Chita Rivera, Eva Longoria, Jose Feliciano, and More Will Headline Inauguration Event at the Kennedy Center

The announcement about the January 20 event comes as the Kennedy Center fields criticism for neglecting Latino artists.

By: Sophie Gilbert

Actors Eva Longoria and Mario Lopez are among those who will be featured in the Kennedy Center’s “In Performance” event on January 20. Photograph courtesy of s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Never let it be said that the Kennedy Center doesn’t respond to criticism. After an extraordinary firestorm following the announcement of last year’s Honors recipients, during which chairman of the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts Felix Sanchez said he was sworn at by Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser, the institution announced today it’ll host a star-studded inauguration event honoring Latino culture January 20.

The evening, hosted by actress and Obama campaign bundler Eva Longoria, will culminate in an event titled “In Performance at the Kennedy Center,” featuring George Lopez, Chita Rivera, Mario Lopez, Robert Rodriguez, Melanie Griffith, Rita Moreno, and more, as well as Ballet Hispanico, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, and Coro de Niños de San Juan. The performance is part of a three-day symposium at the Kennedy Center called “Latino Inaugural 2013.”

The announcement of the event coincides with yesterday’s news that the Kennedy Center would review the selection process for its Honors ceremony, following criticism from Sanchez and others that the event has only celebrated two Latino artists out of 180 in its 35-year existence. The review panel includes cellist Yo-Yo Ma and actor Raúl Esparza.