To support Latinos in the arts, Ford Motor Company Fund helped provide scholarships to 20 Latino students through the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), founded by actors Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Sonia Braga and Merel Julia, and Washington, D.C. attorney Felix Sanchez. Ford has helped provide scholarships to more than 200 Latino students pursuing a career in the arts and entertainment fields through NHFA since 1998.
The scholarships recipients are Hispanic, full-time graduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and enrolled at one of the following universities: Columbia; Harvard; New York University; Northwestern University; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; Yale and the University of Texas at Austin.
"Organizations like NHFA and Ford Motor Company Fund make it their business to support artists that create," Adel Morales, a New York University graduate student and recipient of one of this year's NHFA scholarships. "Art is a necessary part of all cultures and in today's world there seems to be less emphasis placed on this important element--an element that connects people across the world. If it weren't for them, many more dreams would have to be deferred."
Ford's support of Latinos in the arts also extends to showcasing the profound influence of Latino musicians in American pop culture, through American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music. Currently in Chicago, this traveling Smithsonian exhibit will travel to12 cities through 2015. Each venue receives a Ford grant to implement dynamic community and educational programs, including a dance or music contest through which students can win scholarships for college.
"Ford understands the value of Latino art and culture, dating back to 1932 when Edsel Ford commissioned Diego Rivera to paint the Detroit Institute of Art mural," says Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "We are proud to support our country's Latino youth and trust that our efforts are helping the next generation of Latinos thrive in the arts."
For the past five years, Ford has also supported the Smithsonian Latino Center's Young Ambassadors Program, a leadership development program that fosters the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences and humanities. Students spend a week in Washington, D.C., attending seminars and skill-building workshops, and then return to their communities for a four-week internship at a museum or cultural center.
All students who receive scholarship funding from Ford Motor Company Fund also become part of the Ford Blue Oval Scholars, a national Web-based network that connects the thousands of recipients of Ford scholarships. For more information, visit www.fordscholars.org.
Ford representatives join NHFA founders Jimmy Smits and Felix Sanchez; distinguished guests, including Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir and actress Gina Rodriguez; and scholarship recipients.
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