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CNN Hero: Roger Montoya Of Moving Arts Española

on August 16, 2019 - 7:26am

Roger Montoya of Moving Arts Española is being recognzed as a CNN Hero. Courtesy/CNN

Staff Report

Roger Montoya, co-founder and artistic director of Moving Arts Española is being recognzed as a CNN Hero. CNN Heroes honors everyday people for their selfless, creative efforts to help others.

Struggling with HIV and the loss of many friends to AIDS, Montoya moved home to Española in the late 1980s. Immersing himself in painting helped restore his health and he realized that the healing power of the arts could also help children in his culturally-rich community, which has long suffered from high poverty rates and an intergenerational opioid epidemic.

In 2008, Montoya co-founded Moving Arts Española, a nonprofit that has provided transformational arts classes, free meals, tutoring, mentoring and job opportunities to more than 5,000 at-risk children and youth.

This year's 'CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute' will air at 8 p.m. ET, Sunday, Dec. 8 from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

To learn more about Montoya and Moving Arts Española, click here.