Selena Gomez Surprises Students at Her Texas Middle School: ‘Know That Anything’s Possible

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Selena Gomez hugs a surprised in classroomstudent at her old middle school

Selena Gomez went back to her roots and surprised students at her old middle school in Texas.

On Monday, the award-winning artist went back to where it all began at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield, Texas, stopping by her old stomping grounds to encourage current students and reconnect with some of her past teachers.

“Hello, students at Danny Jones Middle School. This is Selena Gomez talking to you,” the 27-year-old said over the intercom, in a video shared by the school on the Mansfield Independent School District’s website.

According to the school, Gomez had returned to her hometown to film for a new documentary about her childhood.

“This trip, I wanted to take my best friend Courtney, and also some of my people from my label, just to show them where I grew up and how proud I am of where I’m from,” Gomez explained. “Some of my teachers I got to see again, and they were part of my life for so long.”

While the former Disney Channel star greeted students in a montage of videos — taking selfies and granting hugs —  her seventh-grade basketball coach recalled the type of student the singer was when she walked the halls.

“As a student, Selena was so humble and she was very kind,” Gray said. “She had a really kind, soft spirit. Hard, hard worker. Real humble. Just a real neat kid.”

Gray also described the day Gomez told her she was withdrawing from school to move to Florida and pursue her acting career. “I remember the day that she was leaving Jones,” Gray recalled. “She said ‘Oh I’m just going to Florida.’”

“And I said ‘How come?’ She said, ‘Oh I’m just going to be in a little Disney film.’” Gray added. “I said, ‘Oh. OK.’ Because sometimes middle school kids kind of exaggerate.”

Continue on to People to read the complete article.

The 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards-Some of the Biggest Moments!

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Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A Latin Grammy Award is an award by The Latin Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the Latin music industry.

The Latin Grammy honors works produced anywhere around the world that were recorded in either Spanish or Portuguese and is awarded in the United States.

(Pictured left-President and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Gabriel Abaroa Jr. speaks onstage at the Premiere Ceremony during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.  Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for LARAS) 

This year’s Latin GRAMMY Awards event was held on November 14th in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the three-hour telecast aired live on the Univision Network.

Rosalía marks historic night for women at Latin Grammys with album of the year win.

The breakthrough performer known for blending flamenco music with sounds like reggaeton and Latin trap, won album of the year, becoming the first solo female performer to win the top honor since Shakira’s triumph 13 years ago.

 

 

Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards Key Show Moments:

  • Opening musical – Tribute to the legacy Latin music represents – 20 artists performed four iconic songs representing four music genres:
    • “La Vida es un Carnaval” – Celia Cruz
    • “Querida” – Juan Gabriel
    • “Secreto de Amor” – Joan Sebastian
    • “De Musica Ligera” – Soda Stereo
  • Fernández Family Musical Dynasty
    • Historic performance: Three generations perform on the stage for the first time – Vicente (grandfather), Alejandro (son), and Alex (grandson).
    • Alex (Te Amare), Alejandro (Caballero), Vicente (La Derrota) all three (Volver Volver), accompanied by El Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez.
    • Immediately after the performance Vicente Fernandez was presented with the Latin Recording Academy President’s Award by Ricky Martin.
  • Paula Arenas Performance
    • Intimate, powerful female moment with Julio Reyes Copello on piano
  • Alejandro Sanz musical
    • “Mi Persona Favorita” featuring Camila Cabello (on LED screens), Aitana, Greeicy, and Nella (three of the nominees of Best New Artist)
  • Rosalía musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “A Palé”
  • Fonseca musical
    • Celebrating the music of Camilo Sesto
    • Singing an acoustic version of a “Perdóname”
  • Pedro Capó/Alicia Keys musical
    • First time “Calma (Alicia Remix)” is performed with Alicia Keys and Farruko
    • Alicia Keys performing new single “Show Me Love” with Miguel and Pedro Capó
  • Juanes Receives the Person of The Year Award by Lars Ulrich, drummer from Metallica.
    • Juanes has credited Metalica for inspiring his musical career
  • Pepe Aguilar musical
    • Celebrating the music of José José with an interpretation of “El Triste”
  • Ricky Martin musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “Cántalo” with Bad Bunny and Residente
  • Bad Bunny musical
    • Accompanied by a symphonic orchestra
Juanes accepts person of the year award
Juanes accepts his Person of The Year Award from Lars Ulrich onstage during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 14, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Rosalia attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS)

Chiquinquirá Delgado attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for LARAS)

Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for LARAS)

Bad Bunny poses withe the Best Urban Music Album in the press room during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for LARAS)

Recipients of President’s Merit Award: The President’s Merit Award is an exceptional honor presented to an exclusive and limited group of individuals for their outstanding career in Latin music and significant contributions to the Latin community.

