Latino Star Power takes over Washington, DC
After a 2-year absence, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts held its Noche De Gala to highlight Latinos in the entertainment industry.
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Under the backdrop of our nation's capital, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) held its annual celebration to give accolades to Latinos both in front and behind the camera on September 20.
Actors Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Merel Julia, together with Felix Sanchez, created the NHFA in 1997 to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. The foundation has focused on bringing more access for Latino artists and professionals while cultivating new Latino talent. Since its inception, the NHFA has provided over $10 million in scholarships, mentorships, education, workforce development and advocacy programs.
During the gala, three individuals were awarded for their work within the entertainment industry.
The Raul Julia Award for Excellence was presented to award-winning author, journalist and film producer George P. Pelecanos. He has also worked as an executive producer for award-winning series such as The Wire, The Deuce, Treme and The Pacific. The NHFA Horizon Awards were given to two rising Latino stars of television and film. Xolo Maridueña and Xóchitl Gómez are paving the way to make Latino star power that much brighter for the next generation.
Gómez, recently debuted in "Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," became the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first-ever Latina and youngest superhero to date. Maridueña currently stars as Miguel Diaz in the Netflix hit series "Cobra Kai," the extension of the classic Karate Kid film franchise. Both stars are currently working on new projects. Gómez is currently filming the next installment of the Avengers series, while Maridueña will star in the lead role of Blue Beetle for DC Comics set to debut in theaters worldwide in October 2023. This will be the first stand-alone title to feature a Latino lead as a superhero.
During the festivities, AL DÍA spotted Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro; U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona; California Congressman Tony Cárdenas; Senior Vice President of Radio and Journalism for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting Kathy Merritt; and Amy Hinojosa, National President and CEO of MANA.