National Hispanic Heritage Month in NYC

Fifth Avenue will be jumping this Sunday (October 9th) with the lively salsa and samba dance beats. Even the rhythmically challenged on the Hispanic Parade route might feel an urge to sway and step in time to the beats of Hispanic music commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Taking in the fluorescent feathers, sparkling costumes and full skirts of the colorful marchers, the traditional New Yorker might even bemoan their trademark all-black for a day. The 52nd annual parade celebrates the solidarity of the more than 2 million Hispanic populations living in NYC.

Inspired to learn the trick to Latin dancing on the correct beat? You might learn salsa and flamenco at Ballet Hispanico, 167 W. 89th St. Pay $20 for a single drop-in class, $90 for a five-class card, or $170 for a 10-class card. Expect the room to get steamy from the heat of the sensuous dancing.

The release from music and dance is married to the cathartic power of theatre in The Center and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s Oct. 8 presentation of After Orlando. This free performance, 7 p.m. with complimentary post-show reception, includes over 50 noted and emerging global playwrights writing in response to the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub.

Determined to feel the warm embrace of Hispanic American culture without being called upon to get up and move? Visit NYXT partner El Taller Latino Americano at 215 E. 99th St. Featuring visual arts, music and film on the Upper West Side, El Taller offers a Night of Music October 14. The exploratory music ensemble Lights from the Loft performs at 8 is followed by a CD release party for Venezuelan-influenced CHAMA at 9. Saxophonist Ben Cohen rounds out the evening at 10 p.m. ($15 suggested).

El Taller also aims to counter Columbus Day celebrations with its own Raza y Resistencia. This race and resistance festival, Oct 10 - 12, celebrates Free World Music, Poetry, Dance, & Art for Justice.

Then, even as this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month fades away like the smoke of a hand-rolled cigar, you might continue your adventure to understand all that Hispanic Americans have brought to NYC visiting the Hispanic Society of America. One of Partner Harlem One Stop’s featured places, this recently renovated free museum and reference library at 613 W 155th Street Audubon Terrace, Broadway between 155 and 156 Streets, is open Tue - Sat 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sun 1 - 4 p.m.

If you prefer culinary spiciness, explore Hispanic cuisine via the many options highlighted on partner Manhattan Sideways. One to check out is El Quijote, which bills itself as the oldest Hispanic restaurant in NYC.

The New York metropolitan area is home to Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan and other Hispanic populations — get out and explore even if you’re not brave enough to get up and dance to that samba beat.

Useful Factoids

  • Puerto Ricans (27%) and Dominicans (21%) are the most populous Hispanic groups in New York City
  • A record 27.3 million Latinos are eligible to vote in 2016.

  • Hispanics are the youngest of the major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. At 28 years, the median age of Hispanics is nearly a full decade lower than that of the U.S. overall (37 years). 

Krogstad, J.M. (2016, September 15). 10 facts for National Hispanic Heritage Month.

previous / next

Subscribe to the NYXT newsletter

Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new organizations looking for your help.


New Call-to-action