  • Vicente Fernandez
  • Thalia

Rosalía wins big as the Latin Grammys celebrate 20 years of the genre’s evolution

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Rosalia onstage performing with back up dancers

“Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen,” said the singer, who won Best Album Of The Year.

Spanish artist Rosalía took the Latin Grammys by storm Thursday night as the award show celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Her second studio album, “El Mal Querer,” took home all the awards it was nominated for, including Best Album Of The Year, one of the top awards of the night, and Contemporary Pop Album Of The Year.

“We did this album sitting on the floor, with two computers, a keyboard and a microphone. I swear to God. And then, we worked on it for a year and a half. That was it,” said Rosalía in Spanish at the Latin Grammy stage in Las Vegas. “Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen.”

The artist also took home Best Urban Song for hit “Con Altura,” alongside Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin.

Puerto Rican singer Pedro Capó and Spanish musician Alejandro Sanz also won top awards.

Capó won Song Of The Year with hit “Calma.” The song’s remix also won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Fusion or Performance.

Sanz’s collaboration with pop star Camila Cabello won Record Of The Year. The song also won an award for Best Pop Song.

Between her wins and her medley performance of “Con Altura” and “A Palé,” Rosalía proved once again that she embodies the perfect marriage between the past and the present, organically blending both traditional sounds like flamenco and classical music with mainstream sounds such as pop, reggaeton and trap.

“I have no prejudices or think that one music is better than another. Flamenco is my great passion, but I also love to experiment in the studio, explore with the sounds, so it is natural and organic for me to experiment. And of course, urban music is part of my references as well as classical music, other kinds of music from my country and even Jamaican music,” Rosalía told NBC News in April.

Just like Rosalía, the Latin Grammys were a celebration of the Latin music industry’s evolution.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a surprisingly personal reason for opening a bookstore in the age of Amazon

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Lin-Manuel Miranda seated onstage with guest two interviewers

Along with being the creator of a little show called Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda is also known for his enthusiastic social media presence—including a rapid-fire tweeting style that helped spread the word about his future Broadway megahit back when it was still finding an audience.

Twitter, in other words, is one way to help fuel the biggest thing on Broadway, but at 39, Miranda still thinks small in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to which businesses he supports and where he puts his money. He famously still lives in the same upper Manhattan neighborhood where he grew up, and his first musical, In the Heights, espouses the virtues of local communities and the stories people tell within them.

“I’m the old guy in the bodega who is still talking about boxers,” Miranda told a crowd at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York today. “I’m an aggressively small-business person.”

So when one small business he has a personal connection to recently found itself on the brink of oblivion, Miranda did what any civic-minded Broadway sensation would do: He bought it. That business is the Drama Book Shop, a century-old bookstore in midtown Manhattan that for decades doubled as a de facto incubator for playwrights, actors, and anyone else looking to break into New York City’s theatrical community.

It was in the bookstore’s basement theater where Miranda first met Thomas Kail, the stage director who would become his main collaborator on In the Heights and Hamilton. “He had the audacity to go to their basement, paint it black, and say, ‘We’re a black-box theater,” Miranda says of Kail.

Last year, the Drama Book Shop faced that oldest of Manhattan existential crises—a crushing rent hike—and was subsequently forced to leave its longtime home on West 40th Street. Miranda and Kail, along with Hamilton producer Jeffery Seller and theater owner James Nederlander, combined their resources to purchase the storied shop.

“It was really kind of extraordinary,” Miranda recalled. “The people who needed to show up for it did.” He said the shop will reopen in March, at a new location to be announced soon.

