( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Gifts Ballet Hispánico Money for Sustainability and Development of Artists
ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson
Ballet Hispánico, the country’s most known and largest Latinx cultural group, has received a revolutionary $10 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, named one of America’s Cultural Treasures. It is the single largest contribution the dance company has ever received. Moreover, it will allow the trailblazing company to strengthen its mission and legacy for years to come, assuring its health and future.
“This gift is an incredible act of kindness, and it is a true testament to Ballet Hispánico. The magnitude of its impact will be prolific, and I wanted to express my gratitude by sharing what this gift means to me, for our community, and Ballet Hispánico,” said Ballet Hispánico, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro. “On behalf of the entire Ballet Hispánico organization, I want to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett for this extraordinary act of generosity. I revel in the light they have shined on us. Because of this gift, we will now shine that light on others by nurturing the future and making connections of humanity, culture, and dance. We are truly humbled by this gift.”
With this gift, the dance company can achieve creative and operational excellence through the sustainability and development of artists, students, dedicated staff, and their facilities, continuing to serve BIPOC and marginalized communities only now, on a much larger scale.
“This gift uplifts the experiences of our communities and is a powerful act of advocacy for voices that are often silenced and still struggling in our world,” Mr. Vilaro continued. “This gift will help us build a legacy of transformation for all those young dancers who need a safe space, a place to dream, excel, and grow, without fear of rejection or fear of discrimination. A place to be transformed by the joy of this art form. That transformation will happen in classrooms across the country, in theaters around the world, and even in our streets.”
About Eduardo Vilaro
Eduardo Vilaro is the Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. He was named Ballet Hispánico’s Artistic Director in 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since its founding in 1970, and in 2015 was also named Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. Mr. Vilaro’s philosophy of dance stems from a basic belief in the power of the arts to change lives, reflect and impact culture, and strengthen community. He considers dance to be a liberating, non-verbal language through which students, dancers, and audiences of all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, can initiate ongoing conversations about the arts, expression, identity, and the meaning of community. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the Latin American experience in its totality and diversity through its intersectionality with other diasporas. His works are catalysts for new dialogues about what it means to be an American.
About Ballet Hispánico
For fifty years, Ballet Hispánico has been the leading voice intersecting artistic excellence and advocacy. It is now the largest Latinx cultural organization in the United States and America’s Cultural Treasures. Ballet Hispánico brings communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through innovative dance productions, transformative dance training, and enduring community engagement experiences. Ballet Hispánico provides the physical home and cultural heart for Latinx dance in the United States. Ballet Hispánico has developed a robust public presence across its three main programs: its Company, School of Dance, and Community Arts Partnerships. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement efforts, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies underrepresented voices in the field.
For more information, visit their website HERE.
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