Pioneering actress and founder of the puerto rican traveling theater Miriam Colon was honored Maestro Cares First In Memoriam – National Hero Recognition.

Angelica Fuentes founder of the Gender Equality Fund and the Angelica Fuentes Foundation was presented with the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award and MLB’s Albert Pujols and founder of the Pujols Family Foundation received the Community Hero Award.

The Foundation also presented the first Maestro Cares FJ Pollak Scholarship at the black tie gala hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jimmy Smits

Chicago, IL – 21 de marzo del 2017 – Marc Anthony and Henry Cárdenas celebrated today the Maestro Cares Foundation’s fourth annual “Changing Lives, Building Dreams” Gala. The sold out black-tie dinner took place Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. At the ceremony, the co-founders honored In Memoriam pioneering actress and Founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Miriam Colon with the first ever Maestro Cares National Hero Award, the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award was bestowed to Angelica Fuentes, Founder of the Gender Equality Fund and The Angelica Fuentes Foundation and Albert Pujols, MLB Baseball star and Founder of the Pujols Family Foundation received the Community Hero Award.

The Foundation, also presented the first Maestro Cares FJ Pollak Scholarship to Jose Luis Cabrera. The scholarship was created in honor of former member of the Maestro Cares Board, FJ Pollak.

The event was hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Winning Actor Jimmy Smits. Proceeds from the fundraiser will provide essential support for Maestro Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization established to build safe and healthy environments for disadvantaged children in Latin America. The evening featured a cocktail reception, formal dinner, a live and silent auction and a live musical performance by Marc Anthony. The date for the fifth annual gala for 2018 is set for March 8, 2018.

About the Honorees

Miriam Colon

Miriam Colón was a theater, film and televisión actress, a defender of universal Access to the arts, and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, she launched her career at the age of 12 and starred in her first film Los peloteros (The Baseball Players) for the legendary División de Educación de la Comunidad de Puerto Rico (DivEdCo).

She studied at the Actors Studio in New York under Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg. In Hollywood she joined the cast of popular televisión series such as Bonanza andGunsmoke and of important films of the moment such as One-Eyed Jacks y The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando. She won over audiences, together with Al Pacino, in the role of Mama Montana in Brian De Palma’s Scarface. Other starring appearances were in John Sayles’ Lone Star and City of Hope, Billy Bob Thornton’sAll The Pretty Horses the principal role in the film version of Rudolfo Anaya’s novelBless Me, Última.

Her work on stage was enduring, highlighted by the success of The Oxcart, by René Marqués in New York in 1966, starring together with Raúl Juliá and Lucy Boscana under Lloyd Richards direction. The following year Colón founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. At a time whenthere no other models for producing bilingual theater, in Spanish and in English. Colón served and provided resources, education and training in the arts to youth and adults of Caribbean and Latin American origin. She was a pioneer in the field bringing to light hundreds of playwrights and important works.

Throughout her formidable career she obtained numerable awards and recognitions, among them eight honoris causa doctoral degrees, Golden Agüeybaná, the GarcÍa Lorca Award from the University of Granada and the Image Award. In 2006 the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture dedicated its Theater Festival to her. In 2015, Miriam Colón received two distinct honors:  her own star in the inauguration of El Paseo de la Fama in San Juan, Puerto Rico AND, the National Medal of the Arts, the highest recognition for an artist in the United States, from then President Barack Obama.

In 2016 the merger of Puerto Rican Traveling Theater with its longtime collaborator Pregones Theater was made a reality, and with this fusion, Miriam Colón’s legacy for future generations lives on.

