News Column

A National Legacy

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This year's annual national recognition of the achievements and contributions of the country's Hispanics comes amid continuously accelerating prominence for the U.S. Hispanic economy.

Originally authorized by Congress in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, the recognition was expanded to a month two decades later beginning every September 15, which marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico marks the anniversary of its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.

Today, about 40 million Hispanics in the United States account for about 13.5 percent of the population, make up about 13 percent of the total labor force, and wield nearly $700 billion in purchasing power. And that influence is projected to continue growing. HispanTelligence, the research services division of Hispanic Business Inc., estimates that by 2030, U.S. Hispanics will account for more than 20 percent of the population, more than 19 percent of the total labor force, and more than $1 trillion in purchasing power. SEPTEMBER 10 The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation presents its annual awards ceremony, honoring Hispanics in art, literature, sports, leadership, and education. Emilio Estefan will produce the 2004 Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony, and Bruce Gowers best known for his work on American Idol and The American Music Awards will direct. The event will be televised September 18 by NBC, and in Spanish on Telemundo later this month. For more information, call (202) 861-9797, or visit the group's Web site at SEPTEMBER 13 14 The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2004 Issues Conference takes place at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. As part of the two-day conference, CHCI invites Hispanic leaders to address conference participants during a keynote lunch each day. For more information, contact CHCI at (202) 543-1771, or visit the group's Web site at SEPTEMBER 14 "Celebra la Ciencia" (Celebrate Science) takes place at the New Mexico State Fair. Local museums and educational institutions will collaborate to expose students to science through a variety of performances, activities, exhibits, and demonstrations. Event includes contributions from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Lodestar Astronomy Center, National Atomic Museum, and the University of New Mexico. For more information, contact Maddie Zeigler of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science at (505) 841-2857, or visit the event's Web site at

Celebra Ciencia

SEPTEMBER 15 OCTOBER 15 The Smithsonian Institution is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with special programs, lectures, and musical events. An array of U.S.- and foreign-produced films will be screened as part of the National Latino Film Festival, which also runs throughout the month. For more information, call (202) 357-2700. SEPTEMBER 15 The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 27th Annual Gala will be held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. During the evening's festivities, CHCI will honor Hispanics who have demonstrated unwavering commitment to empowering the Hispanic community. For more information, call CHCI at (202) 543-1771, or visit the group's Web site at SEPTEMBER 15 18 The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convenes its 25th annual National Convention & Business Expo. The event will be co-chaired by Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, and J. Terrence ("Terry") Lanni, chairman and chief executive officer of MGM Mirage. The convention host chairman is Massey Villarreal, USHCC Region III board member and president and CEO of Precision Task Group in Houston. More than 200 exhibitors will be featured at a two-day expo, which begins September 17. Both events will be at the Austin Convention Center in Texas. For more information, call (202) 842-1212, or visit


SEPTEMBER 16 19 The 22nd annual U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference featuring a college recruitment fair, forums, workshops, entertainment, and exhibits will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. The conference, "Shaping a New Vision for America," allows unions to meet prospective members, vendors to meet consumers, universities to recruit students, constituents to meet national policy-makers, and public- and private-sector employers to network with prospective employees. For more information, call the institute at (312) 427-8683, or visit the institute's Web site at SEPTEMBER 18 The 14th annual Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival returns to the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada. Celebrating Mexico's independence, the festival features top mariachi bands Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. For more information, call (800) 637-1006, or visit mariachi.php. SEPTEMBER 23 OCTOBER 9 The CineSol Latino Film Festival, which debuted in September 1993, showcases Hispanic film and video in a traveling four-week festival through South Texas. Held in the Rio Grande Valley, CineSol begins in McAllen, Texas, where filmmakers gather and interact with the audience. For more information, visit, or e-mail

Festival Miami Poster

SEPTEMBER 25 OCTOBER 30 A variety of musical performances will be presented during the University of Miami School of Music's Festival Miami 2004. Now in its 21st season, the festival is an international celebration of music that includes world premieres, symphonic concerts, chamber music presentations, and jazz performances. The six-week festival showcases international and local artists. For tickets, call (305) 284-4940. SEPTEMBER 25 26 JuntaHispana is a two-day celebration of the cultures, traditions, arts, music, dance, heritage, and people from all Spanish-speaking countries. JuntaHispana will take place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York. For more information, call (212) 255-4025, or visit OCTOBER 7 MANA, an organization of Hispanic women, will hold its Las Primeras Awards gala at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. For more information, call (202) 833-0060, or visit OCTOBER 8 The Hispanic Heritage Council will host the Hispanic Heritage Festival Gala Ball at the Hotel InterContinental in Miami. The council will present its "Don Quixote Award" during the evening's dinner. Other events include: the Young Hispanic Leadership Awards, on September 23; a music and food festival, on October 10; the Legacy of Excellence Awards, honoring Hispanic families, on October 14; the Hispanic Heritage Golf Classic, on October 28; and a national poster contest. For information, call (305) 461-1014, or visit

Latin Fever Ball

OCTOBER 9 The annual black-tie Latin Fever Ball will be at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Georgia this year and will feature a formal dinner, silent auction, live dance music, and dance exhibitions. The evening supports the Latin American Association. For more information, call (404) 638-1815, or visit

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