate in a museum-wide scavenger hunt to discover works by Hispanic artists and art inspired by Hispanic culture.


The National Museum of American History offers “Cooking Up History: Hispanic Food Migrations,” Saturday, Sept. 16, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. This food demonstration features a guest chef preparing a variety of recipes while discussing their ingredients and roots in Hispanic culture.

Traditional and Virtual Exhibitions

The National Museum of the American Indian’s ongoing exhibition “The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire” explores the foundations of the Inka Road, technologies that made building the road possible, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day.

The National Museum of American History’s recently opened exhibition “Many Voices, One Nation” looks at the intersections of Spanish, Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and U.S. history. Objects on display range from a conquistador helmet to a section of a border fence that once stood between Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali, Mexico, displayed with artifacts that illustrate border crossings and culture, including Tejano Musician Flaco Jimenez’ accordion.

The Smithsonian Latino Center in partnership with Google Cultural Institute has launched the Latino Cultures in the US (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/project/uslatinocultures) project featuring two Latino Center curated virtual exhibitions on Latino DC and Latino Foodways, and a virtual tour of DC Latino Street Murals.

All Hispanic Heritage month programs at the Smithsonian are subject to change. Unless otherwise indicated, Smithsonian Heritage Month programs are free. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month programs, visit www.si.edu/events/heritagemonth or email heritagemonths@si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, the public may call 202-633-1000.

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