Fiesta del Grito: A Visual History of the Diez y Seis Celebration in Austin
Since the early 1990s, the Mexican Consulate in Austin has collaborated with city government to hold La Fiesta del Grito de Independencia, a public celebration of Mexican Independence Day, otherwise known as El Diez y Seis. The event features Mexican music and dance, complete with the grito de independencia, delivered by the sitting consul general. El Grito is a reenactment of the cry of independence given by Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the town of Dolores Hidalgo on September 16, 1810, now celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.
In 1994, then city councilmember Gus García established the Fiesta de Independencia Foundation along with community members Roberto Chapa and Rosie Mendoza. The foundation is the fund-raising arm that supports the yearly, and growing, Diez y Seis festivities in Austin. A partner group—the Fiesta de Independencia Committee—plans and executes the event.
Over the years, Austin’s Diez y Seis celebration has taken place in several locations of note, among them the Mexican Consulate, at the time located on Brazos Street; Auditorium Shores and the City Coliseum; Plaza Saltillo; Waterloo Park; the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC); and, since 2013, the steps of the Texas Capitol.
Posters from Austin's Fiesta del Grito will be on display in the first-floor corridor of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection through September 18, 2017. The exhibition is open during regular library hours. The Benson Collection is proud to be the repository of archives relating to Austin’s fiesta, including copies of the posters from most of the events, many of which include original art created for the occasion by Latin American, Latino, and Texas artists.
For more information, contact Susanna Sharpe.