Then he added, with a mix of zeal and incredulousness: “We’re opening a bookstore in post-Kindle, post-Amazon America!”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Latin superstar Juanes’ enduring impact through music and philanthropy

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Juanes performing on stage with his guitar during a concert

By Jovane Marie

When Colombian superstar Juanes takes the stage, the atmosphere shifts. His influence is apparent, from the fanatic cheers of the audience as they sing along word-for-word to the permanent fixture of phones poised to capture each moment. With more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, to say he is a legend is undebatable.

This was the exact scene this past September at L’ATTITUDE, a business-focused annual conference, which focuses on how U.S. Latinos are fueling American economic growth. The artist was in attendance not only to serenade the crowd with a moving rendition of “La Camisa Negra” (a favorite from his ground-breaking album “Mi Sangre”) but also to share his thoughts on how Latinos are dominating mainstream music and the importance of their contributions.

It’s a perspective Juanes is more than qualified to speak on.

With a career spanning longer than three decades, 26 awarded Grammys and Latin Grammys combined, a history of philanthropic endeavors, and his naming last June as the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, Juanes has firmly positioned himself as one of Latin music’s leading global ambassadors and a committed voice for advocacy and inclusion.

It may seem a massive undertaking to be such an influential artist—maintaining a long-standing industry presence, constantly expanding your creative artistry, supporting new artists, and managing philanthropic efforts—but Juanes insists that only one thing is necessary to make it so.

“Si quieres ser artista, sigue tu corazón,” he told the L’ATTITUDE crowd. “If you want to be an artist, stick to your heart.”

Follow the Music

Considering Juanes’ background, it comes as no surprise that he ended up so fully enraptured by the magic of music. Raised in his native Colombia, he began playing the piano when he was only 2 years old, and at 7 learned the guitar from his father and brothers.

Juanes and Camillo Cabello perform on stage
Juanes and Camila Cabello perform onstage during The Latin Recording Academy’s Person of The Year Gala. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

“I started to play guitar and sing because of my family, really—my brothers, sisters and parents all loved music,” he told NPR. “They were always singing folk music, so those beginning years were filled with sambas and chacareras and vallenatos and tangos.”

By the time his teenage years rolled around, however, his tastes had changed, leading to the start of a career with a musical sound far removed from the folk songs of his youth. At age 17, along with friends André García, Fernando “Toby” Tobón and José David Lopera, he formed the rock band Ekhymosis (Greek for “bruise”).

Inspired by the music of Metallica, the band aimed to “create

Colombian rock” through their thrash and heavy metal rhythms. Their first demo spoke to a simultaneous effort to describe the troubled environment of their hometown in Medellín, marking the beginning of a consistent pattern of speaking out against injustice and violence through socially conscious songs.

At the time, Medellín, influenced by the reign of Pablo Escobar and civil war, had the highest homicide rate in the world. Juanes was not spared from the effects of this harrowing environment, losing a cousin to violence in the early 90s. The experience encouraged him to try to use his gift of music to effect change.

“I realized that music has the power to bring people together, to change things,” he said. “That has been my mission.”

By the time Juanes made the decision to go solo in 1998—ten years after the band’s formation— the award-winning group had released eight albums.

“I just felt like I was missing something—that I needed to go back to my roots, my essence,” Juanes said of his solo journey. “And that’s what I’ve done ever since. I try to mix both the folk side and the rock side to create a contemporary sound.”

The formula has certainly paid off…in spades.

Juanes holds his big donation check for his Fundacion Mi Sangre foundation
Juanes poses for a photo with a donation made to his foundation, Fundacion Mi Sangre, at Hard Rock Cafe – Times Square in New York City.(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Released in 2000, his first solo album, “Fíjate Bien,” earned him two Latin Grammy Awards, while his second, “Un Día Normal” (released in 2002), was certified multi-platinum in multiple countries across Latin America.

It was his third album, however—”Mi Sangre”—that positioned him as an international force and cemented him as a global ambassador for the Latin music genre. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, produced three consecutive number one singles, was certified Gold, Platinum, or Multi-platinum in 14 countries, and won three Latin Grammy Awards.

Since the release of “Mi Sangre” in 2004, Juanes has released four more albums, including 2017’s “Mis Planes Son Amarte,” a full visual concept album featuring the artist’s first song in English.