Angelica Fuentes

Angélica Fuentes is one of Latin America’s most prominent businesswomen and committed philanthropist. Gender equality, women empowerment and the eradication of poverty have always been a priority in all her endeavors.  In 2014, she established the Angelica Fuentes Foundation, the philanthropic culmination of her lifelong commitment to women. In 2016, she founded The Gender Equality Fund, A Complete, and The Imperative Fund.  For the past 28 years, she has been active in NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that support the cause of women. She currently co-chairs the Mexico Gender Parity Taskforce, a World Economic Forum initiative; she serves on Secretary Clinton’s International Council on Women’s Business Leadership; is member of the Private Sector Leadership Advisory Council of UN Women; is a Global Advocate for the Girl Up Campaign, a United Nations Foundation program; and co-chairs the PVBLIC LATAM regional platform. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. In 2015, she was the first female CEO to receive the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award for championing gender equality in the private sector. In 2016, PVBLIC Foundation, Ismael Cala Foundation, and the United Nations gave her the award for "Latin Woman Empowerment".

Albert Pujols

José Alberto Pujols Alcántara was born January 16, 1980, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Albert moved to the United States in 1996, and at the age of 16, attended Fort Osage High School in Independence, Missouri. The game of baseball took Albert to Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City where he played one year before being selected in the 13 th round of the 1999 free agent draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Albert played for the Cardinals for 11 seasons and has played the past 5 seasons for the Los Angeles Angels. Throughout his 16 years in Major League Baseball, Albert has put up Hall of Fame caliber numbers with both his bat and his glove. Prior to the beginning of the 2017 season, he looks to break the 3,000 Hit and the 600 Home Run mark, which has only been done by three other players in the history of Major League Baseball.

When most people think of Albert Pujols they think of his on-field performance and awards like his 3 MVP’s, ten All-Star game selections, & two World Series Titles. However, his work off the field is what he and his family see as most important. In 2005, they established the Pujols Family Foundation which is a national IRS 501 © 3 public charity benefiting people with (a) Down syndrome (b) disabilities and/or life threatening illnesses as well as (c) children and families living in impoverished conditions in the Dominican Republic. After only three years of service, Albert Pujols and the Pujols Family Foundation were awarded the MLB’s highest humanitarian honor, the Roberto Clemente Award. This award is presented to the player that best represents the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field. Since winning the award, Albert and his foundation have continued to grow and serve in a larger capacity. They now hold over 125 events and programs for the Down syndrome populations in St. Louis, Southern California, and Kansas City as well as serving over 100,000 impoverished people in the Dominican Republic. Albert’s hard work and commitment on the field has made him one of the best players in the game. But it is his dedication to his faith, family, and others that will have a lasting impact on the community and those he serves.

About Maestro Cares

The Maestro Cares Foundation was launched in January 2012 by international pop icon Marc Anthony and entrepreneur Henry Cárdenas to help disadvantaged children throughout Latin America by creating healthy and safe environments for them to live, learn and play while supporting their academic needs. In 2014, Maestro Cares Foundation opened its first project, an orphanage in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

In 2015, the foundation celebrated the opening of its second project, a youth home and school in Barranquilla, Colombia followed by the announcement of its partnership with Hochschild Mining Group and UTEC in support of The Maba Project in Lima, Perú. The Maba Project is an innovative educational initiative that uses digital content to improve the quality of education in public schools in Lima.

The construction of MC’s fourth project Casa Hogar Alegría in Cacalomacàn, Toluca, Mexico opened on March 9, 2016, and houses approximately 70 young girls who have been victims of abuse and neglect. In September 2015, Maestro Cares Foundation broke ground on its fifth project, Hogar San Miguel in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Opening in Spring 2017, Hogar San Miguel will provide a new home for up to 20 boys ages 8-17 that have been removed from their homes due to physical or psychological abuse or health problems. In late 2016, MC once again partnered up with Casa Hogar Alegría for the foundation’s sixth project in Guadalajara Mexico, set to open Fall 2017. Earlier this year, Maestro Cares announced a partnership with SOS Children’s Villages for their first U.S project in Chicago, IL.,and similar projects are under development in Bolivia and Guatemala.

Maestro Cares Foundation programs create tomorrow’s leaders by instilling the confidence, enthusiasm and discipline necessary for these children to become hard-working, socially conscious adults that make a positive impact in the world through their own unique contributions.

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