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Ballet Hispánico & Situation Project Partner To Provide Arts Access To Students In Washington Heights And The Bronx

Students joining the virtual Performances for Young People will be exposed to world-class choreographers and cultural contexts.

Ballet Hispánico & Situation Project Partner To Provide Arts Access To Students In Washington Heights And The Bronx

Ballet Hispánico Partners with Situation Project to Provide Arts and Dance Access to New York City Students in Washington Heights and the Bronx - #AdoptAHotspot Campaign Helps Close Digital Divide and Tackle the Connectivity Issue Affecting Underserved Communities.

In an effort to bring attention to the digital divide among New York City students, Ballet Hispánico, the nation's renowned Latinx dance organization recognized as one of America's Cultural Treasures, announced today it is partnering with Situation Project, the non-profit arm of the Situation Interactive agency, to provide 900 middle school students with internet access to experience an interactive virtual dance event on January 22. The partnership and event are aimed at creating awareness and addressing the connectivity issue students face through access and exposure to arts-deprived New York City public-school students.

Ballet Hispánico and Situation Project's common goal to connect underserved communities with the arts will be exhibited through this virtual experience. Participating middle schools from Washington Heights and the Bronx include students from three middle schools, The Laboratory School of Finance & Technology, The Paula Hedbavny School, and Academy of Applied Mathematics & Technology. Students will embark on a guided virtual journey through Latinx dance and culture. This interactive, fun-filled exploration features excerpts of the Ballet Hispánico repertoire narrated by the Company's artistic leadership.

"As part of Ballet Hispánico's mission, our programming ignites cultural pride, elevates diverse artists, and stresses the importance of making dance accessible to all," 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. Ballet Hispánico founder Tina Ramirez would say, 'When you change a student, you change a family, you change a community,' and I would add to that, you change a country."

Students joining the virtual Performances for Young People will be exposed to world-class choreographers and cultural contexts through the lens of Ballet Hispánico's repertory. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to interact with teaching artists and educators through a live dance session and Q&A.

"By nature of the zip code most of our students were born in, they don't have access to some of the most amazing experiences NYC-their hometown-has to offer," said Damian Bazadona, founder of Situation Project. "This has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic with 30% of students struggling to even access their virtual classrooms due to a lack of reliable internet. What we've done - which is a true collaboration between our agency, these schools, and the arts and culture community-is simply to identify the inequities these students are facing and use the existing resources we have to help address the issues. My hope is that this is a model that can inspire communities across the country to act and support the students (or anyone in need) in their own backyard."

Situation Project recently launched a campaign to close the digital divide by providing 175 prepaid hotspots through June 2021 to partner schools so students can remain connected. Through virtual experiences like the Ballet Hispánico event on January 22, the #AdoptAHotspot campaign will not only bring access to arts for students but benefit their full education.


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