The arts take center stage as UHV celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest winner

The University of Houston-Victoria will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with pictures and thousands of words.


“We’re going to teach students about the many contributions of the Hispanic culture and the value of education in a fun environment,” said Denee Thomas, director of the UHV Letting Education Achieve Dreams, or LEAD, initiative, which is coordinating the festivities.


Planned activities include an art exhibition and a workshop for aspiring young writers.


It all starts Sept. 16 when UHV will host the annual Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room of the University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.


“We invited middle school art students in Victoria and Port Lavaca to contribute entries to the poster contest,” Thomas said. “A total of 91 students responded.”


The posters were judged in June by a panel of community members. First-place winner Alexis Lopez, then an eighth-grader at Howell Middle School in Victoria, won four years of college, including two years at UHV and two years at The Victoria College, which co-sponsors the contest.


His artwork will be made into the official poster for Hispanic Heritage Month and will be available for purchase at the reception.


The second- and third-place winners will be announced at the event. Second prize is a $1,000 scholarship to UHV or VC, and third prize is a $500 scholarship. Both awards were donated by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Council.


The event, which is open to the public, will include a live mariachi band and free refreshments.


All of the posters will be on display in the University Center for the month during regular business hours.


On Oct. 1, area high school seniors will attend an all-day Writing Warriors Workshop during which they will meet with published authors Christine Granados and Diana Lopez, both of whom live in Central Texas.


The authors will teach students how to use their own stories to improve their writing skills, which are vital in the present information age, said Macarena Hernández, a member of the UHV communications faculty and coordinator of the workshop.


“This is a way to get students excited about reading and writing by celebrating the Mexican- American experience,” said Hernández, who also is the Victoria Advocate Endowed Professor of the Humanities.


Both artists are part of the Hecho in Tejas writers’ troupe that travels the state to encourage writing among high school students.


Students at the workshop also will attend the UHV/American Book Review Fall Reading Series presentation by visiting author Tony Diaz at noon in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West. ABR is co-sponsoring the workshop.


For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month festivities at UHV, contact the LEAD office at 361-570-4893.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342