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Sandra Cisneros Reacts To Winning National Medal Of The Arts

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Thursday Sandra Cisneros received the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor given for achievement in the arts. Cisneros said she accepted the medal to honor her family and all other hard working Mexican Americans.

Sandra Cisneros said she briefly thought about turning down the trip to Washington D.C. to accept the National Medal of the Arts.

“At first I wasn’t sure if I should go. I just started a new book and I wanted to be home writing, ” she said.

But the part-time resident of San Antonio said she realized that accepting the honor was important during this political climate.

“This is not about me – this is bigger. I needed to go to represent everyone that I represent,” she said.

The Author of “The House on Mango Street” shunned the typical western style formal dress for the occasion – instead she wore colorful traditional clothing of the indigenous people of Mexico. And she said that was to send a message.

“When you look at me you can see that I’m a Mexican – the daughter of an immigrant and the granddaughter of immigrants that couldn’t read or write their names.”

Cisneros added that the highlight of the celebration was a private rooftop concert from fellow Medal of Arts recipient Santiago Jimenez. The San Antonian was recognized for his cojunto accordion mastery and contribution to music.

Sandra Cisneros will be in San Antonio on Wednesday Oct 5 at 7 pm at Our Lady of the Lake University for a reading in English and Spanish.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi