By Melanie Graysmith
National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated September 15 to October 15, is an annual opportunity to recognize the varied contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States. The recognition became a month long commemoration in 1988, with the September 15 start chosen to acknowledge the independence day anniversaries of five Latin American countries that declared independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Belize, Chile and Mexico independence followed just a few days later. Most importantly, National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the presence, achievements and rich contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America. San Francisco, with its abundance of Hispanic and Latino influence and culture, is full of ways to observe the heritage all month long.
The Mexican Museum
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd., Building D
San Francisco, CA 94123
Dates: Sept. 16, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Sept. 24, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
San Francisco’s Mexican Museum, located at the Fort Mason Center in the Marina District, is home to an extensive permanent collection of more than 16.000 art objects that highlight an outstanding range from pre-historic Hispanic to Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Latino and Chicano Art. In September during Hispanic Heritage Month the museum will celebrate Mexican Independence Day, along with an array of events to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month:
September 16, 2017, 5 pm-7 pm: Join The Mexican Museum today as it celebrates Mexican Independence Day and kicks-off Hispanic Heritage Month. Enjoy free drinks and light appetizers while enjoying all the art and culture The Mexican Museum has to offer, including the new exhibition, Mexican Masters on Paper! The event is co-sponsored by Tommy’s Margarita Mix and Casa Sanchez, San Francisco. Enjoy the new exhibition now on view, while perhaps discussing subjects of the past, present and future as you enjoy free chips and salsa, and of course a margarita! Not to be missed!
September 24, 2017, 12 pm-4 pm: In honor of the legendary artists featured in the museum’s current exhibition Mexican Masters on Paper, enjoy the12:30pm tour for guests to learn about the artworks on display, and then create drawings of their own. The art activity will begin at 2pm with museum volunteers leading the program and supplies will be provided. Like all Family Sundays, this is a free event and open to people of all ages. Due to limited space, attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Note: A parent or guardian must accompany all children.
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dates: Sept. 15 through Nov. 2
The San Francisco Library has more than books and DVDs to offer. The library is a total community resource serving San Francisco neighborhood residents and beyond. San Francisco libraries celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a range of activities and events highlighting the rich Latino Hispanic culture in the City. Here is what the SFPL has planned:
Celebrate Latino Hispanic Heritage Month at the San Francisco Public Library with ¡VIVA! a diverse citywide celebration of Latino Hispanic cultures through music, food, dance, crafts, and more. Every library will host at least one special event for youth, adults, and families.
The SFPL is happy to welcome back favorites such as the La Familia Peña-Govea singing songs for children in English and Spanish while playing a range of acoustic instruments from Latin America, and Danza Azteca Xitlalli- Xolotl bringing traditional indigenous dances of the Mexica to our libraries.
New this year are Cascada de Flores presenting “The Tree and Donkey who Loved to Sing,” a bilingual participatory story exploding with song, ancient musical instruments, and sweet characters of Mexican music dance.
For those who prefer hands-on programs, families can learn how to make salsa or a new delicious Latin American dish from A Little Yumminess.
You won’t want to miss Grammy-nominated bilingual children’s musical legend José-Luis Orozco and Latin Grammy-winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band either!
At San Francisco Public Library, ¡VIVA! runs from September 15 – November 2 to incorporate Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead celebrations, which this year include altar-making workshops at a variety of locations. Colorful and overflowing with offerings, the Día de los Muertos altar is a celebration of those who have passed on.
Mission Dolores Neighborhood Walking Tour
San Francisco City Guides
100 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dates: Sept.17, 24 and Oct. 1, 8, 15
Get up close and personal with San Francisco’s oldest and most historically significant building and its vibrant surrounding neighborhood. History rich and exceptionally situated in one of San Francisco’s best-loved neighborhoods, Mission Dolores is both the oldest intact Mission in California and San Francisco’s oldest building, founded 1776. This city Guides adventure is an approximately 1.5 hours tour is led by a highly knowledgeable and trained tour guides. City Tours, a non-profit organization founded in 1978, offers an almost infinite roster of fun and informative tours all around the City and beyond. Visit the website for additional information.
Salsa Sunday Block Party
Shattuck and University Avenues
Berkeley, CA 94704
Dates: Sept. 17 and Oct. 15, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Let’s go Salsa Sundays! Here is a block party perfect for late summer fun and happening in Downtown Berkeley, just across the Bay Bridge not far from San Francisco. Salsa Sundays, now in its 4th year, makes for another terrific way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month while practicing your salsa moves while dancing in the street to free live dance music. You say you have two left feet? No worries, the party begins at noon with free dance lessons so there’s no excuse. Impress your friends with those newly learned dance moves when some of the best DJs and salsa bands around hit the stage to keep the sounds going to 6 pm.
Afro-Salsa Sound with Ricardo Lemvo
Yerba Buena Gardens
773 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Date: Sept. 21, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is a unique independent outdoor event venue committed to bringing a wide array of FREE curated arts programming to the Yerba Buena Gardens and other public sites in San Francisco. Yerba Buena Gardens is an urban oasis smack in the heart of bustling San Francisco that offers tons of artistic, community centered, and culturally distinctive programs in an expansive calendar that everyone can enjoy. There definitely is something for everyone here at the YBG Festival. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the irresistibly captivating Afro-salsa sounds of Ricardo Lemvo, tapping into his Angolan-Congolese roots to blend with Cuban charanga and son (dance music) along with his original songs in several languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, Kikongo, Lacumi and more. This highly entertaining, hip, and beautifully arranged musical program is sure to be wildly popular, as Ricardo Lemvo is a longtime perennial favorite at the YBG Festival. Read all about Yerba Buena Gardens and the annual YBG Festival at the website.