Ballet Hispánico’s Quinceañera Gala Raises Over $1.3 Million For Arts And Community

April 26, 2024

Ballet Hispánico celebrated its Quinceañera Gala on April 25, 2024, at the New York City Center and The Plaza Hotel.

The event did a wonderful job raising more than $1.3 million to support the organization’s artistic, educational, and community outreach initiatives.

The evening showcased the organization’s commitment to fostering Latinx voices and artists through dance and culture. This includes underwriting inspiring Company performances, transformative School of Dance scholarships, and enduring Community Arts Partnerships programs engaging audiences globally.

Eduardo Vilaro’s 15th season as Artistic Director was highlighted during the gala, featuring remarks by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. Additionally, Oscar Munoz, Former CEO & Chairman of United Airlines, was honored with the Nuestra Inspiración Award.


The festivities began with a red carpet and cocktail hour followed by the Company’s opening night performance at New York City Center. The celebration continued at The Plaza Hotel with a seated dinner, live music by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and the award presentation.

“… challenges artistic identity and celebrates shared vulnerability.”

Ballet Hispánico’s return to City Center featured the World Premiere of “Buscando a Juan (Searching for Juan),” inspired by the life of Juan de Pareja, an Afro-Hispanic painter. This immersive piece challenges artistic identity and celebrates shared vulnerability.


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The gala, attended by more than 350 guests, raised critical funds to provide dance training scholarships, inspiring performances, and immersive dance programs nationwide and worldwide.

Ballet Hispánico Gala Chairs and Committee:

Gala Chairs: Jody & John Arnhold, Richard Feldman, Kate Lear & Jonathan LaPook, David Pérez, Joseph Wayland & Patricia Verrilli

Gala Committee: Melissa Alvarez-Downing & Stuart Downing, Avance Investment Management, Bank of America, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and many more.

Ballet Hispánico is supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. MetLife Foundation serves as an Official Tour Sponsor of Ballet Hispánico.

“… the Latin American experience and its intersectionality with other cultures. …”

Oscar Munoz’s leadership journey, detailed in his memoir “Turnaround Time,” underscores his commitment to employee well-being and corporate success. Eduardo Vilaro’s choreography reflects the diversity of the Latin American experience and its intersectionality with other cultures.

Ballet Hispánico’s mission to amplify Latinx voices through exemplary artistry and community engagement continues to push cultural boundaries and celebrate Latine creative expression.

Photo credit: 1-5) Ballet Hispánico.by Santiago Felipe.


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