The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® and Ford Motor Company Fund join forces, for a record 25th time, to offer live educational program and music instrument donation
For additional images, please click here. Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy
NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 8, 2022) — The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation®, in partnership with GRAMMY® -winning songwriter and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, donated musical instruments valued at $40,000 to George Washington Educational Campus in Washington Heights, New York.
The donation was part of the first live, in-person Latin GRAMMY In The Schools™ educational program since 2020, and featured a conversation and performance in honor of Miranda. A Q&A with students moderated by award-winning Broadway actress and television personality Bianca Marroquín followed.
Eight-hundred enthusiastic music students from George Washington Educational Campus received the surprise of a lifetime when Miranda arrived to watch their performance of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and the Oscar-nominated single “Dos Oruguitas,” written by Miranda for the Oscar-winning Disney animated feature film, Encanto.
“What a thrill to watch first-hand as the incredibly talented students at the George Washington Educational Campus performed my work and brought their fellow students to their feet,” said Miranda. “I’m so grateful to be here with the Latin GRAMMY In The Schools program to support their dreams.”
“We live in a world with little room for creativity, and the arts allow our students to explore their creative brilliance and limitless possibilities,” said Zulaika Velázquez, Artistic Director & Teaching Artist at George Washington Educational Campus. “We are incredibly grateful and honored by the generous donation from the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Welcome to our theater family!”
“Our commitment to fostering the next generation of Latin music creators remains steadfast. Through the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation, we bolster programs that provide young musicians with access to instruments and a first-class education,” said Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy®. “Together, with the generosity of the Ford Motor Company Fund, and the dedication of the leadership and students at George Washington Educational Campus, we continue to preserve our cultural heritage.”
“Music education is an important component of providing students with a well-rounded education. We are proud to support the Latin GRAMMY In The Schools educational program and the donation of musical instruments to inspire and motivate students to pursue their musical studies,” said Yisel Cabrera, Senior Manager, Ford Motor Company Fund.
The performing arts program at George Washington Educational Campus was launched by Velázquez in 2015, in partnership with former principal Juan Villar. Together, they saw a unique opportunity to leverage musical theater as a holistic learning tool where students would cultivate performance skills in a safe space and develop their confidence, learn and improve fluency in English, and gain a better understanding of complex subject matters in a creative and immersive environment. The program has continued to grow thanks to the incredible support of the new administration and current principal, Sofia Russo, who have been instrumental in helping to usher in change and continue to champion the program’s expansion for the school.
The vision included plans for built-in music and TV studios at George Washington Educational Campus which are nearing completion. Over the last seven years, Velázquez and her students have been hard at work bringing productions to life. As a result of their efforts, the program will be expanding this fall to include a teacher who will focus on dance and choreography that has been in place since 2015 but did not have a full-time teacher. Willi Mena, the new teacher and choreographer, has been collaborating with Velázquez for years in other productions. Over the course of the next school year, each department will work together to execute new productions. The theater department will focus on the acting company of characters, the technical theater department will develop lighting and set design, the music school will master the score and the dance department will center on the choreography. In the future, the program aims to also incorporate a costume department.
Since the beginning of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation's partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund in 2014, more than 28,660 students have benefited from donations exceeding $560,000 worth of musical instruments to schools in U.S. cities such as Aransas Pass, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and New York; as well as internationally in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mexico City, Mexico; Arecibo, Humacao, Yauco, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Latin GRAMMY In The Schools is an educational program that informs and connects music students with professionals in the Latin music industry and supports educational music departments that have financial limitations. The Foundation invites artists, professional musicians, and sound engineers to visit middle and high schools, universities, or music education institutions to share their personal stories and experiences with students that highlight the effort it takes to overcome career obstacles. The goal is for students to learn to optimize the educational opportunities presented to them, giving them an advantage and strong academic preparation to be able to compete in the music industry.
Previous artists who have participated in the program include: Ángela Aguilar, David Bisbal, Marilina Bertoldi, Miguel Bosé, Calle 13, Pedro Capó, Camilo, Chino & Nacho, Chiquis, Luis Coronel, Silvestre Dangond, Joss Favela, Fonseca, Luis Fonsi, Becky G, Karol G, Kany García, Gente de Zona, Leslie Grace, Carlos Jean, Jesse & Joy, Natalia Lafourcade, Poncho Lizárraga, Claudia Montero, Ednita Nazario, Christian Nodal, Ángel "Cucco" Peña, Prince Royce, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Olga Tañón, Thalía, Christian Serratos, Diego Torres, Carlos Vives, Wisin, and Sebastián Yatra.
ABOUT LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA:
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Pulitzer Prize, GRAMMY, Emmy and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director. He is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. His additional Broadway credits include Freestyle Love Supreme (co-founder, guest star, Special Tony Award recipient), Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer/co-lyricist, Tony nomination for Best Musical), and West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations). Miranda is the recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award, the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors and the 2019 Portrait of a Nation Prize. He received an Emmy Award with Tom Kitt for their song, “Bigger” from the 67th Annual Tony Awards. Miranda and his family are active supporters of initiatives that increase people of color’s representation throughout the arts and government, ensure access to women’s reproductive health, and promote resilience in Puerto Rico. His film and TV credits include: tick, tick … Boom!, Encanto, Vivo, In the Heights, Hamilton (2021 Emmy Award), His Dark Materials, Fosse/Verdon, We The People, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2018 Emmy nomination, Guest Actor), Saturday Night Live (2017 Emmy Nomination, Guest Actor), Sesame Street, The Electric Company, House, DuckTales, 200 Cartas, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Moana (2017 Oscar nomination, GRAMMY Award for Best Original Song) and Mary Poppins Returns. Miranda received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. He lives with his family in New York.
ABOUT THE LATIN GRAMMY CULTURAL FOUNDATION:
The Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established by The Latin Recording Academy® in 2014 to further international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world’s culture. The Foundation provides college scholarships, educational programs and grants for the research and preservation of its rich musical legacy and heritage, and to date has donated more than $6.5 million with the support of Latin Recording Academy members, artists, corporate sponsors and other generous donors. For additional information, or to make a donation, please visit latingrammyculturalfoundation.com, Amazon Smile or our Facebook page. And follow us @latingrammyfdn on Twitter and Instagram, and at Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation on Facebook.
About Ford Motor Company Fund:
As the automaker's philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund has been supporting underserved and underrepresented communities for more than 70 years. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 50 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2.2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Latin Recording Academy
The Exclusive Agency on behalf of The Latin Recording Academy