Past Public Programs

Every year, the Program in Latino History and Culture works diligently to create public programs that engage visitors of all backgrounds in the Latino history that is American history. This page lists some of the many cultural, historical, and musical projects PLHC has presented since its launch in 2004. Follow the links for photos, videos, and more details.

Panels and Conferences


PLHC regularly hosts roundtables and other public discussions to illustrate the diversity of U.S. Latinos and engage in conversations about history and culture. Past programs have addressed the legacy of the Delano Grape Strike, the experiences of Afro-Latinos, and the long term impact of the Mexican Revolution. To produce panels, PLHC often works in strategic partnership with other Smithsonian institutions like the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Readings and Interviews


Over the years, PLHC has had the opportunity to connect the public with Latino voices through the presentation of readings, lectures, and interviews. Most recently, the Museum was honored to host award-winning Dominican American author Junot Diaz in 2010.

Film and Theater


PLHC partners with Museum Theatre, in the National Museum of American History’s Daily Programs department, to bring Latino stories to life for our visitors. The subjects of PLHC film and theater programs have included U.S. Navy Admiral David Farragut, home economist Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, and the 1968 student protestors of Los Angeles high schools.

Festivals and Celebrations


PLHC has presented large-scale celebrations of the cultural traditions of Central America, the holiday Día de los Muertos, and the opening of an exhibition of Afro-Cuban legend Celia Cruz. Typically, Museum festivals feature music, dance, food, arts and crafts, and more. Thousands of visitors have enjoyed these celebrations.

Musical Programs


Music has a strong presence throughout the Museum. Accordingly, PLHC has partnered with American Music at NMAH (in 2005) and Jazz Appreciation Month (every April since 2005) to bring Latino music to the Smithsonian. In September 2012, PLHC also recorded the first-ever performance of the National Anthem in Spanish, in conjuction with the Museum's exhibit on Peruvian American translator Clotilde Arias.