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I’ve finally figured out why Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Jimmy Smits—oh, and let’s not forget Benjamin Bratt!—are so hot. Latin-American culture is a rich mix of African, European, and Native American flavors. And if you go with the theory that Native Americans are descended from Asians, then Latin-Americans have the best of all worlds. That’s why everyone can relate to the drama, sincerity, and, of course, passion, that exudes from Latin American art. Beginning this month, the Kennedy Center will host a multiyear celebration of Latin-American culture called AmericArtes. The American Indian Dance Theatre, Los Danzaq de Ayacucho, Cimarroón, and the Andean Youth Orchestra will kick off the festival with several other acts and Latin-American celebrity hosts, in the opening concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. $15-$45. (202) 467-6700. (Maori Karmael Holmes)