Hispanic Heritage Month Programming on Iowa PBS

September marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15), a time to honor and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and contributions of Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States. And what better way to do so than through the lens of television, where stories come to life and history is vividly retold. Here are the TV programs you can watch to celebrate Hispanic heritage this month with Iowa PBS. 

Hispanic Art and Music 

Art, music and storytelling are inseparable from the heartbeat of Hispanic culture, where they serve as profound expressions of identity, history and emotion. These artistic forms have evolved over centuries, drawing from a rich tapestry of indigenous, European and African influences, each contributing to the unique fusion that defines Hispanic art, music and writing.


Latin Fiesta! 

Havana, Cuba, native Andy William assembled a stellar cast of musicians for the birth of a new Afro-Cuban jazz orchestra, Andy William and The Nebraska All Stars. Fronted by legendary Havana vocalist Onelio Perez, the group offers different styles of Cuban music and performs tributes to the Buena Vista Social Club of Cuba.

Watch Latin Fiesta! below, via YouTube or the PBS App.


In Their Words: Nixson Benitez 

Nixson Benitez was the executive editor of UNI's Northern Iowan newspaper when he was featured in our short-from video series on young Iowans doing exceptional things. Honored by the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame for his work in his community, Nixson works to increase bilingual access to information and provide a platform for new voices.

Watch his story with In Their Words: Nixson Benitez, originally premiering online in 2021. 


Becoming Frida Kahlo 

This three-part docuseries explores the life of celebrated artist Frida Kahlo. See the major personal and political events of her life, including her stormy and devoted relationship with artist Diego Rivera, whom she married not once but twice.

Episode two of Becoming Frida Kahlo airs on Tuesday, September 28 at 8 p.m. 

Episode three of Becoming Frida Kahlo airs on Tuesday, October 3 at 8 p.m.

Stream the first episode now or check it out on the PBS App (and check back for future episodes on demand on the app):


36th Hispanic Heritage Awards

Celebrate the recipients of the Hispanic Heritage Awards. The evening includes performances and appearances by some of the country's most celebrated Hispanic artists and visionaries.

The 36th Hispanic Heritage Awards airs on Friday, September 29 at 8:30 p.m. and will be available on demand on the PBS App after broadcast. 


José Clemente Orozco: Man of Fire | American Masters

The life of Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco was filmed with drama, adversity and triumph. Despite poverty, childhood rheumatic fever that damaged his heart and an explosion in his youth that cost him his left hand, Orozco persisted in his wish to become an artist.

Watch José Clemente Orozco: Man of Fire on Tuesday, October 3 at 10:30 p.m.


Hispanic Filmmakers and Documentaries

Hispanic filmmakers have made an indelible mark on the world of cinema, using their craft to tell powerful and often deeply personal stories that capture the essence of Hispanic culture. Through their lenses, they have provided a window into the lives, struggles, and triumphs of Hispanic people, both in their home countries and throughout the world. In the following documentaries, we will delve into the works of these talented filmmakers and their compelling narratives.


Bulls and Saints | POV 

After 20 years of living in the United States, an undocumented family decides to return home. Set between the backdrop of the rodeo rings of North Carolina and the spellbinding Mexican hometown they long for, Bulls and Saints is a love story of reverse migration, rebellion and redemption. 

Stream now or watch via the PBS App:


Sansón and Me | Independent Lens

Filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes is inspired to make a documentary about Sansón, an immigrant serving life for first-degree murder, but authorities won’t allow the incarcerated young man to be filmed. In light of this, Sansón’s story is shared through dramatic reenactments of his letters, using members of his own family as actors.

Stream now or watch via the PBS App:


A Song for Cesar | American Masters

Trace the life and legacy of labor activist Cesar Chavez. Through interviews with Maya Angelou, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana and more, see how music and the arts were instrumental to the success of the farmworkers’ movement Chavez helped found.

A Song for Cesar airs on Friday, September 29 at 9:30 p.m. and will be available on demand on the PBS App. 



El Equipo | Independent Lens 

Legendary U.S. anthropologist Dr. Clyde Snow sets out to train a new group of Latin American students in the use of forensic anthropology. Their goal: to investigate disappearances in Argentina during the “dirty war.” The group expands its horizons, traveling to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Mexico, doggedly working behind the scenes to establish the facts for the families of the victims.

El Equipo airs on Monday, October 9 at 10 p.m. and will be available to stream on demand via the PBS App. 


Día de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead, known as "Día de los Muertos" in Spanish, is a vibrant and deeply meaningful celebration that originates in Mexico but has spread to various parts of the world.

Learn more about Día de los Muertos:


If that peaked your interest check out our article on Día de los Muertos and its traditions.