Rhode Island Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Rhode Island Latino Arts prepares for the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with upcoming events and a reminder for those to tell their stories.
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The 2019 Heritage Festival. Photo courtesy of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.

Rhode Island is getting ready to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month with its oldest annual celebration of Latin art and culture.

Established in 1988 as the Spanish Heritage Committee by Marta V. Martínez, Rhode Island Latino Arts is devoted to preserving, promoting and supporting the history, culture and art of the Latin American community. The nonprofit organization is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary as they continue to honor Hispanic Americans throughout the country.

This year, Rhode Island Latino Arts is asking those who identify as Hispanic to share their stories and use their voices to make a difference. By doing so, Latin Americans help others and create opportunities to understand the past and present Hispanic culture.

Making up nearly 18 percent of Americans, the Latino, Latina and Latinx communities are encouraged to embrace their heritage from September 15 to October 15.  To help commemorate the rich history of Latin Americans, Rhode Island Latino Arts will be hosting their signature fiesta Sabor Latino (which is celebrating thirty-five years) on Sunday, September 10. They are also promoting Rhode Island’s forty-fifth Heritage Festival which will feature Hispanic representation across a number of different cultures. Taking place Saturday, October 21, at the WaterFire Arts Center, the lively event bridges Rhode Islanders’ cultures showcases a world of creative talent within the state. Rhode Island heritage groups will present cultural exhibits, visual art and musical performances. Cultro PVD, Eat Village Greek, Angkor Boba Tea House and the Luxe Lemon food trucks will be on-site with an array of traditional foods and drinks for purchase. The 88th Army’s Rock Band “Down Rage Rhythm” will warm up the crowd at 11:30 a.m. before the festival officially begins around noon with a parade of international flags from more than thirty countries.

To learn more about these events and others, visit rilatinoarts.org and preservation.ri.gov/heritage/45th-ri-heritage-festival.