PR Voices Wins 2016 Imagen Award

davidP's picture

Centro Staff

Earlier this month, Puerto Rican Voices; a joint production between the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, CUNY, and WIPR-TV; was named Best Local Informational Program at the 31st annual Imagen Awards, which “recognizes and encourages the entertainment industry to portray the Latino community in a positive and accurate manner.” Often referred to by those in the industry as the Latino Golden Globes, other winners that night included Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) and Gina Rodríguez (Jane the Virgin).

"We are honored and excited about winning an Imagen Award. Our team works hard everyday to tell inspiring stories and give Puerto Ricans in the diaspora a voice. We are happy to be recognized for the media work we do here at Centro," said Supervising Producer Erica Soto. The media team at Centro celebrated with the premiere of the first episode of the third season, the day after the ceremony. (You can watch the individual segments of that episode streaming here)

The first season of Puerto Rican Voices began airing just this past September, in 2015, with the goal of highlighting the contributions of Puerto Ricans throughout the United States. As Centro Director Edwin Meléndez explains, "It all started with a conversation with Cecille Blondet, who is the president of WIPR. She and I had a conversation about how we could collaborate to create more awareness, understanding of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora and stateside Puerto Rican communities."

So in addition to being available via online streaming, the show is also broadcast on the island, which is something Associate Producer Melissa Garay appreciates, “Working with WIPR has given us the opportunity to communicate to island Puerto Ricans who we are, what we have achieved, and also how important it is for us to maintain close ties to our culture, customs, and people.” 

As far as the Imagen Award, in a way, it reinforces the idea of the Puerto Rican diaspora as both one large community among the many scattered communities that, in turn, give the term 'local' a different kind of significance. "We do a lot of research at the local level," said producer Brian Guitiérrez Amarayo. That means telling stories that come from the traditional hubs of the Puerto Rican diaspora, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago; and then searching for new, unexplored narratives.

The show continues to evolve, covering more stories which highlight the diverse and interesting ways the Puerto Rican experience manifests itself throughout the United States. Check out the entire series available streaming on our website here and join us in congratulating Puerto Rican Voices on a well-deserved Imagen Award!

© Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Published in Centro Voices on 12 September 2016.

Centro Voices (ISSN: 2379-3864).
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of Centro Voices, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies or Hunter College, CUNY.