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Sep 29

Enjoy food, music, poetry, and more during Hispanic Heritage Month event

Posted on September 29, 2021 at 4:16 PM by Becky Burnside

Honoring the culture and contributions of Latino Americans in Johnson County and across the United States is the goal of a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration planned for Oct. 13 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center. 

This free event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at JCAHC, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. The public is invited and advance registration is not required for this free community event.

“This is a great opportunity to see, taste, hear, and experience the incredible and diverse Latino cultures in Johnson County,” said Johnson County Museum Curator of Interpretation Andrew Gustafson. “Latinos make up a historic community in Johnson County.”

The event will include live performances throughout the evening from Mariachi Estrella KC, Iskay, Jessica Ayala, and Calpulli Iskali, and a poetry reading from internationally acclaimed poet Xánath Caraza.  In addition, the Olathe Hispanic Leadership Lowrider Bike Club will have some of their projects available, there will be a facsimile of an amazing Aztec Codex from the UMKC Special Collections available for viewing as well as student projects from a Latino literature class at Shawnee Mission North High School and an opportunity for participants to make their own Codex, the El Centro organization will be on-site, and there will be paletas (ice cream treats) for everyone!

Hispanic Heritage Month A Photo 2019

This will be the third year the Johnson County Museum has presented Hispanic Heritage Month event. The first was an in-person event in 2019, which drew “a couple hundred” attendees, followed by a virtual event in 2020 which reached thousands of Johnson Countians through recorded videos still available on the Museum’s Facebook page, and now back to a live format for 2021.

“This is such a great family-friendly, come-and-go event,” Gustafson said. “(JCPRD) Culture Division staff, along with more than a half dozen community partners, have been planning this event for months. There is plenty of space to spread out at the arts & heritage center, and COVID-19 protocols will be in place, including recommended mask wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing.”

Another museum offering involving Latino history in Johnson County will take the form of a Thursday, Oct. 7, program called Latinos on the Santa Fe Trail, which will be part of celebrating the famed trail’s 200th anniversary.  In this one-hour in-person program, which will take place beginning at 6 p.m. at JCAHC, Dr. Gene Chavez will reveal a slightly different perspective of the trail: Mexican traders traveling east up the trail to Missouri!

This program is for ages 21 and older and will include snacks and beer. The cost is $6 per person for ages 21 to 60, $5 for ages 60 and older, and museum members receive a 20% discount. Register for this program at

Hispanic Heritage Month B Photo 2019