UHV reception to begin Hispanic Heritage Month

“Tiempo de Cena,” or “Time for Dinner,” is the winner of the Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest. The colored pencil artwork, created by Victoria middle school student Morgan Gonzales, is featured on posters advertising this year’s local Hispanic Heritage Month events.

The University of Houston-Victoria will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with a Sept. 16 reception featuring art, music, awards and more.

The reception will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

“This is our third year to hold the art contest, and it helps raise awareness about Hispanic heritage in both children and adults,” said Josie Rivera, UHV Letting Education Achieve Dreams senior program development coordinator.

The art contest is held among Victoria and Port Lavaca middle school art students.

National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, seeks to highlight the contributions of leaders in the Hispanic culture, from Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, to activist Cesar Chavez, to Nobel-prize winning physicist Severo Ochoa.

But the local event will focus on artistic talent and scholarship.

The reception will feature student artwork, including that of first-place winner Morgan Gonzales, who was a seventh-grader at Howell Middle School when she completed her piece. Gonzales won a $2,000 scholarship from UHV, a two-year tuition waiver from Victoria College, and had her colored pencil artwork featured on this year’s posters advertising local Hispanic Heritage Month events. 

Second- and third-place winners will be announced at the reception, with $1,000 and $500 college scholarships awarded, respectively. Scholarships may be used at either UHV or VC and are donated by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Council.

Mariachi musicians will add to the festive atmosphere. Student groups from UHV and Victoria College also will set up tables with information about their organizations.

All contest entries will be on display in the University Center during regular business hours from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Though not an official Hispanic Heritage Month event, author Diana López will speak as part of the UHV/American Book Review Fall Reading Series from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West.

For more information about the reception or poster contest, contact Rivera at 361-570-4109 or

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.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342