“I AM HUMBLE, BEYOND HUMBLE, BEYOND HUMBOLDT PARK!” – Lin Manuel – Miranda
HISTORY WAS MADE AT THE NATIONAL PUERTO RICAN MUSEUM!
The smell of lechon (pork) filled the air as it slowly cooked in an outdoor pit for everyone to see. Traditional Puerto Rican music enchanted the ears of the 600+ people who attended the sold out event to the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture’s (NMPRAC) 3rd Annual Gala, Raices: A Celebration of our Roots.
NMPRAC’s home at the beautiful historic Humboldt Park stables on the corner of Division and Sacramento hosted this exciting evening as people were immersed in Puerto Rican art, culture, cuisine and music. It was “El Campo” meets “Hollywood” as the red carpet, theatre lighting, Puerto Rican artists and musicians playing Bomba and Plena music, transformed the parking lot into a gala atmosphere. Local legend John Roeser and Roeser’s Bakery created an ornate 3-foot cake replica of the Ceiba Award, which awed the crowd as they entered the main gallery of the museum, it was a piece of edible art.
WGNs, Ana Belaval, was the always-entertaining Mistress of Ceremonies for the third year in a row, and Segundo Ruiz Belvis’s performance dedicated to the awardees motivated both Miranda and Martorell to get up and dance, wowing the crowd.
Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of ComEd and the gala’s presenting sponsor, delivered remarks expressing their on-going commitment to NMPRAC as the rst sponsor to ever partner with the museum 15 years ago. Jose R. Sanchez, Gala Co-Chair and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital expressed his enthusiasm with the opportunity to conceptualize and coordinate several muse- um partnerships that will continue to foster mutually-benecial relationships between the hospital and the community for years to come.
NMPRAC’s CEO, Billy Ocasio, introduced a trailer documentary based on the life of the 2016 Ceiba Award recipient, legendary Artist, Antonio Martorell. is was followed by e Miracle Center’s excellent performance of a medley of Hamilton songs, which got the crowd to give these students a standing ovation.
Ocasio then presented the 2016 Ceiba Award to creative genius, Lin-Manuel Miranda. As both recipients expressed their sincere appreciation of being honored by receiving the coveted 2016 Ceiba Award, both Martorell and Miranda called on President Obama to release Oscar Lopez Rivera, making this a highlight of their speeches.
The exquisite night was concluded by Puerto Rico’s multi-award winning Jazz Artist, Humberto Ramirez, per- forming with a 16-piece band all made possible by Ventana Al Jazz and Puerto Rican Tourism.This historic evening would not have been possible without the support of NMPRAC’s Board of Directors, Sta , Sponsors and supporters and family – thank you for your ongoing commitment and dedication in preserving and promoting Puerto Rican art and culture.
For information on the NMPRAC please visit us at nmprac.org