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Latinx Immigrant Stories & the Arts

Performance Information

The performing arts provide an important platform for Latinx immigrant stories to be shared with local, national, and international communities to promote cross-cultural understanding and demonstrate the diversity of the Latinx world, as it's represented in the United States. Creators, performers, thought-leaders, and educators will discuss their work in supporting Latinx immigrant creativity and telling these important stories. Light reception to follow.

Free, registration required

Jimmy López, Composer

Abel López, Associate Producing Director, GALA Hispanic Theatre
Tara Villanueva, Arts Integration Program Manager, Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
Quique Aviles, Poet & Performer
Jenny Bilfield, President & CEO, Washington Performing Arts (Moderator)

About Dreamers
Throughout the 2018/19 season, Washington Performing Arts is collaborating with arts, cultural heritage, education, and literary partners throughout D.C. to facilitate a multi-disciplinary dialogue around the important contributions and experiences of Latinx immigrants in the United States. Musical performances, visual art displays, panel discussions, education programs, and a book discussion series together showcase the wide range of journeys of identity and place experienced by our Latinx neighbors.

The focal point is the March 17, 2019 premiere (via simulcast to Sidney Harman Hall) of Washington Performing Arts’ co-commission Dreamers, a new work for orchestra, soprano, and chorus by composer Jimmy López and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. Dreamers tells the story of several so-called “dreamers,” immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and whose legal status is in jeopardy because their parents arrived in the U.S. undocumented. The fictional story is based on true testimonies that Cuban-American Cruz and Peruvian-American López have collected from immigrants who have come to the U.S. in search of a better life.

About the Mars Urban Arts Initiative
The Mars Urban Arts Initiative (MUAI) is a creative platform for Washington Performing Arts and the D.C. community to celebrate and empower local artists through performances, unique educational programs, and interdisciplinary grassroots collaborations that showcase the diversity and vitality of our city. D.C. has always been an incubator for powerful artistic voices with worldwide resonance, from Duke Ellington and Todd Duncan to Shirley Horn and Chuck Brown. Reflective of our founder Patrick Hayes’ motto, “Everybody in, nobody out,” the Mars Urban Arts Initiative amplifies the role of local artists throughout Washington Performing Arts’ productions, educational opportunities, and special events. MUAI also curates educational workshops, master classes, and student performances that connect local students with distinguished performers, in conjunction with our signature education programs, such as the Capital Arts Partnership, Embassy Adoption Program, and Gospel Choirs. The Mars Urban Arts Initiative is anchored by residencies for leading artists and ensembles, curated performances across all eight wards, and artistic happenings that reflect what it means to call D.C. home.


Co-presented with the Embassy of Peru, GALA Hispanic Theatre, and Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

This event is part of Washington Performing Arts’ global programming initiative, The World in Our City: Latinx in D.C., which provides perspective on what it means to be a citizen of the world through a unique arts-based lens.

This event is made possible in part through the generous support of Jacqueline Badger Mars, Mars, Incorporated, Tom Gallagher, in honor of Turnaround, Inc, and Events DC.