The city of Lake Oswego expanded its celebratory activities this year to honor Hispanic culture.
The Lake Oswego Public Library, in collaboration with Respond to Racism, LO for Love and the Lake Oswego School District, will host in-person and at-home activities to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month, which lasts from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
Rachael Hyde, reference librarian, said each organization involved in the planning was interested in "acknowledging Hispanic Heritage Month and planning or supporting community programs that would allow residents to learn more about the histories, the cultures and the valuable accomplishments of Hispanic and Latinx Americans."
New this year is the passport program, where community members can check off each activity they've participated in. The completed passports would then be turned into the library by Nov. 5 for a chance to win a raffle prize.
People have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities including dining or shopping at a Hispanic or Latinx-owned business, reading a book by a Hispanic or Latinx author, viewing local public art by a Hispanic or Latinx person and attending beginning Spanish classes and dance lessons.
There will be three opportunities to attend Spanish classes and flamenco and salsa lessons at Lakeridge Middle School. Sessions will take place Thursday evenings from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 (the lessons started Sept. 23). This activity is free and for high school students and adults. Space is limited to 35 people so folks are required to register ahead of time. Masks and social distancing are required.
Local artist and muralist Hector Hernandez will give a virtual presentation about the influence of Mexican muralism on the art scene in America from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 on Zoom. People will need to register for this event in advance as well.
Trina Gluckman with Respond to Racism said she recently learned this artist did a mural on the Wilco building in Lake Oswego.
"Go look for art," Gluckman said. "Here is an artist we're actually highlighting and he already has contributed to art in the neighborhood.
"We're surrounded by people that have been contributing to the community."
Hyde added that people can check out the Arts Council of Lake Oswego's outdoor rotating Gallery Without Walls exhibit, which features work from a couple Hispanic or Latinx artists.
While Gluckman said the library has limitations about what it can promote — since it's a city-sponsored organization — Respond to Racism will email links with information about businesses that are Hispanic or Latinx-owned, along with suggested books. Respond to Racism is also holding kids' storytime with the children's book author Carmen Bernier-Grand — a Puerto Rican author who's written 11 books for both adults and children. People of all ages can register for storytime at 5 p.m. Oct. 4.
Pat Ginn with Respond to Racism said working as a team allowed multiple perspectives to enter the room during the planning process.
"We think it highlights the Lake Oswego community as well, to show that we're collaborating, that we are all in this together," Gluckman said. "We're curious, we're celebratory, we can all contribute and how can we help each other?"
Hyde said that although some of these events and activities are only being offered during Hispanic Heritage Month, there are other activities people can participate in year-round. She said it was important to draw attention to the resources that are offered within the city.
For more information and to register for events and download the passport, visit the library's website.
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