His eighth solo album, set for release in November 2019, has already produced a Latin Grammy- nominated single in “La Plata”—a Colombian folkloric tune mixed with pop reggaeton that is close to the singer’s heart.

“This song is light and happy…I’m very excited,” he gushed about the single, which features emerging Columbian trap artist Lalo Ebratt of the collective Trapical Minds. “It has to do with Colombia, and with my roots, and with who I am.”

The Juanes Effect

Juanes’ worldwide appeal is undeniable. He has performed everywhere from the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo to Sesame Street, and has been recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People.

And while many Latin artists eventually “cross-over” to record English language albums in an effort to expand their audiences, he waited almost 30 years to record “Goodbye for Now,” his first English song. The move was deliberate and based, he said, on a desire to respect his fan base while adapting to the changing musical landscape.

“Singing in Spanish is very important because it is the language in

Karla Martinez, John Cena, Juanes and Ana Patricia Gamez are seen on the set of ‘Despierta America’ to promote the film ‘Ferdinand’in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

which I think and feel,” he explained. “But I am also conscious of the fact that the world and the way we communicate is changing. I do love Anglo music, and now that I’m a little bit more familiar with the language, I feel like it’s more honest for me to do it.”

It may have taken him some time to release a track in English, but Juanes has effortlessly maintained a presence in the mainstream American music scene, nabbing several groundbreaking firsts in the process of building his musical empire.

His performances at the 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2010), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014), The TODAY Show Plaza concert series (2014), and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2017) marked the first time any of these platforms had featured a performing artist singing exclusively in Spanish. And, in 2015, he performed “Juntos”—the first Spanish song featured in over a decade at the Grammys.

For Juanes, these historic performances speak to the ability of music to transcend language.

“It’s really a magical feeling,” he explained. “People come to our shows or listen to these performances, and they respect the fact that we sing in Spanish. They are paying attention to the melodies and the arrangement and the music itself, and it’s a beautiful gift. It’s just the magic of music.”

A Voice for Change

Growing up a witness to prevalent violence in his hometown of Medellín had a profound effect on Juanes that has reverberated beyond his lyrics into a passion for philanthropy.

In 2006, he created the Mi Sangre Foundation in response to Colombia’s needs in the treatment of landmine victims. Under the umbrella of psychosocial support, peace education, and peace building project programs, the organization “helps children, teenagers, and youth heal wounds of the soul by creating safe environments and strengthening social fabrics while enabling the participation of families, the community, and the educational sector.”  The venture, which has provided support for thousands of landmine victims, is a labor of the heart.

Recording artist Juanes performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac
Recording artist Juanes performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

“The name Mi Sangre [My Blood] is inspired by the same sentiment as my album of the same name—it’s about my children, my children’s children, my land, my roots. It’s what’s important to me,” Juanes said of the foundation. “When I heard firsthand the stories of people who had been directly affected moved me to the point that I said, ‘I want to do something.’”

The artist also co-founded the Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) effort, a series of free outdoor concerts aimed at uniting people across borders and promoting non-violent conflict resolution.

His efforts have earned him a multitude of humanitarian awards, appointments, and recognition, including Colombia’s National Peace Prize, a position as a Goodwill Ambassador for nonprofit organization United for Colombia, France’s highest cultural honor for social activism (L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), and a namesake recreational park in Medellín, which provides rehabilitation space for people with disabilities.

For Juanes, however, the recognition isn’t the end goal. In his eyes, it’s all about making a difference.

“I do these things because they matter for me and to me,” he explained. “I often think about what we as a people are doing here in this world and why we are here. And what I know for sure is that we are not alone…we need to help each other.”

A Continuing Legacy

Juanes’ legacy of artistic innovation, support for emerging artists, and humanitarian recently manifested into yet another recognition—one reserved for the most culturally impactful Latin musicians.

Last June, the Latin Recording Academy announced that as part of its milestone 20th anniversary, the singer, composer, musician, and philanthropist would be named the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Juanes performs at the 2nd Annual L'Attitude Conference
Juanes performs at the 2nd Annual L’Attitude Conference – LatiNExt Live on September 26, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Bestowed upon musicians of Ibero American heritage in acknowledgement of their artistic achievements in the Latin music industry, fellowship, and philanthropic efforts, past honorees have included Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana.

