On Friday, June 23, 2023, one of America’s most treasured dance companies Ballet Hispánico was honored with the Immigration Impact Award (formally known as the American Heritage Award) at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention in Florida. The award was presented to Ballet Hispánico from the American Immigration Council for its outreach programs that have continued for many years to bring communities together through culture. Founded by the company’s beloved Tina Ramirez in 1970, New York City-based Ballet Hispánico is now heralded nationally and internationally as one of the best Hispanic dance companies in the United States. It is also the largest Latinx/Latine/Hispanic cultural organization in the nation that has always provided a haven for black and brown families looking for a home and artistic sanctuary. Since 2009, the company has been under the leadership and artistic direction of Eduardo Vilaro who has continued to expand, deepen and elevate Ms. Ramirez’s vision.

Tina Ramirez - Founder of Ballet Hispànico - Photo by Bruce Laurence

Tina Ramirez – Founder of Ballet Hispànico – Photo by Bruce Laurence

The Immigration Impact Award recognizes the talents, contributions, and accomplishments of immigrants and their advocates. Earlier recipients of this award include Carlos Santana, General Colin Powell, Sonia Nazario, Edwidge Danticat, Gerda Weissmann Klein, and others.

Ballet Hispanico. Photo by Paula Lobo.

Ballet Hispanico. Photo by Paula Lobo.

“This year we are thrilled to commemorate Ballet Hispánico for its commitment to bringing communities together, connecting with them through dance, and creating a welcoming space where everyone can belong. By honoring Ballet Hispánico, we hope to highlight the critical value arts and culture play in connecting us,” said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the American Immigration Council. “Ballet Hispánico is a catalyst for social change. For over 50 years Ballet Hispánico has provided a place of honor for the omitted, overlooked, and others. Through its exemplary artistry, distinguished training program, and deep-rooted community engagement, Ballet Hispánico champions and amplifies Hispanic voices in the field.”

Eduardo Vilaro - Photo by Rachel Neville

Eduardo Vilaro – Photo by Rachel Neville

In response to receiving the award, Eduardo Vilaro said, “We are so honored to receive the Immigration Impact Award from the American Immigration Council. The gift of this award recognizes and validates our Company’s ongoing commitment to uplifting the immigrant experience through dance, thus elevating and amplifying Latinx voices and shinning a light on the importance and power of immigrants in our communities.”

Ballet Hispanico performs "18+1" - Photo by Paula Lobo

Ballet Hispanico performs “18+1” – Photo by Paula Lobo

The award was accepted by the chief engagement and inclusion officer of Ballet Hispánico, Tamia Santana.

LA Dance Chronicle congratulates Ballet Hispánico on receiving the Immigration Impact Award.

For more information about Ballet Hispánico, please visit their website.

For more information about the Immigration Impact Award, please click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle from information provided by Michelle Tabnick Public Relations.

Featured image: Ballet Hispánico – 3.-Catorce-Dieciséis – Photo: Paula Lobo