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Chicago Public Library branches celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

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Heritage Month

♦ Sept. 15-Oct. 15

♦ Chicago Public Library, various locations

♦ Admission: free

♦ (312) 747-4300;

Updated: September 12, 2012 6:03PM

Chicago Public Library kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month with two events Sept. 15. Student violinists from the Elizabeth Rodriguez Violin Academy will perform at 1 p.m. at the Little Village branch, 2311 S. Kedzie (312-745-1862), and Multilingual Chicago will offer an introductory Spanish class for adults at 1:30 p.m. at the Logan Square branch, 3030 W. Fullerton (312-744-5295).

Running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates “the contributions and culture of Hispanic Americans [here in] Chicago and also the country,” said librarian Jacob Cleary, who works at the Harold Washington Library and is co-chairman of Hispanic Heritage Month. “Usually the library does different themes, and this year we’re focusing on the theme of music.”

While music is the focus — with links to books and articles about Hispanic music and musicians at — the celebration also showcases Hispanic culture, traditions and through a variety of programming at several branch libraries.

One highlight is a musical mural workshop with artist Steve Musgrave offered at 1 p.m. Sept. 22 at Canaryville, 642 W. 43rd; 4 p.m. Oct. 3 at Archer Heights, 5055 S. Archer; and 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at South Chicago; 9055 S. Houston. Geared toward children 5 and older, the workshop will demonstrate how to create a mural that expresses the experience of listening to music using paint, cut paper and drawing materials.

Also on tap: Spanish story time with Multilingual Chicago during which kids 1 to 5 can learn Spanish through songs, games and activities (three sessions throughout the month); the Art and Wisdom of the Mayas (in Spanish at 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at McKinley Park, 1915 W. 35th); craft sessions for kids 8 and older (several sessions throughout the month); bilingual Latin American stories and crafts for kids 3 to 8 (4 p.m. Oct. 4, Little Village); and a teen book discussion of Dark Dude at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Vodak-East Side, 3710 E. 106th. The introductory Spanish class for adults will be offered at several branches throughout the month as well.

For the complete calendar of events, visit Cleary said printed calendars with descriptions and locations will be available at all branch libraries.

Several library branches also will exhibit the works of local artists, Cleary added. Photography, watercolors, oil paintings and sculpture are among the offerings. A listing of exhibits can be found at

Hispanic Heritage Month falls under the library’s Celebrating Diversity umbrella, an initiative that got its start in 2001, said Leland Elder Jr., library spokesperson. While the library began celebrating African-American History Month (February) and Hispanic Heritage Month in the late 1980s, in 2001 it added more ethnic/cultural celebrations and created Celebrating Diversity, he said. The other celebrations are Polish American Heritage Month (October), Women’s History Month (March), Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May) and LGBT Pride Month (June).


♦ Open Streets makes its debut in Wicker Park/Bucktown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 along Milwaukee Avenue between Division and Western. During that time those 15 blocks of Milwaukee will be closed to vehicles and transformed into a pedestrian and cyclist playground. Activities include skateboarding, wall climbing and classic games like four square and relay races. Admission is free. For more information, visit

♦ Lurie Garden hosts its Fall Festival & Plant Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 in the garden in Millennium Park near Monroe and Columbus. The fest includes garden tours, honey tasting, plant-based crafts for kids, face painting and other activities. Bring a bag or box to transport purchases; admission is free. Visit for more information.

♦ The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian opens The War of 1812: Fighting for Their Homeland on Sept. 15. It runs through Aug. 25, 2013, at 3001 Central St. in Evanston and showcases the role Native Americans played in the war. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Call (847) 475-1030 or visit

♦ Cantigny Park hosts the Cantigny Car Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 16 at 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. Nearly 400 vehicles will compete for more than 90 awards, including this year’s new Children’s Choice Award. Parking is $2 before 10 a.m. and $5 after. Call (630) 668-5161 or visit

Jennifer Burklow is a local free-lance writer.

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