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In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month this invitational exhibition will showcase the works of local Latinx artists. On display virtually as well as live in our gallery.
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to the fabric of American achievement. Hispanic Heritage Month actually began as a commemorative week when introduced in June 1968 by then California Congressman George E. Brown. The push to recognize the contributions of the Latinx/ Hispanic community gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak. The movement sparked a growing awareness of the United States’ multicultural demographic composition and the often unsung contributions of its marginalized ethnic and cultural communities. Brown, who represented East Los Angeles and a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley—both heavily populated by members of the Hispanic and Latinx communities—wanted to recognize the role played by those communities throughout American history. On September 17, 1968, Congress passed a law officially authorizing and requesting the president to issue annual proclamations declaring September 15 and 16 as the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week. President Lyndon Johnson issued the first Hispanic Heritage Week presidential proclamation the same day. From 1968 until 1988, Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan issued the yearly proclamations, setting aside a week to honor Hispanic Americans.
In 1987 U.S. Representative Esteban E. Torres of California proposed the expanding the observance to cover its current 31-day period. Torres wanted more time so that the nation could observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement. In 1988, this legislation successfully passed Congress and became law under by President Ronald Reagan. In 1989, President George H W Bush became the first president to declare the 31-day period from September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. He commemorated this occasion stating “Not all of the contributions made by Hispanic Americans to our society are so visible or so widely celebrated, however. Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation beyond measure with the quiet strength of closely-knit families and proud communities,”
The timing of Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American nations. September 15 was chosen as the kickoff because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of five “Central American neighbors,” as Johnson called them—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Those five nations declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.
Major funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. The Johns Creek Arts Center would like to thank the Fulton County Board of commissioners as well as Fulton County Arts & Culture for making this exhibition possible. Many thanks to the Curator and Program Director, Althea Foster; Director, Stephanie Donaldson; Web design, Kristen Lewkowitz and the entire team at the Johns Creek Arts Center for their many efforts in the coordination and administration of the exhibition. Special thanks to all of the artists involved for sharing their talents and creativity with our Arts Center community.