2021 Latino Celebration @ the Newark Public Library - Newark Public Library

2021 Latino Celebration @ the Newark Public Library


In the late 1970s, the Library began actively recruiting Latino librarians to help address the information needs of the growing Latino population in Newark. Through partnerships with the Latino community, the library has established La Sala Hispanoamericana where the largest Spanish language book collection of any public library in the State is housed; created the only Puerto Rican Community Archive in the State; offers virtual and in-person Spanish language programming; and so much more. These milestones are celebrated in the Latino Celebration exhibit and series of public programs.

Click here to view a flyer of all 2021 Latino Celebration Programs.


Happiness on Wheels/ Alegrías Sobre Ruedas bookmobile in Military Park promoting Newark Public Library Bilingual Services (circa 1980s)


Open during regular Library hours, Monday through Saturday, with FREE ADMISSION. Group visits/ gallery talks can be arranged by calling La Sala Hispanoamericana, (973)733-7772.

The exhibition was co-curated by Yesenia López, Director, Juber Ayala, Lead Archivist, and Vanessa Castaldo, Consulting Archivist, of the New Jersey Hispanic Research & Information Center, with the assistance of Rutgers’ Honors Living-Learning Community Scholars, Tammy Galarza and Angie Ruiz.



Opening Reception
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 6:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Join us for the launch of the 2021 Latino Celebration’s exhibit and public program series! View the exhibit; meet keynote speaker, Juan González, award-winning Latino journalist, activist, public intellectual, and author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America; and enjoy the soulful sounds of singer/guitarist, Janétza Maria Miranda. Refreshments will be served.


Latino Music & Movement Festival
Join us for 2 days of music & movement from the Caribbean and Latin America and learn basic dance steps with Yoselyn Sánchez. Don’t miss this musical tour of Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Part I
Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 1:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Don’t miss a performance by Ecuadorian folklore group, Balcon Andino; move as you learn basic Salsa dance steps; and join Segunda Quimbamba, as they teach us the history and practice of bomba y plena.

Part II
Saturday, October 2, 2021 | 1:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Part II kicks off with Oro de Mexico performing a Mariachi; followed by basic Bachata dance steps. The festival wraps up with Viva el Tango, a tango performance and history lesson.


Abriendo Caminos: First Generation Latino College Students
Thursday, October 14, 2021 | 6:00 pm
James Brown African American Room (JBAAR), Second Floor

First generation Latino college students from the 1980s through the 2020s discuss their experiences, challenges and accomplishments. Followed by Q & A session. This discussion will be moderated by Donna Lorenzo, Director of Montclair State University’s Health Careers Programs and Upward Bound, Health Careers.


Café con Letras: Literature, Art and Laughter
A free-wheeling evening with local Latino authors and artists reading from their works, performing, or sharing their artistic creations hosted by comedian Jenny Saldaña.

Part I
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 6:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Join us for some laughs with comic book and children’s book authors,  multi-disciplinary artists, and poets as they read from their works and take us on a tour of their artwork.

Part II
Thursday, October 21, 2021 | 6:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Visit and laugh again – this time with local poets, authors, and photographer as they showcase their art and perform their work.


Reading with María Hinojosa
Saturday, October 23, 2021 | 1:00 pm
Centennial Hall

Join Ivette Mendez for a conversation with award-winning journalist and author, María Hinojosa as she reads and discusses her latest book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, a powerful memoir which weaves together political history and her family’s journey from Mexico to the South Side of Chicago, and reveals Hinojosa’s personal journey as an immigrant, a survivor, a feminist, and a Latina journalist who truly owns her voice.


Additional Info/ Credits

All programs are free and open to the general public. For additional information please call La Sala Hispanoamericana at (973) 733-7772 or email ylopez@npl.org.

The 2021 Latino Celebration programs and exhibit are 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; and the Friends of HRIC.