Ballet Hispánico and Cal State LA collaborate to bring arts to youth in L.A.
Cal State LA News Service
California State University, Los Angeles has partnered with Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s premier Latino dance organization, to launch a groundbreaking program, Community Arts Partnership LA, in 2018.
Cal State LA will host Ballet Hispánico as a company-in-residence serving greater Los Angeles. This unique partnership will feature annual performances by the internationally acclaimed Ballet Hispánico company as well as community classes, arts integration classes for public schools, interdisciplinary courses at Cal State LA and workshops for students of all ages. This new partnership will create a space where arts learning and cultural engagement open more avenues for students interested in the arts.
“This innovative collaboration with California State University, Los Angeles is an extraordinary opportunity to impact the L.A. communities with Ballet Hispánico’s mission of bringing communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures,” said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO. “As an organization, which has transformed the lives of young people for almost 50 years, Ballet Hispánico is thrilled to work with Cal State LA.”
Cal State LA President William A. Covino said Ballet Hispánico will help enrich the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.
“We appreciate Ballet Hispánico’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for our community,” Covino said. “This collaboration aligns with Cal State LA cradle-to-career initiatives that provide higher education pathways for our youth. We look forward to a rewarding partnership with this renowned dance company.”
Ballet Hispánico Board of Directors Chair Kate Lear, who also serves on the Cal State LA President’s Council, applauded the groundbreaking partnership.
“We have always believed that Ballet Hispánico can inspire and transform the lives of young people in communities throughout the United States and this is a tremendous step forward,” Lear said. “On a personal note, I was born and raised in Los Angeles and as an advocate of arts education this is a dream come true.”
In 2016, Ballet Hispánico presented performances at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the Cal State LA campus, and engaged in a series of residencies at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. The success of these endeavors led to meetings between Cal State LA educators, Ballet Hispánico leaders, and representatives of area schools and community-based organizations to determine the feasibility, scope and scale of potential partnerships. The initial project is structured on a three-year growth model, with additional classes, partners and performances in each subsequent year.
Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, brings individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance. Whether dancing on stage, in school or in the street, Ballet Hispánico creates a space where few institutions are breaking ground. The organization’s founder, National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, sought to give voice to the Hispanic experience and break through stereotypes. Today Ballet Hispánico is led by Eduardo Vilaro, an acclaimed choreographer and former member of the company, whose vision of social equity, cultural identity and quality arts education for all drives its programs. Ballet Hispánico, a role model in and for the Latino community, is inspiring creativity and social awareness in our neighborhoods and across the country by providing access to arts education.
Ballet Hispánico’s Community Arts Partnerships program has been serving thousands for almost 50 years through innovative partnerships that bring the magic of culture and dance to a myriad of communities. The innovative Community Arts Partnerships program at Ballet Hispánico pairs highly trained dancers, choreographers and teaching artists with students, educators, dance audiences and the general public in the guided exploration of diverse education activities.
Eduardo Vilaro joined Ballet Hispánico as artistic director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. In 2015, Mr. Vilaro took on the additional role of chief executive officer of Ballet Hispánico. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1985 as a dancer and educator, after which he began a ten-year record of achievement as founder and artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of cultural diversity and dance education.
California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.
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Photo courtesy of Paula Lobo.