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Hispanic Heritage Month Programs 2009

Above: Hispanic Heritage Month Programs 2009.

KPBS will broadcast these special programs during the month of October in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2009.

"¡THINKING GRANDE! Creating California's Mexican Wonderland"

Airs Sunday, October 4 at 10: 30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Mexican immigrant Jose Luis Bonilla, dishwasher turned businessman, spent over twenty years building his colossal, hand-made 'Mexican Disneyland' in the heart of California, only to abandon it after permit problems. A new grass-roots effort is underway to complete the village and develop it into a public center for Mexican arts and culture.

Watch the trailer.

"The Lemon Grove Incident"

Airs Sunday, October 4 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Examine Roberto Alvarez vs. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, the first successful school desegregation court decision in the history of the United States.

"Celia the Queen"

Airs Monday, October 5 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

This documentary explores the life and legacy of a woman whose voice symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke down barriers of racism and sexism. This film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars such as Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean, to ordinary people all over the world. The story traces Celia's exile from her beloved Cuba until her death in 2003. Watch the film online.

"In the Name of Mariachi"

Airs Tuesday, October 6 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

This documentary examines the development of a Mariachi music curriculum within the San Diego County schools.

"Bracero Stories"

Airs Tuesday, October 6 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

"Bracero Stories" explores the personal experiences of five former "guest workers" in the controversial U.S.-Mexican bracero program, which granted temporary work contracts to several million Mexican laborers between 1942 and 1964. Their interwoven stories, illustrated with archival materials, create a composite narrative of the bracero experience. Interviews with other participants in the program assess its effectiveness and lasting impact. The discussions mirror and inform current concerns about illegal immigration and and the role of imported labor in U.S. economic development. Watch the film online.

"The Big Squeeze"

Airs Saturday, October 10 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

"The Big Squeeze" is a joyful leap into the heart of Texas music. And where there's music there's usually some grilling going on. That's why Herminio Ramirez builds a stage right in the tiny kitchen of their Houston home for his son John. From the urban barrios of Houston to the colonials along the U.S.-Mexican border, legacies fueled by the passion-stirring combination of family, friends and food, is being passed along. In "The Big Squeeze," we follow 16 year old John Ramirez and other young musicians as they do battle at the statewide accordion throw down.

"American Masters: Rivera in America"

Airs Sunday, October 11 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV

Considered the greatest Mexican painter of the 20th century, Diego Rivera continues to have a profound effect on the international art world. As a young man, he encountered the works of Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir and Matisse in Paris. But it was the Renaissance frescoes in Italy that fueled his vision of a new form of painting that could reach and celebrate the working man. He returned to Mexico and, ultimately, propelled the fusion of fresco with modern art and architecture. "An artist is above all a human being," he wrote. "If the artist can't feel everything that humanity feels ... if he won't put down his magic brush and head the fight against the oppressor, then he isn't a great artist." Rivera's personal story is equally dramatic, from his stormy love affair with fellow painter Frieda Kahlo to his controversial commissions for Henry Ford and the Rockefellers in the United States. Read more about Diego Rivera.

"American Masters: Orozco: Man on Fire"

Airs Sunday, October 11 at 4 p.m. on KPBS TV

Often thought of as the other Mexican muralist, beside his more flamboyant compatriot Diego Rivera, Orozco was a leader of the Mexican Renaissance. His bold, dynamic frescoes had a profound impact on American painters and inspired Franklin D. Roosevelt to put artists to work during the Great Depression. His most famous U.S. murals — "The Table of Universal Brotherhood," "The Epic of American Civilization and Prometheus" — still convey their power in New York, New Hampshire and California. An iconoclastic personality, Orozco survived the loss of his left hand and destruction of more than half his early work by border agents. His travels back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border evoke the larger Mexican migrant-immigrant experience and have provocative parallels to present times. View a photo gallery of paintings by Orozco.

"KPBS Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Awards"

Airs Sunday, October 11 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

KPBS salutes heroes from our local Hispanic communities. Honorees include: Sarita Fuentes, Principal of Monarch School; Jorge Valerdi of Voices for Children; Catalina Valencia of Aero Financial, Inc. and Ruben Barrales of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about the local hero awards.

"Latin Music USA" (2-part series)

Airs Monday, October 12 & Monday, October 19 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

"Latin Music USA" is a film about American music. Fusions of Latin sounds with jazz, rock, country, rhythm and blues - music with deeper roots and broader reach than most people realize. It's a fresh take on our musical history, reaching across five decades and across musical genres to portray the rich mix of sounds created by Latinos and embraced by all. Watch the film online.

"Tito Puente: The King of Latin Music"

Airs Monday, October 12 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Bill Cosby, Marc Anthony, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Smits, Paquito D'Rivera and other family, friends and colleagues pay homage to the late mambo and Latin jazz legend Tito Puente. Archival footage, interviews and excerpts from one of Puente's last concerts piece together the life of the popular bandleader, percussionist and composer.

Watch the film online.

"Special Circumstances"

Airs Tuesday, October 13 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

At 16, Hector Salgado endured arrest and torture by Pinochet's forces. By 20, Hector was living in exile in the U.S., the very place whose foreign policies in Chile contributed to the death and torture of thousands of Chileans. The documentary follows Salgado as he returns to Chile almost 30 years later. Watch the film online.

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