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KUT is partnering with Austin Vida to highlight arts and culture events happening in Austin’s Latino community. Support comes from the Blanton Museum of Art and its new galleries dedicated to Latino art.

How the Texas Book Festival is celebrating Latinidad this year

The logo of the Texas Book Festival, with a row of books making up the top half of the shape of the state of Texas.
Texas Book Festival
Among the panels at this year's Texas Book Festival is one diving into Latinx horror stories.

The Texas Book Festival returns to Austin this month, with over 300 authors visiting the Capitol grounds. We are highlighting some of the folks showcasing their Latinidad at the festival.

Defining Latinidad

“There is no perfect word that encompasses cultural identity,” said Nancy Flores, editor and publisher of Austin Vida.

For Flores, Latinidad encompasses the Latin American diaspora and beyond, including Chicano, Afro-Cuban and other identities.

“There’s a shared thread with these identities and these experiences,” she said. “Of course, we all know we are not a monolithic group. We all have unique and special experiences that deserve to be told.”

Texas Book Festival

This year's Texas Book Festival will feature a panel that keeps Halloween alive well into November. Local horror author Richard Z. Santos will moderate a panel at the festival on Nov. 12 around his recently released anthology of Latinx horror stories, A Night of Screams.

“We’re in a real horror renaissance right now,” said Santos, who serves as the executive director of the Austin Bat Cave creative community. “Writers of color, and Latinx writers specifically are really leading it, they’re really leading the charge. To me, these are the same kids that in the '80s and '90s were reading Stephen King.”

Santos will be joined on the panel by three authors featured in the book. Leticia Urieta wrote about the horrors of living with chronic pain. Mónica Teresa Ortiz is known for her poetry, but she wrote a take on the well-known Chupacabra story set in the Texas panhandle. Rubén Degollado is not known for writing horror, but he contributed his first story in the genre by setting a zombie story at the border between Texas and Mexico.

The panel is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. The Texas Book Festival takes place Nov. 11-12 at the State Capitol.

Dia de los Muertos

Folks across Austin are celebrating Dia de los Muertos this week. The Mexican American Cultural Center is partnering with MexAmeriCon for their annual Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday. The fest is getting a refresh from Austin’s first Latinx comic book convention. So, in addition to the usual community ofrendas, sugar skulls and artisan booths, you also get to check out culture-focused graphic novels, comic books, zines and more.

Mexic-Arte Museum has been celebrating Dia de los Muertos in Austin for 40 years and currently has a special gallery dedicated to the milestone. It will be on display through Jan. 7, 2024. The museum also has community altars on display all month.

Mas Cultura

The mural on the stage at Pan American Neighborhood Park in East Austin celebrates its anniversary this month. Painted by local muralist Raul Valdez, the artwork has graced the outdoor, hillside stage for 45 years. You can celebrate the mural at an event at the park on Nov. 18.

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Juan Garcia is a producer at KUT. Got a tip? You can email him at
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