2018 Latino Celebration at The Newark Public Library – Newark Public Library

2018 Latino Celebration at The Newark Public Library

The Newark Public Library‘s annual Latino Celebration will feature the exhibition The Crossover: Are Latinos Transforming the US?, on view in the 2nd floor gallery from September 19 through December 31, 2018, and a series of related programs at the Main Library located at 5 Washington Street.

The impact of Latino culture in America began long before a single word of English was ever spoken in the continent.  In 2017 the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee became the most-streamed song in the world and stayed on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 52 consecutive weeks.  The Crossover: Are Latinos Transforming the US? explores the ways in which US Latinos have influenced mainstream America in areas such as music, film, television, food, politics and literature.  The exhibit showcases original works by migrant Latinx artist Layqa Nuna Yawar.

The Crossover was curated by Yesenia López, Director, New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library with the assistance of Juber Ayala and Phil Napoli.

The exhibition is open during normal Library hours, Monday through Saturday, with free admission. Group visits/gallery talks can be arranged by calling the Sala Hispanoamericana: 973-733-7772.

Public Programs

September 19  |  Wednesday, 6 pm  |  Centennial Hall

Latino Celebration Opening

Join us for the kick-off event of the Newark Public Library’s 2018 Latino exhibit and program series.  Keynote Speaker, Professor Jillian Báez, Ph.D., will speak about how Latinos are influencing/ transforming the US.  Prof. Báez is the author of the book In Search of Belonging: Latinas, Media, and Citizenship.  Latinx artist, Layqa Nuna Yawar, will introduce his works featured in the exhibit.  After the program, join us at the after party – the first of four, free Latin Wednesdays after work dance parties to be held in the Library Courtyard this fall during our Latino Celebration.

September 28 |  Friday, 6 pm  |  Library Courtyard

Latino Crossover DJ Battle

The NJ Hispanic Research & Information Center @ the Newark Public Library and D.WILD Music Radio present a Latino music DJ competition bringing together talented DJs from the NJ/NY area to battle for the championship award: a guest DJ spot at the October 10th Latin Wednesdays after work dance party, a month-long guest DJ spot on D.Wild Music Radio AND a $500 cash prize!! The audience will select the winner. View Event ->


September 29  |  Saturday, 2-5 pm  |  Centennial Hall

#PoetsforPuertoRico – Newark Benefit

A drum circle will accompany a line-up of 30 powerhouse poets from different cities, geographies and backgrounds – NJ, NYC, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, DC and Puerto Rico – lending their voices to raise funds for Puerto Ricans still in need a year after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.  Free and open to the public. Donations of $10+ will be accepted.  This event is sponsored by the New Jersey Hispanic Research & Information Center, Newark Arts, Rutgers University-Newark, Brick City Collective, & the Newark Latino Film Festival. View Event ->



October 13  |  Saturday, 11 am – 4pm  |  Centennial Hall

Day of the Dead Celebration

Join us for a day-long family program that features a children’s craft and face painting from 11am-1pm; the creation and presentation of an altar de muertos –  a traditional Day of the Dead altar at 1pm; and a screening of the animated movie, Coco, a film centered around the Day of the Dead, at 2pm –  popcorn included! Light refreshments will be served. View Event ->


October 24  |  Wednesday, 6 pm  |  Centennial Hall

NJ’s Loudest Latinx Voices & Open Mic    

Spoken word is an oral performance art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play such as intonation and voice inflection.  Join us for spoken word performances by some of NJ’s loudest Latinx Voices, hosted by local poet and author, Porta Rock.   Followed by an open mic–all spoken word artists and poets are invited.  Bring your attitude, your passion and your voice! View Event ->



November 3  |  Saturday, 2 pm |  First Floor Meeting Room

Books on the Move | Tito Puente: Mambo King  

NJPAC Teaching Artist Wincey Terry reads Tito Puente: Mambo King, Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown, a bilingual children’s book about the great pioneer of Latin jazz music.  Interactive story time with art and craft activity included.  25 families attending the event will receive a free copy of the book! View Event ->



November 10  |  Saturday, 2 pm  |  Centennial Hall

Pero, Like, Let’s Talk About Colorism in the Latino Community

When it comes to skin pigmentation, the concept of “the lighter, the better” has deep historical roots in the Latin world and is very much alive in our communities today.  Join us for an honest and lively conversation about the origins and impact of Latino colorism.  Led by Melissa Valle, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and African American and African Studies at Rutgers University, and animated by short skits performed by the theater company, Cocotazo Media. View Event ->



September 19 and 26, October 3 and 10

Latin Wednesdays will be held September 19 and 26, October 3 and 10!


All programs are free and open to the general public. For additional information please call the Sala Hispanoamericana at 973-733-7772 or email ylopez@npl.org
To download the flyer, please click here .

Latino Celebration 2018 is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Essex Council Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center at Rutgers University-Newark; and the Friends of HRIC.