NHLA Applauds Kennedy Center Decision on Diversity

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) hailed the Kennedy Center’s announcement that it would review its Kennedy Center Honors Process in order to better reflect the entirety and diversity of American culture.  In addition, Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser also announced the formation of a Latino Advisory Committee to establish a more open and collaborative engagement with the Latino community.  The announcement comes on the heels of a years-long campaign by NHLA, a coalition of thirty leading Hispanic organizations in the nation, to bring attention to the lack of inclusivity and recognition of Latino artists in the Center’s Honors selection process.

Link: NHLA Demands Apology from Kennedy Center

Hector E. Sanchez, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of LCLAA, stated: “We are pleased that NHLA’s collaborative efforts and our ongoing dialogue with the Center’s top leadership have borne a firm commitment to change, especially in the way the Kennedy Center engages with our community, including the Kennedy Center Honors.  We believe that this will bring greater transparency and accountability to one of the most important cultural recognitions in our great nation.”

Felix Sanchez, Chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, stated: “For many years, Latinos have been excluded from the American tapestry. Despite our historical alliance to the Kennedy family and our work in expanding the cultural horizons in America, we have been unduly overlooked for one of the nation’s highest cultural honors. The Kennedy Center’s commitment to improving its selection process is a long-awaited acknowledgement that Latinos are an important part of the American mosaic. I look forward to working productively with the Kennedy Center.”

Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO, stated: “Today’s announcement is an important step forward.   We welcome the Center’s willingness to review its current selection process and we are confident that these changes will serve as a stepping stone to a more open conversation with the Latino community.  We want to commend the Kennedy Center’s Board, led by Chair David Rubenstein and Board member Giselle Fernandez, for their work and also Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser for creating a Latino Advisory Committee to continue this fruitful dialogue in the future.”

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