By the Johnson County Museum
From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 each year, we commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a time to celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinos across the country, and especially here in Johnson County. From Spanish explorers, to Mexican traders and laborers, to recent Central and South American immigrants, the Kansas City region has deep Latino history. Today, the Latino community is Johnson County’s fastest growing population. Overland Park was recently named one of the best places for Latinos to open their own business, and Kansas City was the home of the first Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the United States.
The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is proud to launch a month-long virtual celebration for National Hispanic Heritage Month. Building upon the success of last year’s in-person event and adapting to current gathering restrictions and health protocols, this year’s celebration is moving online. Join the Johnson County Museum and JCPRD’s Fine and Performing Arts department in celebrating the rich local Latino history, art, and culture from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Full event details and links to special features available at: https://www.jcprd.com/1566/Hispanic-Heritage-Month.
Here is an outline of the special events, features, and initiatives going on to mark this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. Follow @JoCoMuseum and @JoCoAHC on social media for more information!
- September 15 “Latinos in the Heartland/ Latinos en el Corazón de los Estados Unidos,” the Johnson
County Museum’s 2019 bilingual exhibit is available online as a digital exhibit.
- September 28 Award-winning children’s author and Kansas native Angela Cervantes reads a selection from her novelization of Disney / Pixar’s “Coco.” Giveaway: Five lucky people who watch the clip and comment will win a signed copy of the Cervantes’ popular book.
- October 5 Erik Erazo shares a unique look at Olathe School District’s Hispanic Leadership Lowrider Bike Club and the high school students seeking to make a difference in our community. Video link coming soon.
- October 8 In “May Our Voices Ring True,” Kansas Poet Laureate Huascar Medina invites viewers
to find their voice, share their words, and discover what truly connects us all through poetry. This free program begins at 6 pm on Zoom. Registration is required, call (913) 831-3359. This signature program is sponsored by Humanities Kansas with funding from the Barton P. and Mary Davidson Cohen Charitable Trust.
- October 12 An exploration of the history and culture of altares, family remembrance displays prepared for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, observed on Nov. 1 each year) with award-winning author, poet, artist, and scholar Xánath Caraza. Video link coming soon.
- October 15 Virtual Screening and discussion of “Borderlands,” a moving installment from Art21’s landmark tenth season of the Peabody Award-winning Art in the Twenty-First Century television series – the longest-running television series on contemporary art. This is a free program, but advance registration is required. Call (913) 831-3359. Registration information and link coming soon.
Johnson County is home to many Latino-owned restaurants. Inside each establishment is a story that is part of our community’s history. Throughout the month, the Johnson County Museum will be highlighting Latino-owned restaurants in Johnson County, their stories, and each restaurant’s signature dish. Followers will be encouraged to share their favorite dish from a local Latino-owned restaurant with the hashtag #JoCoTakeOutChallenge throughout the month. During the signature programs on Oct. 8 and 15, participants will be encouraged to share the dishes they are enjoying as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month together.
Latino Collecting Initiative
Lastly, throughout the month the museum will share stories it has collected over the last year as a part of its Latino Collecting Initiative. Launched during the 2019 Hispanic Heritage Month, the Latino Collecting Initiative is helping the museum to tell a fuller and more inclusive story of Johnson County. Still going on today, the initiative has yielded fascinating stories that shed light on the diverse experiences of Johnson Countians. If you have a story or artifact to share about your experiences in Johnson County, email firstname.lastname@example.org.