‘Hamilton’ star funding RIC scholarship

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” has agreed to fund a scholarship at Rhode Island College for first-generation and underrepresented students seeking degrees in performance arts.

Miranda and his father, Luis, announced the creation of the scholarship program in a video message at the Providence Performing Arts Center on Tuesday. The two-year scholarships are worth between $3,000 and $5,000 per year.

The college also announced the first five recipients of the Miranda Scholarship:

  • Claudius Cooper, a senior music major
  • Brandon McCorory-Joseph, a junior dance performance major
  • Orlando Montalvo, a junior majoring in music performance
  • Alexander “Crespo” Rosario, a junior majoring in musical theatre and dance performance
  • Andrea Vargas, a senior theatre major

In a prepared statement, Miranda said RIC is the right school to fund “because of its track record of promoting top artistic talent in its music, theater and dance program while making quality arts education attainable for students from all backgrounds.”

“As the son of two parents from Puerto Rico I can relate to the experiences of these students,” Miranda said. “It’s challenging to find a pathway to a career in the performing arts when you don’t see yourself represented on that stage. That’s why I think it’s so important to create opportunities for students who are typically underrepresented in the arts.”

RIC President Frank Sanchez, who has been friends with Miranda’s father for many years, said the college is grateful to the Miranda family.

“Recognition from an artist of his caliber reinforces Rhode Island College’s status as a first-choice institution for arts education,” Sanchez said. “It is a testament to both the potential of our students and the tremendous work of our faculty, most of whom are working professionals in their fields.”

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Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

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