September 15, 2000


NPR and Latino USA Presents "Living Latino Culture"

Two One-Hour Specials for Hispanic Heritage Month

Austin, TX — In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR's Latino USA is pleased to present special reports commemorating Latino contributions to this country. The programs begin airing on September 15th, which marks the start of a month-long recognition of Pan-American culture as communities from Honolulu to Denver to San Juan celebrate Latino history and society. The two one-hour programs that comprise "Living Latino Culture" focus on the effects of the growing Latino population in the U.S. and the booming popularity of Latino music.

The first one-hour special, "Latino 2000: Forging a Latino Identity," examines the tremendous growth of the Hispanic population and its impact on U.S. culture, politics and perspectives. Award-winning journalist and Latino USA Executive Producer María Martín, visits the hubs of Latino-American culture—California, Florida, New York, Texas, New Mexico, Chicago and the Midwest— speaking to journalists, writers, sociologists and thinkers to present a unique vision of life in the U.S. through a Hispanic lens. Among those featured in the report are social critic Richard Rodriguez, actor Edward James Olmos and Puerto Rican writer Esmeralda Santiago.

The rich traditions of Latino dance and music are becoming more prevalent in the U.S., with women taking center stage. The second one-hour special, "Música Latina: Women in Full Voice," profiles some of the women who have paved the path, including, folk rock diva Linda Ronstadt, opera singer Suzanna Guzman and Colombian alternative-rocker and Grammy nominee Andrea Echeverri. This report, hosted by Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa, presents an eclectic mix of music interwoven with lively conversation.

"It is very important that we present issues that matter, that engage people, to give voice to the many stories of Latinos in the U.S., said Maria Hinojosa, host of Latino USA's weekly journal of news and culture. "These are historic times, with non-Latinos, Latinos, African-Americans, and Asians — many cultural groups working to understand how to share this country."

Check with your local NPR station for broadcast times and availability or go to www.npr.org.

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