Denver, CO – This month, Lin Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, announced a series of donations to organizations that serve immigrants, including CIRC. “I was pretty surprised,” CIRC development coordinator Andrea Cota Avila recalls, “but also really proud of our team for getting the recognition we deserve.”
Executive Director Lisa Durán agrees: “The gift that a donation like this gives is twofold,” she explains. “There’s the monetary aspect, of course, that will help sustain us in doing this work, and then there’s the honor of being selected out of so many hardworking organizations across the country. Hearing that we were chosen because of recommendations from Miranda’s friends and family  adds another layer to that; it shows just how far our impact has spread.”
This donation campaign is also particularly meaningful to Miranda, according to the Associated Press . “For me, philanthropy and artistic inspiration kind of come from the same place,” he told the AP. Immigration is not only a philanthropic passion but a foundational aspect of much of his work; Alexander Hamilton himself was an immigrant, and the immigrant experience is a central theme of Miranda’s first Broadway musical, In the Heights.
The donations come on the heels of the film adaptation In the Heights, which added new nuance to one of the core characters’ storyline by portraying him as a DACA recipient. The film captures everyday moments of Sonny’s reality –– from dodging the subject of his status in conversations with his cousin, to learning that college financial aid is out of reach –– to make a case for the need for a pathway to citizenship for people like him. A month after the film’s release, with DACA partially ended, CIRC is redoubling its advocacy efforts to create that pathway for all undocumented immigrants.
“Thousands of immigrants in Colorado face daily indignities and dangers because of their immigration status,” said Duran. “We are calling on Congress to end the suffering in our communities by finally passing a pathway to citizenship for all. Now, thanks to the gift from the Miranda Family Foundation, we are even more supported in our fight.”