“Juanes is young, but legendary, an artist who has inspired us through his amazing music for many years and—while doing so—he vigorously campaigned for political, social, and positive change around the world,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “His leadership and his philanthropic work, in addition to his positive messages that transcend music, speak volumes about his many contributions to the community, and we are truly honored to recognize him as this year’s Latin Academy Person of the Year.”

The designation is just the latest addition to the multi-talented artist’s ever-growing legacy, and a reaffirmation that he is fulfilling his destiny.

“I’m doing what I believe I was brought to do—to create music that raises awareness, renews hearts, and generates change,” Juanes shared. “And I hope I have many years left to connect through art, to play my guitar, and to continue chasing the sun.”

Vietnam Veteran Wes Studi calls historic Oscar ‘overwhelmingly amazing’

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Wes Studi pictured smiling, wearing a dark suit and silver necklace, at event premiere

Cherokee actor, activist and Vietnam veteran Wes Studi is poised to become the first Native American actor to be presented with an Oscar at Sunday’s Governors Awards gala in Los Angeles.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that it planned to celebrate Studi’s extraordinary career with an honorary Oscar at its annual fall ceremony.

“It’s overwhelmingly amazing,” Studi told UPI in a recent phone interview.

“It’s recognition of a body of work that’s taken me 30-some-odd years to put together, and it really is kind of overwhelming that my peers in the business have recognized my work and think that it’s deserving of an award.”

The 71-year-old Oklahoma native — who is known for his unforgettable performances in the films Hostiles, Avatar, Geronimo, The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves — was preparing his Oscar acceptance speech this week.

“I’m definitely getting nervous about it. I hope I am able to give credit where credit is due and to be able to see, as well as communicate with, people I have worked with throughout the past,” Studi said.

He also wants his remarks to convey to Native actors just starting out that “these things are possible.”

“It opens a door in a way,” he said. “It has provided possibility.”

Studi, who has eight projects in various stages of production, hasn’t given up his dream of winning a competitive Oscar.

“As much as I appreciate this award, I’m definitely still looking for that one award for an individual performance,” he said, adding he considers his work ethic among his greatest achievements.

“Just doing the best I possibly could has always been a goal of mine.”

Studi said he understands the impact art can have on people and appreciates being part of films widely regarded as timeless classics.

“Hopefully, the story gets across the intended purpose — not only entertaining, but also passing on virtues, as well as failings of our human race,” he said. “Storytelling is one of the most important ways of passing on cultures and of maintaining them.”

Continue on to UPI to read the complete article.

“Jane The Virgin” Star Jaime Camil Releases Official YouTube Channel

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Jaime Camil trio of professional headshots

Jaime Camil, the 2018 & 2019 Teen Choice Award winner for “Choice TV Actor in a Comedy,” Golden Globe Award and Critics’ Choice Award nominee and named by VANITY FAIR as one of the “Best TV Characters,” is showing no signs of slowing down, launching his official YouTube Channel today as he lines up his next big projects leading up to the new year

“I decided to create my YouTube channel youtube.com/JAIMECAMILto give my fans more direct access to my life and experiences. I think that my fans not only want to see me on red carpets and during interviews, but that they would like to know more about what happens once we go into the event. Now, they will get to see my travels to a Canelo fight, come with me to an LAFC game or simply join me in a coffee shop! Thanks to my YouTube channel, my subscribers will have direct access to my personal experiences, my backstages stories and even have access to my private life and my family. I really hope you enjoy it and I hope you can join me in the amazing fun!”

Camil will be executive producing (through his ECABA banner) and playing the leading man in the Lionsgate/Pantelion film, MY BOYFRIEND’S MEDS, in theaters worldwide on February 21, 2020, Camil stars opposite Sandra Echeverria (SAVAGES) playing Hank, a charming mattress store owner who meets and falls for Echeverria’s Jess. When the two go on a surprise trip to an island resort, Hank forgets to bring the prescription medicine he takes for a string of disorders, meaning he is no longer able to control his various symptoms and things really start to go awry for the couple.

