Public Media Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a Wide and Varied Playlist
September 18, 2023
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor lends her voice to ‘Alma’s Way.’
Public media celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15, with a wide range of on-air and online programming highlighting the rich history, arts, culture, and experiences of Latinos in the U.S. This programming includes a variety of documentaries and children’s programming, and an even bigger range of music across both genres and Latin America.
On PBS and PBS KIDS
PBS offers numerous broadcast premieres, children’s content and a robust slate of encore programs and streaming and digital content.
On PBS KIDS, Alma’s Way, the animated series created by Sonia Manzano, “Sesame Street’s” Maria, inspired by her own experiences growing up as a Puerto Rican girl growing up in the Bronx, starts a new season September 18 with a special guest, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The justice lends her own voice to two stories, in which Alma meets the judge and goes on to umpire a kickball game.
The new season of Rosie’s Rules, about a 5-year-old bilingual Mexican American girl from suburban Texas learning about the world, premieres September 27. New episodes of both CPB-supported programs are available to stream in Spanish on PBSKIDS.org.
Also on PBS KIDS, the new podcast Jamming on the Job stars Christina Sanabria and Andrés Salguero, the Latin Grammy Award-winning kids’ music duo known as 123 Andrés, who tour the country and learn about different jobs from people who help them. Each episode, Christina and Andrés compose an original song about a new job with help from their magic BoomBox, played by Grammy Award-nominated musician Pierce Freelon. The podcast, developed with PBS North Carolina through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Podcast Accelerator, led by PRX, premiered on September 14, with new episodes dropping each Thursday wherever you get your podcasts.
Bulls and Saints (POV, September 18), directed by Rodrigo Dorfman, follows a family that decides to return to Mexico after living in the United States undocumented for 20 years. “Bulls and Saints” was co-produced by Nuevo South and Firelight Media in association with American Documentary ⎸POV and Latino Public Broadcasting, with funding provided by CPB.
Sansón and Me (Independent Lens, September 19), directed by Rodrigo Reyes, traces the journey of Sansón Noe Andrade from an orphaned Mexican boy to an American prisoner serving a life sentence, highlighting the systemic forces and personal choices surrounding incarcerated youth of color in the United States.
Becoming Frida Kahlo (September 19 and 26, October 3), is a three-part series exploring the major events of artist Frida Kahlo's life, from her lifelong health problems to her complicated relationship with artist Diego Rivera.
Uýra: The Rising Forest (POV, September 25), directed by Juliana Curl, follows Uýra, an Indigenous artist traveling through the Amazon using performance art to teach Indigenous youth that they are the guardians of ancestral messages of the Amazon Forest.
A Song for Cesar (American Masters and VOCES, September 29), directed by Andres Alegria and Abel Sanchez, traces the life and legacy of labor activist Cesar Chavez and details how music and the arts were instrumental to the success of the farmworkers' movement Chavez helped found.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards (September 29), from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, are among the country’s highest honors for Hispanics, by Hispanics. This year’s program, taped on September 7, is hosted by Leslie Grace ("In the Heights") and honors multiple Grammy/Latin Grammy winners Café Tacvba (Arts Award); Cesar Conde, Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, (Media Award); Grammy Award nominee Omar Apollo (Inspira Award); Siete Family Foods (Entrepreneurship Award); and Urban Latin music icon Wisin (Vision Award).
When It's Good, It's Good (POV Shorts, October 5), a short film by Alejandra Vasquez, documents her hometown of Denver City, Texas, its relationship to the boom-and-bust cycle of the oil industry, and political transformation over five years and two election cycles. The film is co-produced by Latino Public Broadcasting.
El Equipo (Independent Lens, October 9), directed by Bernardo Ruiz, documents how anthropologist Clyde Snow trained a group of Latin American students to use forensic anthropology to investigate disappearances in Argentina during the “dirty war.” The group expands their efforts to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Mexico to establish the facts for the families of the victims.
