Ballet Hispánico Partners with ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! for a Virtual Residency and Community Performances
Ballet Hispánico, the nation's renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America's Cultural Treasures, continues with a broadcast of Ballet Hispánico's En Familia, airing from March 19-26 on the TVSB community channel to more than 100,000 potential audience members, to permit access to all, even those who may not have access to the internet. En Familia is narrated by Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro showcasing two full pieces of the company's repertoire – Con Brazos Abiertos and Club Havana.
The broadcast is a continuation of Ballet Hispánico's partnership with ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara!, an Arts & Lectures community arts program that began with a two-month virtual residency. From January 26 through March 18, Ballet Hispánico taught 40 virtual workshops at three Santa Barbara County schools, serving more than 130 elementary to high school students as they explore cultural identity through the lens of Con Brazos Abiertos. The workshops culminated in a live virtual event sharing the process of the residencies with the school communities of Isla Vista Elementary, Kermit McKenzie, and Santa Barbara High School.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with Viva el Arte Santa Bárbara again. This partnership helps bring our teaching and performances to many communities lacking access to arts programming and in turn ignites cultural pride with a sense of belonging for those communities," said Eduardo Vilaro, CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet Hispánico. "Now more than ever, our presence and work with Black and Brown communities is essential."
Participating students were exposed to world-class choreographers and cultural contexts through the lens of Ballet Hispánico's repertory, led by Company dancer and teaching artist Laura Lopez.
Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) engage and enrich communities by providing educational programs that celebrate the authenticity of Latinx heritage, culture, and traditions. Ballet Hispánico has developed new, engaging virtual programs to share the vibrancy of dance and Latinx culture with communities spanning all locations, age-groups, and abilities. This is an opportunity to keep our communities connected and create platforms nationwide for Black and Brown artists to be celebrated. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of our mission, and these programs create access points to these principles through transformative artistic experiences. During this time of social distancing, we have expanded our creativity to connect with the community on a new level. Social distancing does not have to mean emotional distancing. We have more information on our virtual programming here or visit our website ballethispanico.org.
Ballet Hispánico is the nation's renowned Latino dance organization and one of America's Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance performances, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences. Founded in 1970 by National Medal of Arts recipient, Tina Ramírez, the organization emerged during the post-civil rights movement on New York's Upper West Side, providing a safe haven for primarily Black and Brown Latinx youth seeking artistic sanctuary during New York City's plight in the 1970s. The need for place, both culturally and artistically, led families to find Ballet Hispánico. The focus on dance as a means to develop working artists, combined with the training, authenticity of voice, and power of representation, fueled the organization's roots and trajectory. With its strong emphasis on dance, achievement, and public presence, the organization has flourished in its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. The organization serves as a platform for historically omitted and overlooked artists providing them with increased capacity, voice, and affirmation. Over the past five decades, by leading with Latinx culture at the forefront of performance, education, and advocacy, Ballet Hispánico's mission is a catalyst of change and possibility for communities throughout our nation.
¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! brings people together to share the rich cultural heritage of Latin America, serving more than 15,000 each year throughout Santa Barbara County. Viva builds bridges through live performance, shared experience, and joyful, personal discovery. Created in 2006 out of a commitment to arts access for all, Viva works with dozens of local partners to present high-quality touring artists – Grammy winners and recognized cultural ambassadors – who share their knowledge, passion, and commitment. Neighborhood spaces in schools, after-school programs, and community centers come alive in these vibrant programs for youth and families across Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, New Cuyama, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria. A leader in community outreach in Santa Barbara County, Viva is a collaboration between Isla Vista School, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, The Marjorie Luke Theatre and UCSB Arts & Lectures.
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