Camil has also teamed up with “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman to co-executive produce the CBS comedy series “Broke,” with Alex Herschlag (executive producer “Will & Grace”) tapped as the writer. In “Broke,” which Camil also stars in, an outrageously wealthy trust fund baby (Camil) is cut off by his father, then he and his wife move into her sister’s Reseda condo where they delight in the “charms” of the working class but mourn the loss of being the 1% of the 1%. CBS will premiere the show midseason 2020.

Camil made his Broadway debut in 2005 in Latinologues and most recently took a turn as “Billy Flynn” in Broadway’s CHICAGO (2016), and starred as “Sam Carmichael” in the Hollywood Bowl’s reprisal of MAMMA MIA! opposite Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and actress/singer Dove Cameron this past summer. He has starred in over 20 award-winning films, including PULLING STRINGS and 200 CARTAS (alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda). Camil has led the highest-rated telenovelas of all time and has recorded four platinum-selling albums and has starred in many musicals in his native Mexico City, including West Side Story, Hook, Aladdinand more. In 2005 he led the Broadway-bound musical The Mambo Kings.

Lannan Foundation Creates $3 Million Endowment for Native American Scholarships with the American Indian College Fund

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College students pictured walking to classes outside a University campus

Only 14% of American Indian and Alaska Native students have a college degree, less than half the rate of other groups—and one barrier to getting a higher education is often cost.

Lannan Foundation of Santa Fe, New Mexico is helping to make it easier for Native students to get a college degree, thanks to a $3 million endowment it created with the American Indian College Fund. The endowment will provide Native American students with scholarships to attend tribal colleges and universities.

The College Fund supports 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) through capital and programmatic support and scholarships. These remarkable institutions are located on or near Indian reservations, serving people who live in remote, rural communities. TCUs are affordable, accredited higher education institutions and offer culturally based curriculum in a supportive environment, with 74% of TCU graduates going on to work in careers that serve their communities, according to the results of the Alumni of Tribal Colleges and Universities Better Their Communities survey by the College Fund and Gallup.

Patrick Lannan, President, said, “Tribal colleges and universities, in many respects, are the center of hope for Indian country and Indian people in the United States. The American Indian College Fund makes a good future for tribal college students much more viable.”

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, “It has been my personal pleasure to know Patrick Lannan and Lannan Foundation for many years, witnessing their path as an organization committed to social justice and the voices of disenfranchised people. This gift to our students’ successful college experiences through a scholarship endowment is but another example of that commitment. We thank them for their vision and their generosity.”

About Lannan Foundation—Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects that support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities. The foundation recognizes the profound and often unquantifiable value of the creative process and is willing to take risks and make substantial investments in ambitious and experimental thinking. Understanding that globalization threatens all cultures and ecosystems, the foundation is particularly interested in projects that encourage freedom of inquiry, imagination, and expression. The foundation supports this mission by making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of contemporary visual artliteratureindigenous communities, and cultural freedom. For more information visit lannan.org.

About the American Indian College Fund—Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for 30 years. The College Fund believes “Education is the answer” and provided 5,896 scholarships last year totaling $7.65 million to American Indian students, with more than 131,000 scholarships and community support totaling over $200 million since its inception. The College Fund also supports a variety of academic and support programs at the nation’s 35 accredited tribal colleges and universities, which are located on or near Indian reservations, ensuring students have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers. The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators and is one of the nation’s top 100 charities named to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information about the American Indian College Fund, please visit collegefund.org.

These 3 Latina actresses are helping make Broadway more inclusive

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Actresses Lindsay Mendez, Mandy Gonzalez and Bianca Marroquín are pictured together

Broadway’s Mandy Gonzalez, Bianca Marroquín and Lindsay Mendez are committed to the “sisterhood” of Latinas in the arts, and they are all working hard to encourage young people to pursue creative work. Pictured from left to right: Actresses Lindsay Mendez, Mandy Gonzalez and Bianca Marroquín.

Mandy Gonzalez was a teenager when she sat in her bedroom in Saugus, Calif. and watched the cast of “Rent” perform at the Tony Awards. Watching actress Daphne Rubin-Vega sing “Seasons of Love” made a lasting impression because she was “someone who looked like me… I thought ‘I can do this,’” recounted Gonzalez.

