Latinos of Montclair will host the township’s first Latino Heritage Month celebration, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, in an effort to raise awareness of Montclair’s growing Latino community and its contributions.

Founded in 2022 by six Latino residents across three generations, Latinos of Montclair is planning a month of events around town in collaboration with local businesses and organizations, including Montclair Film, the Montclair Art Museum and the Montclair Public Library.

“Our desire is to advance and promote inclusiveness for all communities, especially those of multiethnic and racial backgrounds, while highlighting Latino culture from El Barrio to Calle Ocho to Patagonia to Rio de Janeiro to Quito and everywhere in between,” the Latinos of Montclair board members said in a Latino Heritage Month press release.

Daphne Livingstone reads her copy of "The Coquíes Still Sing" by Karina Nicole Gonzalez during a Latino Heritage Month event. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
Daphne Livingstone reads her copy of "The Coquíes Still Sing" by Karina Nicole Gonzalez during a Latino Heritage Month event. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
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The month will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 17, with a Latin dance party at Porta, at 499 Bloomfield Ave., running from 9 p.m. to midnight. The venue will be open to 200 guests. 

Tickets for the dance party are $25, with all proceeds going toward the month’s headline event, the Inaugural Latino Heritage Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 1. 

Tickets for the dance party and the Inaugural Latino Heritage Celebration can be purchased on the Latinos of Montclair website at latinosofmontclair.org

The celebration, at the Montclair Art Museum, will feature Latin music, art, culture, vendors and community partners, according to the Latinos of Montclair website. The museum is set to host more than 2,000 guests during the event, which will run from 1 to 4 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Individual tickets for the celebration are $5 and family tickets are $10, with no limit on the number of family members. 

Latinos of Montclair members, from left, Hugo Santillan, Natalia Espejo, Marcia Almeida, Yesenia Cruz-Troy and Sergio Gonzalez. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
Latinos of Montclair members, from left, Hugo Santillan, Natalia Espejo, Marcia Almeida, Yesenia Cruz-Troy and Sergio Gonzalez. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
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Additional events throughout the month include a Latino American film series, in collaboration with Montclair Film, that will run at the Clairidge Theater at 486 Bloomfield Ave. Tickets for the film screenings, running from Friday, Sept. 23, to Sunday, Sept. 25, will be available on the Latinos of Montclair website soon.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, Jaipure Yoga will host yoga in Spanish at 4 p.m. at its 575 Bloomfield Ave. studio. Tickets will be available on the Latinos of Montclair website — the class will be for 20 people. 

Tortas Lokas, at 617 Valley Road, will host a tequila tasting on Friday, Oct. 14. Tickets and additional information will be available soon on the Latinos of Montclair website. The event is for 60 people. 

On the final day of Latino Heritage Month, Vanguard Theater, located at 180 Bloomfield Ave., will show “Taste of Downtown.” Tickets and additional information will be available soon on the Latinos of Montclair website. 

“The Latino community in Montclair is growing, and we want to promote greater visibility by uniting it,” Marcia Almeida, Latinos of Montclair president, said in the press release. 

With her mother Lauren Bonavitacola, Emilia Barinova receives a signed copy of "The Coquíes Still Sing" from author Karina Nicole Gonzalez during a Latino Heritage Month event. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
With her mother Lauren Bonavitacola, Emilia Barinova receives a signed copy of "The Coquíes Still Sing" from author Karina Nicole Gonzalez during a Latino Heritage Month event. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
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The month will also feature several family-oriented events, including a story time series, a children’s film series and a concert. 

On Sunday, Sept. 18, a family story time will take place at Watchung Booksellers, at 54 Fairfield St., at 2 p.m. featuring “Quizás Seré.”

On Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, Montclair Film will have a Latino children’s film series. The screenings will take place at Montclair Film’s 505 Theater, 505 Bloomfield Ave. More information about the film series will be available on the Latinos of Montclair website soon.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, there will also be a bilingual children’s concert at the main Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Ave., at noon. Mariana Iranzi, a New York City-based performer, composer and educator, will headline.

Families listen to a reading of "The Coquíes Still Sing" by Karina Nicole Gonzalez hosted by Watchung Booksellers and Latinos of Montclair. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
Families listen to a reading of "The Coquíes Still Sing" by Karina Nicole Gonzalez hosted by Watchung Booksellers and Latinos of Montclair. (KATE ALBRIGHT/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL)
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The final family story time, at the main library on Saturday, Sept. 27, will feature bilingual short stories for children ages 2 to 5.

There will also be a family zone at the Oct. 1 Latino Heritage Celebration at the Montclair Art Museum. 

Tickets for Latino Heritage Month events can be also purchased digitally on the website. Cash purchases will not be accepted. To learn more about Latino Heritage Month, visit the Latinos of Montclair website at latinosofmontclair.org