Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15 each year, the Copyright Alliance proudly celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month! This month is a celebration of the history and culture of citizens whose roots lie in Mexico, Central and South America, The Caribbean, and Spain.

History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month was first observed in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, following a proposal for its introduction by Californian Congressman George E. Brown. Brown, who represented a district in the Los Angeles area, emphasized the need for the celebration and recognition of the Latinx* community in the wake of the civil rights movement, as there was a growing understanding of multicultural communities in the United States.

A variety of days during this month represent significant moments in Latinx history. September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Additionally, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21.

Following a declaration from President Johnson, the subsequent three Presidents recognized the week of September 15 as Hispanic Heritage Week. Then, in 1987, Californian Representative Esteban Torres proposed an expansion of the week to a full month. This expansion was officially adopted under the sponsorship of Senator Paul Simon and President Ronald Reagan via Public Law 100-402, which expanded Hispanic Heritage Week from the week of September 15 to a full month spanning until October 15. President George H.W. Bush then became the first president to declare Hispanic Heritage Month on September 14, 1989.

*The Copyright Alliance acknowledges the complicated linguistic and intersectional conversations surrounding the use of Latinx. We have opted to use this form to encompass our values and remain inclusive of those outside the gender binary. We remain committed to learning and adapting as language and viewpoints evolve. 

Museums to Visit during Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Society Museum & Library, located on 155th Street in New York City, focuses on the culture and arts of Spain, the Philippines, Latin America, and Portugal. This Museum and Library displays over 900 paintings and 6,000 watercolors and drawings. Additionally, it holds over 170,000 photographs, 15,000 prints, and 300,000 books—and that isn’t even their entire collection!

The National Museum of Mexican Art, located in Chicago, Illinois, is “the only Latino Museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.” It also holds one of the largest Mexican art collections in the U.S., which consists of 11,000 pieces from ancient Mexico to the present. Not only does the museum display impeccable artwork created by the Latinx community, but it also hosts a number of cultural programs ranging from dance performances and symposiums to featuring authors and musical works.

National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC), located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is “dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities.” Since opening its doors in 2000, NHCC has accumulated over 3,000 permanent pieces of artwork. The museum is home to three theaters, a library, an art museum, and so much more. Additionally, NHCC holds two to three exhibitions each year, some of which can be viewed virtually.

El Museo del Barrio, located on Fifth Avenue in New York City, is a cultural institution that exhibits exclusively Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American art. It opened its doors in the 1970s as it displayed its first exhibition titled “The Art Heritage of Puerto Rico.” As of August 2022, it has been reported that El Museo del Barrio has collected over 8,000 diverse and permanent show pieces. This has allowed them to divide their collections into four different essential categories: Modern and Contemporary Art, Graphics, Taíno/Pre-Columbian, and Popular Traditions.

Blogs and Articles from 2022

Latinx Anti-Racism Resources

The Copyright Alliance also assembled additional creative and educational resources in support of the BIPOC community on our main BIPOC page.

Books

Articles/Online Resources

Podcasts

Organizations

Creators Highlighted during Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Listed below are several Latinx creators spanning multiple countries who have contributed across a variety of mediums. Working on everything from film to fine art, these creators are each significant contributors to Latin-American culture.