Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in San Antonio

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click to enlarge Guadalupe Dance Company - Photo by Edward Benavides
Photo by Edward Benavides
Guadalupe Dance Company

September 15 marked the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a 30-day celebration honoring the cultures, histories and contributions of Hispanic artists, storytellers, musicians and leaders in the United States.

In San Antonio, where the city is rich in Hispanic culture and influences, there's a lot to appreciate. So, in recognition of the cultural celebration, we've selected five events to be at the top of your list of things to check out this month. 

1. Celebrando Tradiciones
7 p.m. Fri., Sept. 16 Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St. alamo.edu
Mirroring its 1991 premiere performance, the Guadalupe Dance Company marks its 25th anniversary with a bang on Diez y Seis de Septiembre. Celebrando Tradiciones will pull out all the stops. Accompanied by the Mariachi Azteca de America, the company will perform newly choreographed works by members of the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos as well as some of its favorite dances, including the traditional Danzas Aztecas. The night kicks off with a pre-show pachanga, a silent auction (with a guitar signed by Tejano/conjunto artists among the notable items), and food and drinks available for purchase. After the company’s performance, the party continues with a post-show fiesta. This jam-packed event will give you a taste of Mexico’s colorful traditions as well as a glimpse of its artistic future with an evening that satisfies all the senses.  Kelly Merka Nelson

2. Vitrina Latino Music & Culture Festival
3 p.m. to midnight, Sept. 24, Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave., vitrinafestival.com
The music and culture festival has promised a day of food, dancing, screenings and even a demonstration on "The Mechanics of Mariachi," breaking down the instruments, voices and role of mariachis in Hispanic culture. The festival brings a full day of activities and one event we're truly looking forward to: a Selena look-a-like contest. A screening of Selena (what would Hispanic Heritage month be without mention of the Queen of Tejano?) will follow the contest. – AL

3. Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibit
San Antonio Public Library, multiple locations, mysapl.org 
With the spotlight on Hispanic artists this month, the SAPL is exhibiting works by local creatives, showcasing the talents of Thelma Muraida at the Cortez Library, 2803 Hunter Blvd., through Nov. 7; Guadalupe Marmolejo, Tobin Library, 4134 Harry Wurzbach, through Oct. 7; Sarah Castillo, Bazan Library, 2200 W. Commerce; and Chris Castillo, Memorial Library, 322 Culebra.  – AL

4. Who’s Telling Our Story?
6-9 p.m. Sept. 29, LSC Round, San Antonio College, 1819 N. Main Ave., alamo.edu
Moderated by Mexican-American studies professors Dr. Lisa Ramos and Mono Aguila, the evening’s discussion will focus on the controversy surrounding Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s recent textbook selection for MAS courses, which labels Mexicans as “lazy”, fails to recognize that Mexicans and Mexican Americans have indigenous roots and portrays the Chicana/Chicano movement as one that wanted to destroy US society. – AL

5. Writer's Reading and Q&A with Tino Villanueva 
4:30 p.m. Sat. Oct. 1 at the Central Library, 600 Soledad, mysapl.org
Considered a prominent player in the Chicano Literary Renaissance, Tino Villaneuva, author of seven poetry books including Scene from the Movie GIANT and Hay Otro Vez, will visit the Central Library for a lecture and Q&A. Aspiring poets welcome. – AL

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