September 17, 2004

KPBS-TV Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), KPBS offers its viewers special programming celebrating the people, places and culture of Latin America. The following are some of the programs to watch for starting in September. Additional programs will be added through October.

“Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless” - In this series, host Rick Bayless joins a crowd of thousands of people in the main square of Acapulco on the eve of Mexican Independence Day for the traditional celebration known as the grito. Bayless prepares Chiles en Nogada, a chile stuffed with a sweet-savory pork and fruit picadillo filling, topped with a blanket of snow-white, fresh walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds (9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25 at noon).

“My Americas” - This lively new series takes viewers on a fascinating journey into the rich cultural and spiritual life of Latin America. Each week, Roberto Alcaraz and Leticia Vásquez, two young Mexican Americans who alternate as hosts, travel to a different region of Latin America - from Cuba to Bolivia, Mexico to Puerto Rico, Ecuador to Peru - in search of their Latino heritage. It’s a remarkable, up-close experience full of unforgettable people and constant surprises as the show explores the the colorful, complex tangle of history and cultures that makes each port-of-call proudly unique (9/19 and 9/26 at 2 p.m.).

“La Plaza” is a passport into Latino communities, from South and Central America and Caribbean nations, to local immigrant populations. The series uses many forms to explore Latino life: original short-form documentaries, fictional films, panel discussions on topical matters, and musical and dance performances. One of the longest-running series about Latinos on public television, the new season is committed to exploring a wide range of issues that affect Latino communities in the United States (9/12, 9/19 and 9/26 at 2:30 p.m.).

“Bridge to Havana” - For one week in 1999, more than 100 musicians and staff traveled to Havana, Cuba, where they met many of Cuba’s finest musicians. Artists including Gladys Knight, Mick Fleet-wood, Joan Osborne, Peter Frampton and Jimmy Buffett drew names from a hat in a “musical lottery” and then composed and recorded original songs in English and Spanish with Cuban musicians. On the last night, they performed this music in Cuba’s National Theater, and created a bridge across two cultural and musical traditions. This special provides a rare glimpse at Cuba’s rich musical talent, and illustrates how the process of creative collaboration overcomes cultural and language barriers (9/25 at 11 p.m.).

“Visiones: Latino Art and Culture” - Latino artists across the United States share with viewers the world of Latino artistic expression as they journey throughout the country, capturing rich stories about theater, music, dance, spoken word and the visual arts. From New York City’s hip hop culture to mural painters in Los Angeles and Chicago to theater in Texas, the series offers a unique cross section of Latino artists working today. Through storytelling and vivid imagery, the fast-paced and entertaining series leads the viewer to understand the origins of Latino art and culture. It also depicts the struggles and victories of the artists as part of their artistic interpretation. Additionally, it examines the nation’s diverse Latino communities and how they were able to keep their artistic expressions alive while creating new and unique visions that contribute to art in America (10/11 at 10:30 p.m.).

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