National Hispanic Heritage Month is normally a time for festivals, parades, performances, and other celebrations of Hispanic and Latinx culture on college campuses and in communities. Now, more than 50 years since the first observance of National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and more than three decades since its expansion to a monthlong celebration in 1989, many National Hispanic Heritage Month traditions have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, the internet has no shortage of virtual resources for observing this special time at home or in the online classroom. Featured below is a just a small sampling of the many virtual options for learning about and honoring Hispanic and Latinx culture in 2020.
The Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC)
SLC is responsible for a wide variety of education and inclusion efforts in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s multiple museums and research centers. Its numerous online resources include the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum, which describes itself as a “transmedia hub for 2-D and 3-D collections, online games, simulations, virtual worlds, and innovative programs in real-time, highlighting Smithsonian art and science collections.” An accompanying teacher’s toolkit provides bilingual learning activities for pre-K-16 classrooms and can be applied to in-person, online, or blended learning settings. latino.si.edu
Google Arts & Culture: Latino Cultures in the U.S.
Launched in 2017 in partnership with museums and organizations across the U.S., the Google Arts & Culture online collection is organized into the categories of film, sports, dance, music, tradition, and style. The site also highlights specific aspects of the Hispanic and Latinx experience, such as an online exhibit of queer Latinx culture and an oral history project on Hispanic and Latinx life during World War II. artsandculture.google.com/project/uslatinocultures
Grupo de Artistas LatinoAmericanos (GALA) Hispanic Theatre
The GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C., recently launched a new digital strategy, GALA En Familia, so that users can engage with Hispanic and Latinx performing arts from home. The site offers portions of performances, monologues, and readings paired with lectures and interviews from the actors, directors, and playwrights featured in each clip. All videos are in Spanish with options for subtitles in English and other languages. galatheatre.org
Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)
The MOLAA is the only U.S. museum fully dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx art. Physically located in Long Beach, California, the museum makes it easy to navigate its online materials via the MOLAA En Casa web page. Users can view online exhibits and pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, take video tours, and more. molaa.org