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Napa Valley Celebrates Braceros During Latino Heritage Month

Sep. 07, 2017 | Napa Valley Latino Heritage Committee

Spanning September 2nd to November 12, 2017 a celebration of Latino cultures, arts, history, and community is already underway -  the 6th Annual Napa Valley Latino Heritage Month.

“Yes, we realize this is two months”, chuckles Napa County Hispanic Network Latino Heritage Committee (LHC)  Chair, and new, Network Board Member, Debbie Alter-Starr - our events don’t fit neatly into the 30 day period, of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is September 15 - October 15  most years.

Case in point, articulating its theme  “Honoring Our Braceros,” this year,  three inter-related exhibitions will open September 2nd,  at Napa Valley Museum, two of which will  run through November 12.  All are described in detail in a recently published, museum press release: “Braceros: Three new shows at Napa Valley Museum explore their story and legacy.’  “We don’t want to leave out any of the events  connected to the museums current exhibitions honoring farmworkers out of our calendar that celebrate Latino heritage.  Meanwhile, every year we get into the same situation wanting to include popular, Dia de Los Muertos events, which run from early October (which would fit into the historic timeline for the national Latino Heritage Month  until the end of October and  sometimes even into November as well.  Perhaps next year we should consider calling this a Latino Heritage Festival” muses Alter-Starr.

“We are grateful to all the hosts and sponsors of  the many Latino cultural and community  programs listed in our online and print calendars for Napa Valley Latino Heritage Month, and hope community members will express their appreciation as well as they attend these programs” shares Maria Cisnero, President of Napa County Hispanic Network and LLHC member.  The LHC, which the Hispanic Network adopted as one of its program springs 2017,  sees its role during the fall most of all as a promoter of programming.  It uses half its funds from a  grant from Napa Valley Vintners, for the past several years,  to publish and promote bilingual flyers, calendars and post cards, about the fall’s featured events, to help reach Spanish speakers who rely more on print materials, word of mouth and radio for information.   The other half funds Latino cultural programs the LHC and the Hispanic Network as a whole offer free of charge in the fall.

Sunday October 1st, 1-5pm,  the Hispanic Network, together with Napa Valley College, will host “Bracero Appreciation Day,” a free celebration for families at the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville  “Many of us have fathers, uncles or grandfathers who came here as  guest farm workers from Mexico, through the U.S.  government’s Bracero Program, during 1942-1964, and they later brought us, their families.  Braceros and their families are especially encouraged to attend,” says Cisneros.  Music, entertainment and free admission to the museum will be part of the festivities.  Food will be available for sale from several popular Mexican food trucks.

Napa Valley Latino Heritage Month Bilingual Calendars:

Printed, double-sided English and Spanish calendars featuring 20 Napa Valley Latino Heritage Month events, as well as bilingual postcards featuring  events related museum and Latino Heritage Committee events, can be picked up at public libraries.  They can also be found at many public schools as well as county, nonprofit and Latino-centric business areas throughout Napa County or requested directly from the Napa County Hispanic Network Latino Heritage Committee at nvlatinoheritage@gmail.com or 707-339-8218.

Online heritage month calendars are available at NapaValleyNow.org, an English community calendar and its sister calendar in Spanish  NapaValleyHoy.org.  “The  online calendars are more comprehensive as some Latino Heritage events are added after we go to print,” says Alter-Starr.   We also include in the the online calendars Latino community events of general interest.  We will be adding information about programs and events related to D.A.C.A.  (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) this week to our online calendar and to our social media on Facebook book, in response to recent events.”

To stay informed both about Napa Valley  Latino Heritage Month, Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, county-wide and other Latino cultural and community events “like” the Latino Heritage Committee at Facebook.com/NVLatinoHeritage, and request to receive all notifications.   “Also  contact nvlatinoheritage@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list for Latino community information email blasts,”  says Alter-Starr, who sends out the email blasts.”


About the Napa County Hispanic Network Latino Heritage Committee

The Latino Heritage Committee of the Hispanic Network helps create awareness throughout the year about Latino cultures, arts, and heritage, and the many contributions Latino individuals make in our communities and nation.  Napa County’s Latino population has grown by 50 percent in the past ten years and as of 2016, represents over a third of our county residents.  Additionally, more than half of all public school students in the Napa Valley -- and in the state of California -- are Latino. The diverse Latino population of the Napa County makes a significant economic contribution and has other profound positive influences on our communities through their strong commitment to family, faith, education, hard work, culture and service. In addition to  honoring the contributions of our Latino brothers and sisters, our goal is help to create an inclusive environment in which Napa County residents and workers can all thrive.

Partners

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Arts Council Napa Valley

Napa Valley Museum

Napa Valley College

Napa Valley Unified School District

Napa Valley Vintners

Napa County Library

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Arts Council Napa Valley 501(c)3 is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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