National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15–Oct. 15 each year, commemorates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The celebration begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also observe their independence days during this period.
Here’s how you can celebrate this rich tradition, history and culture in Denver. (Versión en español aquí).
Latin Fashion Week Colorado (Sept. 16–24, 2020)
Created to honor the rich diversity in the Latino creative community, Latin Fashion Week Colorado aims to create tomorrow's new wave of talented fashion designers and artists with recognition on a national and international level. This year's virtual event will be held online.
The Gonzalo Teppa Quintet (Through Sept. 25, 2020)
Venezuelan bassist Gonzalo Teppa presents his quintet at Nocturne, performing a collection of his compositions that draw from the musical wells of contemporary jazz, Latin American music (Venezuelan, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban), blues, free jazz and more.
Hispanic Heritage Month Free Day at Museo de las Americas (Oct. 10, 2020)
Museo de las Americas is teaming up with Denver Public Library for a free day at Museo that is entirely en español! From museum tours, to arts and crafts, everything will be in Spanish. The Bookmobile will also be there, full of Spanish books, movies and magazines, as well as some free giveaways for nuestras families! Please RSVP online.
Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas (Through Oct. 17, 2020)
This unique exhibit at Museo de las Americas is a hybrid of in-person museum experiences and digital engagement opportunities and features about 80 instruments dating from 1000 BCE to 1530 CE. Visitors will be able to explore the music of the Olmec, Andean and Maya peoples and learn how they used music in everyday life and ceremonies.
La Misión: Hecho de Tierra y Espirtu (Through Oct. 23, 2020)
Featuring around twenty unique pieces of art dating from the 17th century to the present, La Misión at Museo de las Americas explores the narrative of the peoples living in the Rio Grande River Valley and the visual language unique to the colonial artwork of New Mexico. For an immersive experience, the gallery has been made reminiscent of a mission church interior to provide context for the many Santos, retablos and other artworks in the exhibit.
Media Noche Honrado (Latin Jazz) (Through Oct. 28, 2020)
Assembled by Denver jazz pianist/arranger Justin Adams, Media Noche Honrado is playing at Nocturne throughout the months of September and October to honor the Latin jazz art form and the late Jimmy Trujillo, bassist and original member of Denver's Media Noche.
Hecho en Colorado (Through Jan. 10, 2021)
See historically significant paintings, sculptures, textiles and writings from Colorado's Chicano/Mexican American community, including prominent figures like Carlota Espinoza, Carlos Fresquez and David Ocelotl García, as well as selections from up-and-coming artists. Hecho en Colorado (Made in Colorado) at History Colorado Center honors the artistic achievements of a community whose impact continues to shape Colorado culture.
Opportunities exist all year long to learn Latin dances and try out the moves!
Colorado New Style Dance specializes in Latin dance and offers a wide variety of classes for adults and kids. Various levels of salsa, bachata, capoeira and other classes are available.
Salsa Central Denver has a handy list of where to learn salsa and bachata every week and enjoy dancing to Latin beats, including its own Wednesday Salsa and Bachata Lessons and Dance where you can meet new people and practice all night long! There is an admission fee that includes a beginning salsa lesson. There is an extra fee for bachata and intermediate salsa. Lessons begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by open dancing from 8:30 p.m. to close.
Also on the list are bachata dancing with lessons on Wednesdays and Salsa Fridays at Blue Ice Lounge, which also has Rotating Latin Night on Thursdays and Latin Top 40 on Saturdays. More salsa and bachata lessons take place at La Rumba every night of the week — check the schedule for levels and times.