Composer, lyricist, and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family have announced the creation of a first-of-its-kind scholarship at Rhode Island College to champion first-generation and underrepresented students in the performing arts.

The scholarship identifies rising juniors or seniors from underrepresented populations who are interested in pursuing a career in music, theatre or dance and who have demonstrated strong talent. Each recipient will have the chance to earn up to a two-year scholarship worth $3,000-$5,000 per year to complete their degree.

“It’s challenging to find a pathway to a career in the performing arts when you don’t see yourself represented on that stage,” says Lin-Manuel Miranda. “That’s why it’s so important to create opportunities for students who are typically underrepresented in the arts. Rhode Island College is the right place to do this because of its track record of promoting top artistic talent in its music, theater and dance programs while making quality arts education attainable for students from all backgrounds.”

The inaugural five recipients are: Claudius Cooper, senior music major; Brandon McCorory-Joseph, junior dance performance major; Orlando Montalvo, junior music performance major; Alexander “Crespo” Rosario, junior musical theatre and dance performance major; and Andrea Vargas, senior theatre major.

“We are beyond grateful to Lin-Manuel, Luis, and the entire Miranda family for their investment in the next generation of artistic talent being developed at Rhode Island College,” says President S├ínchez. “Recognition from an artist of this caliber reinforces Rhode Island College’s status as a first-choice institution for arts education. It is a testament to 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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