September 29, 2016
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Kennedy Center Ignoring Latinos?


WASHINGTON - The following is an open letter to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts submitted by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) & Being Latino, Inc. NALIP joins the following groups in support of this letter and the Latino artists listed in the letter below: Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Federation, Hispanic War Veterans of America, Labor, Council for Latin American Advancement, League of United Latin American Citizens, MANA-A National Latina Organization, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Association of Hispanic Federal Employees, National Council of La Raza, National Hispana Leadership Institute, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Institute for Latino Policy, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc., U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, United States-Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation. 

National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) & Being Latino, Inc. 
Washington Square . 1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. . Tenth Floor 
Washington, D.C. 20036 
Office 202-293-8330 
www.Hispanicarts.Org



Mr. David M. Rubenstein 
Chairman 
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 
2700 F St NW, 
Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Leslie Moonves 
President & CEO 
CBS Corporation 
CBS Headquarters 
51 W. 52nd Street 
New York, NY 10019-6188 

Ms. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg 
Trustee 
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 
Columbia Point 
Boston, MA 02125 

RE: Kennedy Center Honors 

Dear Messr. Rubenstein, Moonves and Ms. Kennedy Scholossberg: 

The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) was founded in 1997, by actors Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales, Merel Julia, and Washington, D.C. attorney Felix Sanchez to provide both outreach and graduate scholarships to Latinos interested in careers in the entertainment and telecommunications industry. NHFA in partnership with Being Latino - founded by Lance Rios - the largest online Latino community on face book, have embarked on an impact project to address the glaring absence of Latinos on television and in film. 

Since 1978, when the Kennedy Center Honors began, only 2 Latinos have received your prestigious honor: Placido Domingo in 2000; and Chita Rivera in 2002. After 32 years, 160 artists have received the Kennedy Center's lifetime achievement award. Gone are some of the true virtuosos of our community: Rita Hayworth; Fernando Llamas; Ricardo Montalban; Celia Cruz; Anthony Quinn; Raul Julia; Fernando Bujones; Kathy Jurado; Lalo Guerrero, Jose Ferrer; Luis Buñuel; and Jose Limon, who while they lived could have been honored with your award. 

It is with great disappointment that we note how few U.S. and International Latinos have been singled out for your award. We note the following artists have made an enormous artistic contribution both within the U.S. and International stage. They are but a few who are more than worthy of your award. 

Literature: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sandra Cisneros, Nilo Cruz, Isabel Allende, Victor Villasenor, Oscar Hijuelos, Junot Diaz 

Music: Julio Iglesias, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades 

Dance: Kenny Ortega, Amalia Hernandez, Rita Moreno, Priscilla Lopez, Jose Manuel Carreno 

Actors/Film/TV: Cristina Saralegui, Sonia Braga, Rita Moreno, Raquel Welch, Edward James Olmos, Antonio Banderas, Hector Elizondo, Luis Valdez, David Valdes, Gregory Nava, Pedro Almodovar 

We hope that this will be the last year Latinos are absent as honorees on your show. We note that a number of current Latino performers would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to the above-mentioned icons of the Latino community, including: Jennifer Lopez; Marc Anthony; Jimmy Smits; Salma Hayek; Eva Longoria; Esai Morales; Shakira; Christina Aguilera; Adam Rodriguez; Los Lobos; Los Tigres del Norte; Javier Bardem; Benicio Del Toro; Lin-Manuel Miranda; Roberto Orci; Juanes; George Lopez; Penelope Cruz; John Leguizamo; Jessica Alba; Mario Lopez; Lynda Carter; America Ferrera; Rosie Perez; Eva Mendez; Sofia Vergara; Fergie; Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias; Don Omar; Alejandro Fernandez; Juan Gabriel; Los Lonely Boys; Ozomatli; and Luis Miguel to name but a few. 

The Kennedy family has a long history of working alongside the Latino community, and valuing the contributions of the Latino community in building and strengthening our nation. From the moment the Latino community was first galvanized as a voting bloc in the 1960 presidential race electing John F. Kennedy as President of the United States, to the late seventies when Robert Kennedy worked with Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and other Latino leaders during the civil rights movement, and most recently as Senator Edward Kennedy fought valiantly to his final days working on immigration reform and health care reform, the Kennedy family have been allies, partners and true friends to the Latino community. It's time for the Kennedy Center Honors to carry forward the legacy of the family name extended in the Kennedy Center Honors, by also acknowledging and including the artistic contributions made by both U.S. Latinos and International Latinos. 

We hope that you will move to address this matter and make the Kennedy Center Honors a truly modern day inclusive American Award event. We also welcome the opportunity to discuss with you any ways we can support your efforts to get there. 

Sincerely, 
Felix Sanchez 
Chairman 
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts 

Lance Rios 
Founder & President 
Being Latino, Inc. 


STORY TAGS: HISPANIC NEWS, LATINO NEWS, MEXICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, DIVERSITY, LATINA, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY



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