The City of Santa Monica invites the public to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with several events and activities that will bring to life the themes of elevate, educate, and empower between September 15 and October 15. A kick-off event, award ceremony, drive-in movies and author talks will illuminate the Latinx identity and experience as well as the contributions of the Latinx community in Santa Monica. The empowering events seek to provide economic mobility and networking opportunities as well as economic recovery resources.

“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the Hispanic and Latino American cultures and contributions, and celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries,” said the City’s Hispanic Heritage Month Steering Committee made up of staff from across the organization. “Our goal for this inaugural month-long event is to create a sustainable impact on the well-being of the Latinx community. We hope this serves as a model for programming, engagement and resources that uplift Latinx individual within the city. Collectively we believe this month will reinvigorate, reimagine, and redefine the role of the City in empowering the Latinx community moving forward. Join us in celebrating the Latinx identity and advancing racial equity.”

A list of the main events is below. To view the full list of events, visit santamonica.gov/blog/hispanic-heritage-month-2021. All events are complimentary for the public’s enjoyment.

All in-person events will follow LA County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 protocols. Please do not attend if you have been exposed to or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Unvaccinated persons are strongly recommended to wear a mask during the event. All persons are required to wear a mask when indoors.

Kickoff Event, Wednesday, September 15, 4 p.m.
Come out to the 1300 block of the Third Street Promenade (by the dinosaurs) to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with music, dance, art and mercadito. At 5 p.m. we will hear from special keynote speakers.

Screening of “90404 Changing,” Sunday, October 10
Check santamonica.gov/blog/hispanic-heritage-month-2021 for updates on time. Rooftop Cinema and the City’s Hispanic Heritage Month Committee present a special screening of “90404 Changing” at the Santa Monica Airport, 3233 Donald Douglas Loop S. The film details the history of an historic culturally diverse area within Santa Monica through the experiences of two locals, a Mexican-American teacher (Paulina Sahagun) who decides to make a documentary about her neighborhood and a black poet (Barry Shabaka Henley) who is knowledgeable about the hidden history of the area. We watch as their paths cross, and they ultimately join forces to excavate the moving and often surprising stories of this neighborhood.

Closing Celebration and Hispanic Heritage Awards, Friday, October 15, 3:30 p.m.

Join us at City Hall for a closing celebration featuring music, dance, art, and a lowrider car show you won’t want to miss. At this event, we will also honor local community members who have made a significant impact on Santa Monica’s Hispanic and Latinx community through outstanding dedication, recognizable action, excellent service, and noticeable changes, as demonstrated in one or more of the following criteria. Community members are encouraged to submit award nominations by Friday, September 24, 2021. Click here to view the nomination form in English. Click here to view the nomination form in Spanish.

Submitted by Constance Farrell, City of Santa Monica