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Ballet Hispanico was founded by a Latina leader of its own, National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, who infused the organization in 1970 with her mission to provide access to arts education and give voice to the Latino artist. When Eduardo Vilaro became Artistic Director in 2009, he launched a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. He has also established programs that have nurtured a new generation of Latino leaders, many of them female. “Ballet Hispanico builds on founder Tina Ramirez’s legacy of female leadership by celebrating the achievements of two remarkable Latina leaders who have made their mark in the performing arts and corporate America,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. “The evening is a celebration of Ballet Hispánico’s determined and increasingly necessary commitment to fostering awareness of the gifts of diversity.” “I love what this organization does for the community; it’s inspirational. It fits with my own mission to serve our youth,” said Rita Moreno. “I am excited to find other ways of partnering with Ballet Hispánico to reach our community with the arts.” “I’m honored to be recognized by such an impactful organization,” says Nina Vaca. “Ballet Hispánico empowers our youth to pursue their artistic dreams and reminds us all about the value of bringing communities together.Many of those touched by Ballet Hispánico go on to establish careers in the arts or found their own successful businesses. I applaud Ballet Hispánico for building and strengthening the link between art and entrepreneurship.” Carnaval, the inspiration for Ballet Hispanico’s annual Gala as envisioned by Eduardo Vilaro, is a celebration of the impactful voices of the Latino world-an exciting and fitting way to showcase the resilience and unparalleled vision of one of America’s cultural gems. Attended by more than 500 of New York’s most influential civic leaders, philanthropists and artists, the evening is filled with live Latin music and thrilling performances by the Ballet Hispanico Company and students of the School of Dance.