Flash forward to today, and there’s no doubt Gonzalez, who is Mexican and Jewish, has made it in the acting world. She currently plays Angelica in Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton.”

Gonzalez is one of a small group of Hispanic professional theater actors working on Broadway today. Even though Hispanics make up 18.3 percent of the nation’s total population, the first-ever Actors’ Equity Association study of diversity noted that less than 3 percent of its members identify as Hispanic or Latinx. Broadway audiences don’t reflect our country’s diversity, either. A January 2018 report from the Broadway League discovered that Latinos account for only 7.1 percent of theatergoers.

However, Broadway has indeed been inching toward progress in terms of diversity over the years. For example, the original 1979 Broadway production of “Evita” was picketed by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors for not hiring Latino actors to tell a story about Argentinians. But when “Evita” was revived in 2012, it had actors of Latin descent in the two lead roles, among others.

And today, a quick glance at the headshots of performers in “Hamilton” paint an inclusive picture. Aspiring Hispanic performers can also look to multiple Broadway shows for inspiration—there’s Karen Olivo in “Moulin Rouge,” Eva Noblezada in “Hadestown,” and Shireen Pimentel in the upcoming “West Side Story,” to name a few.

Still, many are quick to note there is still a long way to go.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/Ted Ely/Courtesy of Bianca Marroquín

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Rosario Dawson Pays Homage to the First Latina Wonder Woman

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Animated image of the Latina Wonder Woman superhero

Rosario Dawson stars as Wonder Woman in the new Warner Bros. Animation film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.

This is Dawson’s sixth time portraying the Amazon superhero in a film and that is not even counting her role as Artemis in the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie. Dawson’s success in the role is an important one coming from a Latina actress, but the star made a point to tell reporters at New York Comic-Con that she is not the first Latina to play Wonder Woman.

Instead, Dawson wanted to pay tribute to an earlier Latina actress who took on the iconic role and the impact that it had on Dawson and her family.

One of the things that Dawson made clear for reporters was how much she respected the history of the iconic superhero that she gets to play. She acknowledged that every version of these characters in film today are based on a number of earlier versions of those character that were developed by many different creators over a number of decades.

One particular earlier iteration of Wonder Woman has a special place in Dawson’s heart because it starred the actual first Latina to play the Princess of the Amazons. Dawson explained, I…feel that Wonder Woman has been pushed in a lot of different spaces that I will never put down. I remember when I began voicing Wonder Woman and people were like, ‘Finally, we’re getting a Latina Wonder Woman.’ And I was like, Lynda Carter was Latina. I grew up with her and I thought that that was super awesome. It was a different iteration of her, but it was very inspiring and it meant a lot to my grandmother, my mother and me.”

On her official website, Carter explains her family history, “I grew up in a house filled with music. My mother, who is of Mexican and Spanish descent, used to sing to my English-Irish father, and between the two of them I was introduced to a diverse array of music, ranging from country to blues to classical.”

It is impressive to see Carter’s legacy live on in Dawson’s Wonder Woman portrayal.

The film arrives on Digital HD Oct. 5 and Blu-ray and 4k Ultra HD Oct. 22.

Continue on to CBR.com to read the complete article.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to headline the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium

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Jennifer Lopez and Shakira pose side by side for the Super Bowl 2020 halftime promo

It’s a pretty great time to be Jennifer Lopez.

Fresh off her much buzzed performance in the movie “Hustlers,” the multi-talented performer has announced she will be hosting the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show alongside Shakira.

The duo follow in the recent footsteps of Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, who have headlined the biggest show on American TV.  Super Bowl LIV will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2, 2020.

The news came via the two singers’ social media, and was swiftly followed by confirmation from the NFL’s official account.

The performances by Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake in the last two years have drawn criticism, and many performers have been reluctant to take the gig in light of the NFL’s response to Colin Kaepernick and other players kneeling during the national anthem.

Earlier this year, the league announced a partnership with Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label which encompassed entertainment and social justice efforts. The rapper was likely instrumental in bringing Lopez and Shakira to the stage next year, given his position as a consultant on the halftime show.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.