Andrés and Christina are the Latin Grammy-winning music duo 123 Andrés. They’ve been hailed as “Rockstars for little language learners” by the likes of Billboard, and perform for thousands of students and families across the US and Latin America each year – first in person, and now virtually! They’ve been onstage at Lollapalooza, SXSW, The Kennedy Center and at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, as well as at countless schools, museums and theaters.

Andrés grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, and learned how to play the guitar from his father at an early age. He had his first studio experience at age 8, and from there he went on to earn a Doctorate in music and won the National Composition Contest in Colombia for one of his early songs.
Christina grew up in the Midwest in a Spanish-speaking immigrant family from Colombia. Her love for the stage started when her mom signed her up for theater and dance as a child. After college she worked in the classroom as a public school teacher, and earned a Masters in Education.
Both native Spanish-speakers, 123 Andrés are passionate about multilingualism, celebrating the diversity of sounds and experiences that make up Latin America and the Latinx community in the US.

123 Andrés have 7 studio albums under their belts, and their first book, “Hola, Amigo” was published by Scholastic and released in 2020, with the follow-up, “Diez Pajaritos,” published earlier in 2021.

“When we performed in-person, students would come up to us after the performance and say things like ‘My dad is from Guatemala’ or ‘I’m learning Spanish from my grandma,'” said Andrés. “Now that we are virtual, that is still happening – even if they have to remember to unmute first! Through arts experiences, we can provide cultural affirmation for students, and opportunities for other students to experience something new.”

“In the days leading up to the pandemic shutdowns, in March 2020, we were performing in schools in New Jersey. Now, over a year later, thanks to YANJEP’s support and to the tenacity of school staff everywhere, we continue performing in schools virtually, and bringing the best aspects of this new virtual medium to what we do. We – like so many artists – have been learning about cameras, interfaces and internet speeds, and we’re proud to rise to this challenge to meet students’ needs. It’s an incredible honor to be recognized for our efforts as teaching artists,” said Christina.

 

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.