By Laura Bautista
The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month has officially begun at Riverside City College. students and faculty members join in the opening of the Art Gallery Exhibit of Latinx Influence on American History which began on Sept. 19 and will last till Oct. 15.
The small exhibit showcases images of iconic Hispanic figures like Caesar Chavez and Selena with their biography below and with books and art pieces based on Latin American history.
The exhibit is hosted by Associated Students of Riverside City College (ASRCC) who partner with the RCC library to host the gallery on the second floor of the Digital Library.
“I think it’s awesome,” said a student who visited the exhibit. ”I feel like it’s like giving recognition to all of the students here because RCC is a very heavy Latino community and it’s nice to have recognition.”
According to Megan Bottoms, assistant professor and coordinator of student activities, the decision to do an art gallery began back in the spring of 2019 in order to have an easy and yet impactful program to last a week or all month long. This will also give the students a chance to view the exhibit not just for one day but for the whole month.
Bottoms also worked with several of RCC’s Chicano studies professors to undefined which figures from music, entertainment, sports, activism and politics that have some broad appeal so that some students would know but also see how they fit into the history and culture of American life and influence. By partnering with the library, they were able to obtain pieces of literature and other artwork to complement the gallery.
“We (ASRCC) obviously started off with a small display. So as we continue in the future, we’ll add more pieces.” Bottoms said. She also claimed that they planned to host similar events for Women’s history month, Black history month and Asian and Pacific Islander heritage month.
“In the library we say we’re the O.G engagement center,” Outreach Librarian Daniel Slota said. “The library was a perfect place to house these certain events because a lot of people come to use the computer, to use our books, to study here so it’s a perfect fit.”
He also explains that looking at these prominent figures and learning about them helps, as he claimed, “To brighten your horizons.”
“Low investment, high impact programs,” Bottoms explained. “That we think that we need to have big programs and big named speakers, but some of these (events) can be most impactful cause someone can interact with it personally and see themselves in some of these work and take it in on their own time versus having one big event where you come and it’s only a couple of hours. You can sort of engage in it on your own and use the material and expand your learning and go to an area that you never knew.”