RITA MORENO, LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, DR. MARTA MORENO VEGA, OPERA LEGEND MARTINA ARROYO, AND MORE TO LEAD NATIONAL PUERTO RICAN DAY PARADE 2015
Cultural Celebration on Fifth Avenue to also Honor Afro-Boricua Heritage and the State of Connecticut
Special campaign to raise awareness about Environmental Justice for Caño Martín Peña in San Juan
May 11th, 2015, New York, NY – The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) today announced its line-up of honorees, themes, special events, and initiatives, for the upcoming celebration annual celebration along Fifth Avenue.
Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winning entertainer Rita Moreno, will serve as the Parade’s Grand Marshal, leading up the massive Parade of approximately 20,000 marchers and 2 million spectators, on June 14th. Salsa superstar Victor Manuelle will serve at the Parade’s King. Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the upcoming Broadway musical “Hamilton”, will receive the “Nuestro Orgullo” (Our Pride) Award for his inspiring contribution to the American stage.
In a press conference held at the New York Regional Office of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez, President of NPRDP, joined the Parade’s Board of Directors to announce the continuation of “Un Pueblo Muchas Voces” (One Community, Multiple Voices), as the Parade’s overall theme. A special commemorative theme has been added, “Celebrating Afro-Boricua Heritage”, meant to coincide with the designation of the next decade as the “International Decade for People of African Descent”, by the United Nations.
As part of this celebration NPRDP 2015 will honor Kennedy-Center Honor recipient Martina Arroyo, Opera Legend and Founder of the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, Founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute, novelist and educator Mayra-Santos Febres, musician and composer Cucco Peña, painter Carmelo Sobrino, and bandleader, musician and composer Miguel Zenón. Posthumous tributes will honor historian, author and activist Arturo Schomberg, and pioneer choreographer, actress and activist, Sylvia del Villard.
Following last year’s successful awareness campaigns focused on the legacy of poet Julia de Burgos (commemorating the centennial of her birth) and the Oscar López Rivera case (the civil and human rights case that has grabbed the attention of activists internationally), NPRDP will has launched a new campaign in 2015 focused on the environmental, social and economic crisis at Caño Martín Peña, a 3.75 mile-long canal located at the heart of San Juan’s metropolitan area, home to 8 communities with over 25,000 residents.
“Part of the Parade’s mission is to raise awareness about important issues that affect Puerto Rican communities across the board”, Cortés-Vásquez said. “The situation at Caño Martín Peña is very similar to the environmental justice struggles faced by Puerto Rican and Latino communities in the United States. Our goal is to educate everyone about what is going on, in an objective way”.