First Time in 11 Years: 2 Hispanics To Receive Kennedy Center Honors

Posted: Apr 21 2014

It’s happening!

Hispanics are on the list for this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. The 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees of Hispanic descent will be Carlos Santana, acclaimed guitar player, and Martina Arroyo, an opera singer who started her career in the 50s. (That's a picture of Martina right here above.)

Since 1978, only 2 Hispanics have been on this list. Yes, that’s right – in 34 years – only 2 Hispanics were honored. The last time a Hispanic artist was honored was 11 years ago – Chita Rivera in 2002.

Fortunately (not withstanding some controversy) organizations such as the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and other Hispanic arts organizations – have been in talks (heated talks on occasion) with regards to revising the selection process to incorporate Hispanic artists on a more frequent basis into the selection process.

The Kennedy Center took action over the past year and amended their selection process incorporating an artist review panel and opening up the process to the public via its website. The other 3 honorees this year will be Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock, and Shirley MacLaine.

In a first – I’ll be tuning in this year.


-Zee Diaz
Zee is a writer for


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