Arts & Culture

How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month During a Pandemic

Online art exhibits, livestream Salsa classes and more round out this year's cultural festivities.

Jennifer Simonson
Posted on Sep 15, 2020

Each year Dallas joins the rest of the nation to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Hispanic Americans. Former president, and fellow Texan, Lyndon B. Johnson first declared a National Hispanic Heritage Week back in 1968 before former president, and fellow Texan, George H. W. Bush extended the week to a month in 1989. Since then we have been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month every Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. 

As with almost everything celebratory, COVID has tried its best to put a kibosh on the fun, but we are not going to let that happen. Here are some ways you can help celebrate Dallas' vibrant Hispanic culture even during the pandemic.

Explore Mexican Art
Dallas Museum of Art 
If you did not get a chance to see the Flores Mexicana: Women in Modern Mexican Art exhibit before the Dallas Museum of Art temporarily closed its doors due to the pandemic, now is your chance. The museum has reopened its doors to the public just in time for HIspanic Heritage Month. The Flores Mexicana exhibition explores themes of gender, politics, and the role of the new modern woman in Mexico. Featured artists include the creme de la creme of Mexican artists including María Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Alfredo Ramos Martínez's monumental 9-foot by 12-foot Flores Mexicana painting that inspired the exhibition is also on display.  Martínez, one of the founders of Mexican modernism, painted the piece in 1929. This is just the second time it has been on display in almost a century.

virtual exhibit on the museum's website is also available for those who are more comfortable exploring art from home.

Take a Photo with El Divo de Juárez
Stop by the Mercado369 galleries in Oak Cliff to take a photo with the only life-sized statue of Juan Gabriel in the United States. The pop icon, also known as the Divo de Juárez, is widely considered one of the most prolific Mexican singers and songwriters of all time. He passed away in 2016, but his spirit lives on in a bronze statue outside Mercado369. After you snap a selfie with the famous singer, stroll through the mercado to check out the gallery's one-of-a-kind original art that reflects the rich culture and history of Latin America.

Visit the Latino Cultural Center
Latino Cultural Center
The multi-disciplinary arts center formed to promote Latino art and culture is technically closed to the public during the pandemic, but you can still set up an appointment to see their newest exhibition - Quetzal Quatro: Genaro Hernandez, Juan J. Hernandez, Samuel Torres and Jose Vargas. The artwork of the four Dallas-based Latino artists comes together to explore each of the artist's ancestral pasts. The gallery is open by appointment only Thursdays through Saturdays. You can make reservations for 45-minute blocks for up to five people from the same household.

Dance the Cha-Cha
Online and in-person
Latin America has a rich dance culture. From Argentine Tango to Cuban Salsa to Brazilian Samba, there is more than one way to shake your hips in the world of Latin dance. Studio 22 Dallas teaches all those plus Meringue, Cha Cha, Bolero and more. Traditionally an in-person dance studio, owners have transitioned many of the classes online, so you can take your pick whether you want to mask up and dance in the studio or stay at home and dance from the comfort of your own mask-free living room.