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Groundbreaking ‘Latino Americans’ documentary to air beginning Sept. 17 on WCNY, Latino Americans of Central New York Awards set for Sept. 17

WCNY will air “Latino Americans,” the first major television documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos like Gloria Estefan who helped shape 500 years of North American history. In conjunction with the documentary, WCNY will host a local celebration honoring five Latino Americans who have made a difference in the community Sept. 17 at WCNY.

The three-part series will air in weekly two-hour episodes from 8 to 10 p.m. Sept. 17, 24 and Oct. 1 on WCNY.

“Latino Americans” features interviews with an array of individuals, including entertainer Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rican star of West Side Story and a winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards; labor leader and 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta, who in the 1960s co-founded with César Chávez the National Farm Workers Association; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chávez, who became the highest-ranking woman in the Reagan White House; and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan, who has sold more than 100 million solo and Miami Sound Machine albums globally.

“Over the centuries, Latinos, whether traveling across borders, or with deep roots in America itself, have profoundly influenced American culture and American history,” said series producer Adriana Bosch. “This documentary is a story of pride, a story about the people whose lives and contributions are at the very essence of American life.”

Viewers can learn more about the program and Latino American history at the PBS companion website, www.pbs.org/latino-americans. The website provides an interactive way to approach and understand Latino American history. The site also features an array of engagement components, including a series of blog entries from a writers that will be released daily, leading up the broadcast premiere.

To honor the accomplishments of local Latino Americans, WCNY invited communities throughout Central New York to submit nominations for its Latino Americans of Central New York Awards. Five nominees will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at WCNY’s new Broadcast and Education Center located at 415 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse. The event is free and open to the public. To learn more about WCNY’s local Latino Americans initiative, visit www.wcny.org/television/latino-americans.

Corporate funding for “Latino Americans” is provided by the Ford Motor Company.  Major funding is provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Foundation support is provided by Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Annenberg Foundation and the Summerlee Foundation. Funding for outreach is supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust.

“Latino Americans” is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.; Bosch and Co., Inc.; and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB); in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS). The series executive producers are Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan for WETA, Sandie Viquez Pedlow for LPB, and Sally Jo Fifer for ITVS. The series producer is Adriana Bosch. The supervising producer is Salme López. The producers are Nina Alvarez, Dan McCabe, Ray Telles and John J. Valadez. The associate producers are Sabrina Avilés, Yvan Iturraga and Monika Navarro. For the re-enactment sequences, the producer is Cathleen O’Connell and the directors are David Belton and Sonia Fritz.  The production manager is Mary Sullivan.

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