Selena Gomez will receive the Arts Award during the 33rd Hispanic Heritage Awards which will air on PBS October 6. The awards were created by the White House in 1987 and commemorate the establishment of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation said in a statement they are thrilled to “collectively celebrate and share the great promise, accomplishments, and cultural pride of the Latino community through the 2020 Awardees and powerful performances during Hispanic Heritage Month. More than ever, it’s important to shine the spotlight on the tremendous value Latinos provide this great country we all share, especially during this pandemic which has tragically impacted the Latino community and other communities of color at a higher rate.” As for Selena, Tijerino is “thrilled to recognize Selena Gomez with the Arts Award for her impact on American and global culture through her music, movies but also for her courage as an advocate for mental health.”
In April of this year, Gomez revealed that she has bipolar disorder in a discussion with Miley Cyrus about mental health. Since then she has continued to open up about mental health and is an advocate for therapy. In the April issue of Vogue, Gomez opened up about checking into a psychiatric facility last summer for her depression and anxiety that emerged while she was on tour. “My self-esteem was shot,” she explained. “I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting on stage, or right after leaving the stage.” Gomez spent 90 days in a treatment center in Tennessee. Tijerin added in his statement, “There’s power in vulnerability and Selena has made it okay to talk about difficult issues we all deal with, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Selena is a role model for so many for so many reasons. We are proud to highlight her inspiring story through the Hispanic Heritage Awards.”
Other honorees include Bad Bunny, who is receiving the Vision Award for his “transcendent impact” as an artist and activist during Puerto Rico‘s historic mass protests in 2019. Jessica Alba will receive the Business Award as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. According to Tijerino, Alba “represents the vision and ganas of Latina entrepreneurs through the Honest Company as well as a role model for youth.” And in a very special dedication, nearly 3 million of America’s essential farmworkers are receiving the “Heroes Award” for their heroic service amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Every single time we take a bite of food, we should think about the importance of our farmworkers in our lives, especially during the COVID-19 crisis as they put themselves and their families at risk to nobly nourish our families. Their service is nothing short of heroic,” said Tijerino.
Keeping with current COVID-19 guidances the Hispanic Heritage Awards will not include a live ceremony but will feature intimate filmed performances and Honoree segments across the United States and Latin America. It will air on PBS stations and streamed on PBS.org October 6th.