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Michelle Brandon
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Ballet Hispanico
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Tina Ramirez Receives NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award

by Michelle Brandon
October 15, 2012
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 627-1200

Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-4000

Featured Dance Company:

Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico (office)
167 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures will honor Ballet Hispanico founder Tina Ramirez at the 2012 NALAC Conference in Philadelphia, PA at the Loews Hotel. In recognition of her award, Ballet Hispanico will present Ms. Ramirez with a performance of A Verme at the conference on Friday, October 19, 2012 at 8:00pm at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA.

A Verme is a duet choreographed by Edwaard Liang and set to "Tro, The Tree's Sacrifice" by Ezio Bosso. Costumes for this work are by Diana Ruetigger and the piece will be performed by Ballet Hispanico dancers Vanessa Valecillos and Jamal Rashann Callender.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to honor Tina Ramirez with a performance in recognition of this well-deserved award," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. "The exceptional legacy of her vision allows Ballet Hispanico to continue to grow and prosper."

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures has selected Ms. Ramirez as one of four 2012 NALAC Lifetime Achievement Honorees. Every two years, NALAC recognizes the commitment and contributions of individuals in support of artists and the field of Latino arts and cultures. The NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award is NALAC's highest honor. The honorees will receive a special reception and medal at the 8th National NALAC Conference in Philadelphia.

"It is so humbling and uplifting to honor Tina Ramirez who is both a trailblazer and a legend. She made room for Latinos in the national dance landscape and created a home and institution so that generations of dancers can be trained and realize their dreams. She made great change and NALAC is proud to celebrate her as one of the many stars in the Latino constellation of artists," said Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Board Chair of NALAC The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and Executive Director of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance.

In addition to the 2005 National Medal of Arts, Ms. Ramirez has received countless awards and honors in recognition of her work, including the Dance Magazine Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education, Capezio Dance Award, NYS Governor's Arts Award, and the NYC Mayor's Award of Honor for Arts & Culture.


Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispanico in 1970 and served as Artistic Director until 2009. Under her direction, over 45 choreographers created works for the Company, many of international stature and others in the early stages of their career. Ms. Ramirez was born in Venezuela, the daughter of a Mexican bullfighter and grandniece to a Puerto Rican educator who founded the island's first secular school for girls. Her performing career included international touring with the Federico Rey Dance Company, the Broadway productions of Kismet and Lute Song and the television adaptation of Man of La Mancha. Ms. Ramirez currently serves on the board of The New 42nd Street, and was Co-Chair for the New York City Department of Education Dance Curriculum Blueprint Committee. She has served on numerous panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as the board of the Association of Hispanic Arts.


Celebrating 42 years of dance and culture, Ballet Hispanico is recognized as the nation's preeminent Latino dance organization. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispanico explores, preserves and celebrates today's Latino cultures through innovative artistic collaborations, world class dance training and national education and outreach programs. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org. Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.


The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures is the nation's only multidisciplinary Latino arts service organization. For 23 years, NALAC has provided critical advocacy, funding, networking opportunities and professional development training to build the capacity and sustainability of the Latino arts and cultural field to sustain artists and arts organizations in every region of the country.

NALAC's membership is a multiethnic, multigenerational, and interdisciplinary community that includes thousands of Latino artists and more than 900 large and small not-for-profit Latino arts and cultural organizations in the United States. NALAC artists and arts organizations specialize in a diverse range of disciplines which include visual arts, theater, dance, music, performance art, literature and mixed media.

Since its founding, NALAC has bolstered leadership and training in the Latino arts field, hosting seven National Conferences, 26 Regional Arts Training Workshops, and 12 Leadership Institutes with more than 200 alumni across the country. Additionally, over $1 million dollars have been distributed to the Latino arts community through direct grant programs.
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