Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with NEA National Heritage Fellows

Rebecca Sutton
A large flower altar in an outdoor setting at night.

2016 Dia de los Muertos Community Altar at Grand Park designed by Ofelia Esparza. Courtesy of Craft in America, photo by Denise Kang

What better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than with our NEA National Heritage Fellows? Revisit some of our favorite interviews with Fellows past and present to learn how Latinx culture has enriched our nation’s arts.

“The music serves as a kind of tool or a conduit to connect to the heritage, to the roots, but it is also something that connects young people to the older generation, their parents and other family members who might have grown up in Mexico or still keep certain traditions. This is a key link in the chain to make it whole or complete. -2016 NEA National Heritage Fellow Artemio Posadas

“We cannot be trusted if the voices that are on the air are not trusted voices, and they’re trusted voices because they come from the community.” -2020 NEA National Heritage Fellow Hugo Morales

"It is important to sustain and maintain folkloric or traditional art to keep the cultural expression of the people. When we teach these practices of and by the people, we are able to convey that there are no differences of color or race, because we all have the capacity to say what we see and carry in our humanity. -2013 NEA Heritage Fellow Veronica Castillo

"I'm an artist, a visual artist and so it has become not only an endeavor of tradition and reverence but it's also an art form." -2018 NEA Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza

"I wrote the song 'Chicano Park' many years ago, and to this day I have people tell me, 'Play me that song.' It amazes me. That song’s still around. It’s still alive. It’s still affecting people. That’s the power of art and culture. It stays with you for a long time. It develops you as a human being. It gives you character, and that’s what it seemed to do to all of us and to the people that we touched. That was our reward." –2013 NEA Heritage Fellow Ramón “Chunky” Sánchez