Polk State’s Hispanic Heritage Month Events Include Art, Fiesta

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College is set to begin its annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, offering students, employees and visitors an array of events on both the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses.

Hispanic Heritage Month is one of several annual initiatives at the College to spotlight various areas of diversity within the community it serves. Others include Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Disability Ability Awareness Month.

“These events are opportunities to learn about the cultures, backgrounds and histories of diverse groups. Polk State is an inclusive institution, and we show that by embracing the diversity found on our campuses, which is a reflection of the diversity of Polk County as a whole,” said Val Baker, director of the College’s Office of Equity and Diversity.

Polk State’s Hispanic enrollment was 14.6 percent in 2011-12, up from 13.2 percent in the previous year, and it continues to grow. Hispanic students account for 15.5 percent of the College’s total headcount. The growth in Polk State’s Hispanic enrollment mirrors the countywide trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.7 percent of Polk’s population is Hispanic, up 132 percent from 2000.

The Hispanic Heritage Month calendar includes:

Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.

Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, featuring free food, music and entertainment

Winter Haven campus, WLR Loggia


Sept. 19, 4:30-7 p.m.

Artists Reception

Lakeland campus, LTB Art Gallery


Sept. 19-Oct. 31

Art Exhibition

Lakeland campus, LTB Art Gallery

Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Sept. 26, 2 p.m.

Café con Leche Dialogue, a discussion led by Polk State College students and faculty

Lakeland campus, LLC 2205


Oct. 2, 4 p.m.

HHM Movie Night featuring “Chico and Rita”

Lakeland campus, LLC 2188


Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m.

Scholarship Fiesta

Lakeland campus, Student Center Dining Hall

RSVP to Pat Baker at 863.297.1095 or pbaker@polk.edu


All events are free and open to the public. Events are presented by the College’s Office of Equity and Diversity in partnership with groups including Student Government Association, Sunrise Community of Polk County Inc., Polk State College Art and Disability Awareness Month committees, International Circle, Polk State College Lakeland Film Society, the Polk State College Foundation and State Farm.

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Month events on its campuses, the College is a sponsor of Club Hispano de Lakeland’s Hispanic Festival, planned for Oct. 27 from noon until 8 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade in Downtown Lakeland. For more information on the Festival, contact Mariela Cruz or Eduardo Tapia at 863.644.5362 or visit clubhispanodelakeland.com.