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The founder and director of Arte Público Press, Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, is one of two recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award given by Empowering Latino Futures. The awards was presented to Kanellos—as well as Lee and Bobby Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press—on October 16, 2021, as part of the virtual 23rd International Latino Book Awards Ceremony at
The International Latino Book Awards recognize books by and about Latinos. Founded by Empowering Latino Futures, formerly known as Latino Literacy Now, the organization seeks to obtain equal representation in publishing, increase access to resources and ensure mainstream America views the Hispanic community in more accurate, less stereotypical ways. Previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award include Congressman Esteban Torres, public servant and humanitarian Hank Lacayo, politician Hilda Solis, journalist Charlie Ericksen and educator and activist Mimi Lozano.
NICOLÁS KANELLOS, the Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston, is the founder and director of Arte Público Press, the oldest and largest non-profit publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States. He is also the director of a major national research program, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage of the United States, a project to identify, preserve, study and make accessible tens of thousands of Latino literary documents that were written from the colonial period to 1960 in the area that has become the United States. The author of numerous award-winning books on Hispanic cultural history, Dr. Kanellos is the recipient of various awards, fellowships and other recognitions for his contributions to publishing and Hispanic culture. A fellow of the Ford, Lilly and Gulbenkian Foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he received the Anderson Imbert Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Academy of the Spanish Language in 2014 and was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy for Arts and Science in 2008. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Kanellos to the National Council on the Humanities. In 1996, he became the first Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint serve as a bridge from home to school to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit