September 16, 2021

National Hispanic Heritage Month! MCA Denver Staff Shares Their Influential Artists & Creators

Tai Bickham


We celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15, marking a time to honor and recognize the contributions, achievements and diverse cultures of the Hispanic American communities.

Rather than starting at the beginning of September, National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place over 30 days acknowledging the anniversaries of national independence for Latin American countries; Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who recognize September 15 as the date of their independence; Mexico, which celebrates its independence on September 16, and Chile which celebrates independence on September 18. 

Throughout the month, we asked MCA Denver staff to share artists/creators who have impacted their lives, as well as those that have made an influence on arts and culture in the U.S.. 

Anna Alarid - Executive Assistant to the Director  

Leo Tanguma

Image of Leo Tanguma

Who is an artist/creator that has been an influence in your life?

Leo Tanguma is a Chicano muralist and activist. A son of migrant farm workers in Texas, he moved to Colorado in the ‘80s with my mom and their family. As my uncle, he instilled a love of art, an understanding of the indignities of inequity and the importance of lifting others up with compassion and empathy. He is one of the sweetest and funniest people I know, and I love him dearly. ❤️

Share and discuss your favorite work from this artist/creator?

He has painted over 40 community murals, with three at the Denver airport before recent renovations. Currently, he has a retrospective exhibit at the University of Northern Colorado through November 30, 2021. His mural, Children of the World Dream of Peace, is one of my favorites…not just because I’m in it ;)

Image of the mural Children of the World Dream of Peace


Image from Leo Tanguma's " Children of the World Dream of Peace"

Share some resources for us to learn more!

Inspiring Communities Through Art: The Story of Muralist Leo Tanguma

Cultural Identity and Ethnic Dignity in Chicano Mural Art: An Interview with Leo Tanguma

Leo Tanguma Adds Splash to NW Denver