(West Chicago) — The West Chicago Public Library District, in partnership with the West Chicago City Museum, Mexican Cultural Center DuPage, and Community High School District 94, has been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).
As one of 203 grant recipients selected from across the country, the library has received a cash grant of $3000 to hold public programming — including public film screenings and discussion, a book discussion, and a local history lecture and exhibition — about Latino history and culture.
The West Chicago Public Library has also received the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. (Learn more about the series at www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/.)
Grant-related programs include:
- Sunday, September 13, 2015, noon-6 pm: Viva Mexico Independence Day Parade and Celebration, Galena and Main Streets, West Chicago. Organized by the Mexican Cultural Center of DuPage and sponsored by the City of West Chicago. Traditional Mexican food, music, and dance.
- Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:30 pm: Viewing/discussion of “Latino Americans,” episode 6: Peril and Promise at the library, discussion led by Alberto Fonseca, Spanish professor from North Central College. Viewing in Spanish with English subtitles. Discussion in Spanish with English interpreting.
- October 1-31, 2015: Panel exhibit on display at the library. The exhibit is titled “Building Community: Creating a Dialogue about Mexican Contributions to West Chicago through Oral Histories” and will be on loan to us from the City Museum. Exhibit is in English and Spanish.
- Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 7 pm: Lecture/discussion on the history of Latinos in West Chicago, speaker is Sara Phalen from West Chicago City Museum. In English with Spanish interpreting.
- Thursday, October 29, 2015, 4 pm: Viewing/discussion of “Latino Americans,” episode 4: The New Latinos, combined with book discussion of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, by Julia Alvarez. Viewing in Spanish with English subtitles. Bilingual discussion, in English and Spanish, led by library staff.
The Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grantees represent 42 states and the District of Columbia, and include 78 public libraries, 68 college/university libraries and organizations, 19 community college libraries, 10 state humanities councils, 12 museums and a range of other nonprofit organizations. View a full list of the recipients.