The 30 days between September 15 and October 15 are considered Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, a period of time that contains independence days and national holidays ("Fiestas Patrias") for Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chile. If you’re looking to take part in this occasion—and you should!—we’ve rounded up a handful of events in and around Seattle for you to celebrate and broaden your cultural understanding, from the Seattle Latino Film Festival to the MEXAM NW Festival.
SEPTEMBER 13–OCTOBER 13
MEXAM NW Festival
Curated by Seattle's Mexican consulate in cooperation with local partners, this multi-venue and multi-event festival honors our neighbors to the south and our longstanding close relationship with them. Now in its fifth year, Mexam 2021's headline event is the Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias festival. Other highlights during this month-long event include Concierto “El Grito” (Wed Sept 15 at the National Nordic Museum), an afternoon with National Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (Fri Sept 18 at Artxchange), concerts at the Good Shepherd Center (Oct 6 & 13), the B-Town Fiesta (Sat Sept 25 in Burien), and AQUÍ Y AHORA: Without Borders (all month on KEXP), so you'll have plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself into the rich and varied Latinx culture.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
FOOD & DRINK
Garzón Latinx Street Food Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
The pop-up Garzón Latinx Street Food will celebrate the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month with a menu of food specials like soba lomo saltado, chicken milanesa sandwiches, vegetable egg rolls, and steak pinchos just for the occasion. The pop-up bakery Selva Central Goods will provide pan dulce, while DJ Tremenda Diosa will provide the tunes.
Great Notion Brewing, Ballard
The 2 Tenors Concert
With the primary goal of promoting the performing arts and culture to youth of underrepresented populations, Encanto Arts has partnered with rural elementary schools for a free, virtual screening of a resonant opera concert filmed in Olympic Sculpture Park. The two tenors sharing the stage are special guest Alfredo Carrillo from Durango, Mexico and executive director Jose Iniguez (who was also responsible for the creation of the featured libretto), with musical arrangement and an original piano composition by Andrew Pang.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
Downtown Redmond's hub for Mexican culture and arts will proudly display an art exhibition featuring the work of Latino artists across the region. Join the Centro Cultural Mexicano for an opening reception (Fri Sept 17) in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, or view the works at your leisure before the show closes mid-October.
Centro Cultural Mexicano, Redmond
READINGS & TALKS
Sandra Cisneros with Manuel Muñoz
A key figure in Chicana literature, two-time National Endowment for the Arts recipient Sandra Cisneros makes a virtual return to Seattle from her home in San Miguel de Allende to deliver a bilingual reading from her new novel Martita, I Remember You / Martita, te recuerdo. The masterfully told tale is a tribute to the power of friendship and the ties that bind us. La edición en español está traducida por Liliana Valenzuela.
Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias 2021
To commemorate the independence of different countries within the Latin America region, Sea Mar Community Health Centers will present a livestream of multicultural performances (Sat Sept 18), with an in-person health fair the following day. Make sure to get your stretching in for some lively Zumba workshops, keep your fingers crossed during the scheduled giveaways, and take this opportunity to get vaccinated if you haven't already!
Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture, South Park
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
Washington State Fair Fiestas Patrias
Celebrate Mexican culture and arts with a full day of live performances, including the Mariachi Divas with Ballet Folklorico Tonantzin, Banda Vagos, and the Bailadores de Bronce. Don't forget to check out the baby animals and fair rides while you're there.
Washington State Fair Events Center, Puyallup
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Casa Latina’s virtual En Camino Gala: Rooted & Resilient
This free virtual gala, sponsored by Latino immigrant-supporting nonprofit Casa Latina, will feature music, dancing, and keynote speeches from Casa Latina member Jorge Zepeda and Emmy-winning investigative journalist Maria Hinojosa.
As part of the MEXAM NW Festival, head to Burien for Latinx folk dancing, live music from the likes of Son de Cuba and Tequila Rock, Zumba and salsa dancing classes, and more. Plus, expect plenty of food and craft vendors, a beer garden, and kids' activities. If you're not yet vaccinated, Sea Mar Community Health Centers will be on-site as well providing free shots.
Burien Town Square Park
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
READINGS & TALKS
Miguel Rivera with Claudia Castro Luna
The late, award-winning Guatemalan poet Humberto Ak’abal will be celebrated at this virtual reading. Originally writing in his native indigenous language of Kʼicheʼ, Ak’abal also translated his poems into Spanish, from which fellow Guatemalan and tonight's featured guest Miguel Rivera translated them into English. Hear about the process and the collection In the Courtyard of the Moon at this event with former Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2
El Centro de la Raza's Building the Beloved Community Gala
This annual gala hosted by El Centro de la Raza, a nonprofit focused on Latino social justice, raises money to support the children, youth, families, and seniors in their programs. This year's edition will be virtual, with "some special in-person elements," including special meals available for delivery.
El Centro de la Raza, Beacon Hill
Fiestas Patrias & Hispanic Heritage Month
The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture will host an Eastside celebration of this season's Hispanic independence holidays, complete with a curated selection of artifacts and displays from the museum. There will also be music and dancing from DJ Carlos Valencia and Bailadores de Bronce, respectively, plus kids' entertainment from Clown Buggie.
Seattle Latino Film Festival
This 13th annual Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature both in-person and online screenings of films from almost 20 countries. Highlights include the documentary LA Quinceañera, Brazilian thriller The Fall, and Mexican rom-com Modern Love. Don't miss opening night at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, where the Uruguayan comedy The Broken Glass Theory will premiere and Honduran-American actor Dennis Mencia (Jane the Virgin, Infiltrators) will MC.
Online and Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14
Latino Community Fund Virtual Gala
Get inspired by stories of resilience and social justice at the Latino Community Fund of Washington State's virtual gala.