Lin-Manuel Miranda donates thousands to arts initiatives

Lin-Manuel Miranda is giving back to his community in a big way. The Tony Award winning actor and composer will donate thousands of dollars to arts initiatives in Northern Manhattan, home to Miranda’s Washington Heights neighborhood, today.

He will present a $92,000 donation check to The Broadway League’s “Family First Nights” and $25,000 to the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA)  at the celebration of the 10th annual closing ceremony of the Uptown Arts Stroll, a showcase for the arts throughout Upper Manhattan.

Earlier in the year, Miranda worked hard putting together a benefit concert to help raise money for the donations being made today to these organizations. The In The Heights original cast reunited for the one night only concert in February. The winner of four Tony Awards in 2008, including Best Musical, came back home for its 5-year anniversary.

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“In the Heights” tells the story of Miranda’s hometown. He describes Washington Heights as “a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.”

Miranda told NBCLatino the idea for the benefit concert came about from a conversation with the actress who played his love interest “Vanessa” in the original play — Karen Olivo. They agreed they should do a reunion concert, so they quickly spread the word to the original cast, and booked their original stage manager and designers.

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The surplus of tickets sales proceeds from the benefit concert will help encourage economically disadvantaged families to attend theatre and local arts programs nationwide. Families will receive a one-of-a-kind theater experience including tickets to three Broadway shows next season, along with a talk back session with featured cast members from the shows.

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