Lin-Manuel Miranda

‘Telling Your Story’: Building Inclusivity in the Arts

The Broadway sensation Hamilton has been hailed not only for its outstanding performances, diverse cast and ingenious composition but also for attracting new audiences to the stage and changing how we think about American history. On June 23rd, the production’s creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda joined Rockefeller President Judith Rodin to discuss the role of diversity in the arts, economic inclusion, and other topics on the second edition of Insight Dialogues.


Featuring an introduction from the Huffington Post’s electric founder Arianna Huffington, the discussion touched on the impact of the arts in education, how diversity on Broadway could impact the film industry in Hollywood, and what it might take to save Puerto Rico from a debt crisis.

Did You Know:
  • The Rockefeller Foundation’s #EduHam program will allow 100,000 public school students to see Hamilton[Share]
  • Despite advocating for Puerto Rico, Lin-Manuel would rather “play the back half of the horse in Equus” than enter politics. [Share]
  • Lin-Manuel’s top 5 hip-hop artists: Notorious BIG, Big Pun, Eminem, Andre 3000 and Lauryn Hill. [Share]

Inclusivity in the Arts

Students from the Thomas A. Edison C.T.E. High School in Queens were part of the #EduHam program in New York City and were also present at the discussion on June 23rd.
Above: Students from the Thomas A. Edison C.T.E. High School in Queens were part of the #EduHam program in New York City and were also present at the discussion on June 23rd.

During the conversation, Lin-Manuel Miranda and President Judith Rodin announced the Foundation’s commitment to fund a $6 million national expansion of its educational partnership, #EduHam, providing inner city students with tickets to the Tony-award winning show.

Building on its initial $1.5 million grant to bring 20,000 New York City public school students to see the Broadway sensation, the Foundation’s new commitment will extend this opportunity to an additional 100,000 students from Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and other cities across the country.

The Hamilton student matinees on Broadway have been such a rewarding experience for all of us at the theatre, thanks to the creativity and the passion the students bring to them. The performances that they come up with are unbelievable. It’s phenomenal that through the continued support of The Rockefeller Foundation the program will now reach students in classrooms across the country. Who knows what they will create? Lin-Manuel Miranda

Puerto Rico

Citing the urgency of the unfolding socioeconomic and humanitarian crises in Puerto Rico, Miranda admitted that while the bill in the Senate was not perfect, it could still save many on the island from having to give up their pensions and livelihoods. “I would hate to see people play politics with it to the point where this thing can’t pass,” he said.

Everyone has their core issues and if you had a megaphone, you’d talk about these things. I have a lot of family who are struggling in Puerto Rico. That’s not an abstract issue to me; that is a life or death issue occurring with my family. So, to be able to use my megaphone on debt relief and putting Puerto Rico just on the table as a conversation.

Miranda also underlined the role of the Latino electorate in the upcoming elections calling it “vital that our voting reflects who we are in our populace.” He added: “We have to make our voices heard on—on every issue…I want to see us come out in record numbers and I want to see what that does for our country.”

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