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THURSDAY

Hispanic Heritage Month brings many exciting happenings to the Washington area; local events calendars are jam-packed with programs that encourage everyone to experience the rich heritage of our local Latino communities. But as soon as Oct. 16 rolls around, the hubbub stops. What, Hispanic heritage isn’t worth recognizing for the other 334 days of the year? “Raices: A Celebration of Latin American Poets,” featuring local poets Naomi Ayala, Grisella Martinez, and Quique Aviles, gives the public a chance to enjoy the works of these writers in the middle of the summer, thank you very much. Ayala’s nature-themed works, Martinez’s short, thoughtful stanzas, and Aviles’ character-driven one-man performance pieces are engaging, entertaining, and certainly not bound by the timetable of some congressional resolution. The poets perform in conjunction with “Art Night on the Mall” at 7 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Lerner Room, 7th St. and Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Sarah Godfrey)