“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.” These words come from Alexander Hamilton, an American historical icon that inspired the hip-hop Broadway smash musical Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda the creator and writer of this Broadway sensation was honored on September 22, 2016 by the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture in Humboldt Park, Chicago.
At the event were four of the Roberto Clemente Community Academy CTE Broadcast Technology students. Alex Ramirez, Fabiola Martinez, Tiondra Vinson and Ayleen Flores were selected to be a part of a crew for a one-on-one interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Amongst a frenzy of media coverage, our very own Alex Ramirez was able to secure a brief interview with Lin-Manuel, no small feat amongst more experienced journalists and reporters. During the interview, Lin Manuel spoke about his passion for the arts during his adolescent years. He also spoke about his need to bring attention to Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. Lin-Manuel ended his interview by giving a well-deserved shout-out to the students at Roberto Clemente.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was in town to receive the 2016 Ceiba award from NMPRAC for his contributions to the arts as well as for his social activism. During his acceptance speech, he spoke about his pride in being Puerto Rican, his love and respect for his family and his connection to his parents’ homeland. With numerous awards to his name, including but not limited to, multiple Grammys, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize, Lin-Manuel accepted his Ceiba award with great humility and gratitude.
This was Lin Manuel’s first visit to Humboldt Park. He talked about how much it felt like home as he drove through Division Street reading the names of businesses that represented towns on the island of Puerto Rico. He also added that he was struck by the beauty and magnitude of the Puerto Rican flags on Paseo Boricua.
Other honorees at the event were Antonio Martorell. Martorell is a Puerto Rican painter, graphic artist, writer and radio and television personality. He regularly exhibits his work in Puerto Rico and United States and participates in art events around the world. His curator was also present to receive an award as well. All honorees were gracious in sharing their time with our students, indicating the admiration and respect they have for the Clemente community as part of Humboldt Park.
It was a day of Latino pride and celebration, bringing people of all backgrounds together to strengthen cultural values, preserve heritage and history and enjoy the arts. For our International Baccalaureate students from Roberto Clemente Community Academy, it was a truly global experience and one they won’t forget.