Houston’s Arte Público Press Is Celebrating 40 Years with a Huge Showcase

Arte Público Press will commemorate the milestone with a lively performing art showcase.

By Amarie Gipson September 6, 2022

This month, the Houston Grand Opera, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and more will unite to celebrate 40 years of Latinx literature with Arte Público Press. 

Fresh off the press! Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, and Arte Público Press is going big. As the oldest and largest Latinx publishing house in the nation, the organization has worked to amplify Hispanic voices and provide literacy access for Houstonians, young and old. This month, Arte Público will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a performing arts showcase and award ceremony at the Moores Opera House on the University of Houston’s main campus. The celebratory event is slated for the evening of Thursday, September 15, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. 

Arte Público was founded in 1979 by New York native, activist, and educator Nicolás Kanellos during his tenure at the University of Texas at Austin before finding its legs in Houston. The press averages 30 published texts a year and has withstood decades of social change, all while maintaining its dedication to preserving Latinx history and culture through textbooks, children’s books, novels and more. 

With former astronaut and author José M. Hernandez as the host, the anniversary showcase will feature select performances that honor publications in Arte Público’s history, including the Houston Grand Opera’s response to Jorge Argueta’s 2017 children’s book Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra piece inspired by Sandra Cisneros’ novel The House on Mango Street (originally published in 1983). Other performances will include UofH’s mariachi ensemble Mariachi Puma and the Brazilian dance company Sambabom.

Authors Erika Said and Airy Sindik will also receive awards for their groundbreaking children’s books, alongside Jasminne Mendez and Gwendolyn Zepeda who will also be attending and autographing copies of their books after the performances conclude. The anniversary event is also a fundraiser, so individual tickets start at $250 and go directly toward Arte Público’s operations and programs. The commemorative event will surely be an inspiring night to usher in another 40 years of important work in publishing. 

For more information on tickets, authors, and performances, visit Arte Público's website.

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