Cal Humanities

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."

— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project

A photo of a glass filled with cranberry orange holiday punch topped with a cinnamon stick.

Celebrate the Holidays with Your Local California Library

The holiday season is here! Wherever you are, you can join a festive virtual event at one of our participating California public libraries to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and traditions of our immigrant communities.

Euclid Branch Library, Anaheim
Euclid Branch Library offers a series of programs as part of its “Our Voices: One Voice” series. On December 15, join a live zoom conversation with local artist, educator, and activist William Camargo, the founder and curator of Latinx Diaspora Archives, an archive Instagram page that elevates communities of color through family photos. On December 16 and 23, the library hosts online demonstrations and discussions about Vietnamese cooking, in both English and Vietnamese, facilitated by Chef-Librarian Tony Lam. For more information, contact Tony Lam, Community Librarian, at or visit the library website at

Newark Library, Alameda County
Newark Library hosts “Telling Our Immigration Stories” on December 3, featuring community members who participated in the Story Quilt project this fall, a multigenerational narrative art-making project to enable immigrants to record and share their family histories. This project culminates with an online exhibit opening later this month. For more information, visit here or contact Lisa Carter, Community Librarian, at

Point Reyes Library, Marin County
On December 4 and 6, Point Reyes Library conducts two virtual presentation sessions, offered in English and Spanish, for community members interested in becoming US citizens. Register in advance at “Bailemos!” a series of interactive children’s creative movement classes conducted in Spanish, is offered on December 1 and 8. Register at For more information, visit or contact Annemarie Russo, Literacy Coordinator, and Community Library Specialist at

Santa Clarita Public Library
Santa Clarita Public Library hosts “Cooking with ArtBites: Holiday Ponches” on December 1 to culminate a three-part series of interactive virtual cooking demonstrations, recipes, and conversation that explore the relationship between Latin American food, culture, and history. The season’s celebration concludes on December 8 with “A World of Marimba” live zoom performance and discussion conducted by the Los Angeles Marimba Institute. Visit or contact Morgan Lazo, Adult Services Librarian, 661-799-6107, for more details about this program and other activities related to Our Voices/Our Food/Our Culture: Nuestras Voces/Nuestra Comida/Nuestra Cultura.

Studio City Library, Los Angeles County
Studio City Library hosts “Belonging & Expression Reading Night” on December 8 to provide participants in its recent immigrant writing workshop series an opportunity to read from and discuss their work. This series of events, conducted in partnership with the Los Angeles County Music Center, provides interactive and active learning experiences focusing on immigrant community dance traditions. On December 3, “Village, Ballroom, and Stage: Ukrainian Folk Dance for Everyone” features teaching artist and folk dancer Rosina Didyk in an evening of music, dance, and story. On December 10, visionary, artist, dancer, choreographer, and photographer Imani Ma’at AnkhmenRa Amen will explore culture, community, music, ritual, and dances known throughout the African Diaspora in “African Dance: Holistic Teaching Methods of the African Diaspora”. The month continues with classes by Dr. Amy Shimshon-Santo (Brazilian martial art/dance of capoeira) and a Pacifico Dance Company presentation. For more information, contact Adult Library Emily Aaronson at

Library Innovation Lab is an ongoing program of California Humanities that supports responsive and relevant public humanities programming in California’s public libraries by providing a practice-based, capacity-building, professional development experience for library programming specialists. Grants to the participating libraries support innovative programming that engages immigrant populations and offers welcoming and inclusive experiences for all community members. For more information click here.


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