Augusto Saenz, clutching a camera, weaved expertly through the crowded room snapping photographs for the Distinguished Hispanic Awards Gala. He kindly introduced himself to me during a moment of respite. His business, Augusto Saenz Photography, provides portraits for Who’s Who Latino Columbus and professional photographs for quinceañeras, weddings, and other social events throughout the Latino community. He also founded Canal Hispano TV, an online station dedicated to the Spanish-Speaking population of Columbus. This is the only locally-based Spanish-Speaking station in the city; and is both a testament to Saenz’s perseverance and representative of an actual need for a media outlet in the Latino community.
Ever since she was young, Jasmine Rosario’s dreamed of being “a badass female musician.” Based on our conversation at Lineage Brewery near her home in Clintonville, it’s safe to say she’s reached this goal. Rosario is a songwriter and guitarist for the Columbus, Ohio-based band The Original Soundtrack. The music she plays and writes for this project is inspired by her love of rhythm – a musical influence she attributes to her family and Puerto Rican culture.
Virginia Nunes Gutierrez beams at me from behind the counter of Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op where she is now a budding barista and community advocate. The shop – which opened this past March of 2016 – is the realized product of Virginia and sister, Victoria Calderón Nunes’s, dream to revitalize and empower Franklinton. Proceeds from each cup of coffee combat the infant mortality rate in Columbus, Ohio (which are among the worst in the country), while the building gives start-ups and entrepreneurs space to work and collaborate.