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Last Thursday evening, September 19, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) hosted it’s 6th Annual Raíces Gala and had the pleasure of convening new and returning sponsors, Board Members, National Advisory Council Members, honorees, community members, and more. It was a night of celebration! This year, NMPRAC honored literary genius Esmeralda Santiago and actor and activist Jimmy Smits with the 2019 Ceiba Awards. Their acceptance remarks and overall humility were truly inspiring and reinforced how deserving these laureates were to have received this national award.

NMPRAC also recognized Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez and the Roldan Family (Paul, Ida, and Celena) with The Reyes Magos awards for their tireless work in community service. The Museum partnered with The Flamboyan Arts Fund to award the “Resilience through the Arts” for the first-time to two Puerto Rican artists in residence at Northwestern University, which included a grant for both recipients.

A special shout out to the The Miracle Center, which performed a number from it’s latest musical, In the Heights, on the eve of their opening night. NMPRAC supporter and NBC Chicago anchor Zoraida Sambolin, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

HITN CEO and president Michael Nieves, a Gold Sponsor of the event, is thankful to everyone who also supported NMPRAC, it’s accomplishments, awardees, and were present to hear NMPRAC President and CEO Billy Ocasio describe its upcoming goals. NMPRAC exists to uphold and advocate for Puerto Rican cultural heritage and is consistently overwhelmed by—and thankful for—the support.

Save the Date! September 17, 2020 will mark the 7th Raíces Gala and the celebration of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture 20th Anniversary!

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Kosta Costopoulos

Author Kosta Costopoulos

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