Summers of Joy

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s childhood summers & family history

Lin-Manuel Miranda Spending Summer in Puerto RicoGaleria Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Childhood summers in Vega Alta helped me shape who I am today,” Lin-Manuel says.  “Puerto Rico is somehow present in all the work I do.”

Born in New York City to psychologist Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, and political strategist and community leader Luis A. Miranda Jr., Lin-Manuel and his sister Luz would stay with their grandparents Güisin Miranda and Eva Concepción near Vega Alta's main Plaza. 

Lin-Manuel & Güisin by Miranda Family ArchivesGaleria Lin-Manuel Miranda

In Vega Alta, Lin-Manuel would also spend time with his aunt Yamilla, and his uncles Elvin and Rodolfo.  He would spend the days back and forth between his grandparent’s home, the town’s main public square, and the adjacent Credit Union where Abuelo Güisin was the manager.

The Miranda Family in Puerto Rico - Young Lin-Manuel MirandaGaleria Lin-Manuel Miranda

The experience was equivalent to an intense summer course in Spanish-language, Puerto Rican history, extended family and cultural immersion. 

Young Lin-Manuel in Vega Alta (1986) by Miranda Family ArchivesGaleria Lin-Manuel Miranda

The story is told through vintage photos, objects and memorabilia at the Gallery. Visitors also learn about the connection between Lin-Manuel's work and his family hometown. 

For example, visitors can see the connection between In The Heights’ “Carnaval del Barrio” and Vega Alta’s “Carnaval Vegalteño,” as well recurring themes in his work such as migration, community, activism and family.

Segment of "Carnaval del Barrio," as it appears in the film "In The Heights."

Bust of Gilberto Concepción de Gracia in Vega AltaGaleria Lin-Manuel Miranda

Just outside the Gallery, the public can trace Lin-Manuel's childhood steps as local landmarks related to the Miranda Family’s history still remain including the monument to noted activist Gilberto Concepción de Gracia, Lin-Manuel's Great Uncle.

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