Lin-Manuel Miranda joins People en Espanol during their fifth annual Festival in New York City to talk about the importance of Latinos in the arts and upcoming projects.

By Thatiana Diaz
Updated November 29, 2016
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for People en Espanol

Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda joined the celebration at Festival People en Español this weekend to speak in a panel with digital executive editor Shirley Velasquez. The actor has had a big year on Broadway with his hit Hamilton but is now going animated with Moana, the upcoming film from Disney.

The actor and composer revealed the backstory of Moana and shared during the panel that he was hired to be a songwriter for the film way before Hamilton. “It's been big part of my life. Even when I was rehearsing Hamilton, I was writing songs for Moana,” he said.

With Moana coming to theaters next month, Lin-Manuel will be ready to take on new projects including another Disney film, Mary Poppins. News broke earlier this year that he would be joining the cast for the movie that is set to be released in December 2017. The film will be a sequel to the 1964 motion picture, fast-forwarding 20 years after the events originally depicted. The actor revealed during the panel that he would be moving to London and that his wife was looking forward to it.

Shirley Velasquez (L) and Lin-Manuel Miranda onstage during the 5th Annual Festival People en Español.

As for upcoming projects, Miranda has The Hamilton Mixtape that he told People en Español will be coming in the next couple of weeks and will feature big names like The Roots, Sia, Queen Latifah, Busta Rhymes, and René Pérez from Calle 13. Also ready to air is the documentary, Hamilton's America that will premiere on PBS this Friday, October 21. Fans of the Broadway smash will get to see the original cast perform 18 songs along with the journey of the show and history of Alexander Hamilton.

And how does Lin-Manuel find time to follow all his passions? When asked during the panel, he responded: “If you love it, you'll find room for it.” And the Nuyorican believes more Latinos should be in the arts. “We need Latinos in the arts more than ever,” he says. “If you are unhappy with the way that Latinos are represented, the only thing you can do is create things to change that.”