Bertie the Brilliant, a short film and directed by Gabriela Garcia Medina and produced by Latino Public Broadcasting, tells the story of a magic-obsessed boy who learns the power of believing in magic. The film is streaming as part of the 2023 PBS Short Film Festival.
PBS SoCal and KCET in Los Angeles will premiere “América Tropical: The Martyr Mural of Siqueiros,” on artist David Alfaro Siqueiros and his whitewashed Los Angeles murals, as part of the series “Artbound” on October 11 and October 13. KCET partners with LAist/Southern California Public Radio for an October 3 screening event October 3 in Pasadena.
On Public Radio
On NPR, the third annual El Tiny Takeover of the Tiny Desk Concerts, running through October 15, brings Becky G, DannyLux, Alex Cuba, Villano Antillano, Rawayana, J Noa and Ivy Queen to the Tiny Desk in a concert series curated by "alt.Latino" hosts AnaMaria Sayre and Felix Contreras.
NPR's Spanish-language podcast Radio Ambulante returns for its 13th season with new episodes dropping every Tuesday starting September 19. This season will cover Latin American and Latino communities in the U.S. through thought-provoking stories about culture, art, science, identity, and more.
World Café, produced by WXPN/Philadelphia and distributed by NPR, will feature segments with NPR Music hosts from "alt.Latino," and musician interviews, studio sessions and mini concerts from Julieta Venegas, Omar Apollo, Dos Santos, Usted Señalemelo, Pachyman, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Mireya Ramos & The Poor Choices. Its digital "21 Days of Musica Latina" features a new playlist from a different Latin American country every weekday throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, starting with Argentina and
KUTX (Austin, Texas) celebrates Lesly Reynaga, whose debut album, "Velerosa," is an ultra-modern take on mariachi’s folkloric past, as its September Artist of the Month and is spotlighting local Latin artists and music history through five different on-air and online features. KUTX’s 10th birthday concert series includes Grupo Fantasma – ¡Mujeres Adelante! A Celebration of Latina Voices on September 30 and Son Rompe Pera on October 12 in Austin.
Mendocino County Public Broadcasting KZYX/KZYZ (CA) is airing “The Other 9/11,” a special on the 50th anniversary of the military coup d'etat in Chile that overthrew the Popular Unity government led by Salvador Allende. The special, produced by Loreto Rojas and Cal Winslow, airs at 9 am September 18-20.
WLCH Radio Centro (Lancaster, PA), is running explanatory messages about Hispanic Heritage Month and dedicating airtime to talk about the independence of each of the Latin American countries that celebrate their independence from September 15-October 15. The station, owned by the Spanish American Civic Association, is producing a podcast series highlighting Latino role models in the United States and will partner with the City of Lancaster to host a Hispanic Heritage Month festival on September 30 in Lancaster.
KUER (Salt Lake City, UT) is airing radio spots featuring local Latino voices speaking about what Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.
KZUM Community Radio (Lincoln, NE) was the media sponsor for Latino Fest on September 16, and is hosting various guests on its Spanish language programs throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.
NPR Live Sessions highlights a different video from a Latin artist on the main page each day and a Latino artist each week on the “Song of the Day” video player, embedded on more than 35 public media websites. NPR Live Sessions has also post two related playlists.
Your Classical MPR is streaming a 17½-hour Hispanic Heritage Month loop of classics from Latin America and the Caribbean through October 15. The playlist, curated by Assistant Digital Producer and pianist Ines Guanchez and Associate Music Director Jennifer Allen, was previewed on Your Classical Discoveries on September 16.
StoryCorps, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has compiled a streaming collection highlighting Latin voices share triumphs, achievements, legacies, and lived experiences from across the United States. The StoryCorps Historias collection features an animation of Facundo the Great, with Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez recalling the only child in his elementary school who didn’t get his name Anglicized.
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