Amplifying the Voices of MacArthur Fellows During Hispanic Heritage Month

There are many things that I don’t know when I begin a new project. First of all, I don’t know if it’s going to be in Spanish or English…when you’re writing in a language you’re writing inside a literary culture and so in English I’m having a conversation with the English writers that have formed me as a reader.” — Valeria Luiselli, Writer

Communities like ours are only as strong as the human capital they can retain and attract. If people here can get access to better economic opportunities, if they can increase their earnings while staying in their communities, then we have healthy and livable communities.” — Juan Salgado, Community Leader

And as we look at our history, we know that we’ve come from a history of Native American people that were also excluded from our democracy, or Black people that were enslaved for many years and also excluded from our democracy. So we have been in this journey as a country to really live up to the best of the ideals that founded this country: of justice, of equity for everyone.” — Cristina Jiménez Moreta, Social Justice Organizer

I got interested in jazz while I was still in Cuba, when I was younger. I liked the improvisation, which I always liked in Cuban music…the templates, the possibilities, the style, and the players — I really learned to admire and to understand great jazz musicians and their vocabulary and their artistic statements.” — Dafnis Prieto, Jazz Percussionist and Composer

There are many open questions, and my dream is to shed some light to understand a little more about the mysteries of the universe.” — Ana Maria Rey, Atomic Physicist

When I look at my community, I know that people are truly financially savvy, particularly immigrants…I’m trying to challenge this notion that poor people are somewhat broken; there’s a lot more to them than we give them credit for. We’re building around that idea and through that approach, we can help people more efficiently and more effectively without diminishing them.” — José Quiñonez, Financial Services Innovator

“‘Who’s your audience?’ is a loaded question that’s often code for, ‘I’m not your audience, so who’s your audience? I don’t speak Spanish, so who’s your audience?’ I find that one of the most rewarding things about my filmmaking career has been showing my films to such different audiences.” — Natalia Almada, Documentary Filmmaker

I don’t see 120 kids getting together in a room right now [during the COVID-19 pandemic]. But I do see creating new ways. Classical music is undergoing a transition. Children’s education is going to go into transition. I think it’s a wake-up call for us.” — Francisco Nuñez, Choral Composer and Conductor

Art gave me an illumination and an imagination. It gave me a vocabulary.Sandra Cisneros, Writer

Life is an opportunity and so I’m embracing it. That’s what I tell people. You go through life once so make a difference. These kids at the university I see, I say never mind success, go for greatness. Continue to make a difference.” — Rueben Martínez, Bookseller




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We support creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. ⚖🌿☮🌎

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