UPPER WEST SIDE — A star-studded gala was held at the American Museum of Natural History on Thursday evening, hosted by the Hispanic Federation, which is run by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's family.
Heavyweights from Broadway to the music industry to sports walked the gala's red carpet.
The non-profit Hispanic Federation gathers Latino leaders from across the city, and the nation, to celebrate the charitable work in Latino communities. This year's annual spring gala was themed "Out of Many, One."
"It's an interesting journey for me with this organization because it used to be the place I did my homework," Miranda remembered fondly Thursday night. "It was just my dad's job and since Hurricane Maria. It's become a part of our family."
Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017. The island was without full power for nearly a year and it is still in the middle of a long, painstaking, recovery process.
The Trump Administration has been heavily criticized for its response. One person applauded has been Oprah Winfrey, who just this week announced she was so inspired by Miranda, she will donate $2 million. Half of that amount will go to the HIspanic Federation for relief efforts.
"I was at lunch with her when she told us," said Miranda. "She was very moved, and that's who Oprah is - she listens to her heart... I think her generosity is legend. I'm so grateful to her for her friendship and support."
This year, the Federation recognized singer Marc Anthony and awarded him the prestigious Premio Orgullo, or Pride Prize.
Philanthropist George Soros received the Federation’s Humanitarian Award for his continued dedication and generosity to Latino communities and organizations. Anthony called it an "honor."
Puerto Rico is home to 3.5 million U.S. citizens who have grappled with widespread devastation since the hurricane. The Federation has donated tens of millions of dollars as well as distributed food, water and other essentials in emergency aid.
"They're some of the first people on the ground after we were hit with relief and supplies," said Miranda of the organization. "Whenever we are trying to do something for the Latino community, we turn to the [Hispanic] Federation and we find ways to partner with them."
Proceeds from tonight will also go towards 110 community groups and initiatives on the island.
Miranda also talked to PIX11 about "Hamilton" going on tour. "We've got three national tours going right now. I'm constantly in awe of how this story speaks to people every night," he said.AlertMe