Former Spirit of Fiesta Franchesca Marisol Cabrera Returns to Santa Barbara as Education Co-ordinator with Ballet Hispanico

Ms. Cabrera will teach dance to students in local elementary schools as part of Ballet Hispanico’s week-long residence made possible by a generous gift from Jody and John ’75 Arnhold. The 12-member company will perform in free family concerts on Friday, January 11, 7 pm, at Isla Vista School in Isla Vista; at 7:30 pm in Guadalupe’s City Hall auditorium on Saturday, January 12; and on Sunday, January 13, 7 pm, at the Marjorie Luke Theatre at Santa Barbara Jr. High. All events are free.

Franchesca Marisol Cabrera hails from Santa Barbara, CA having attended La Patera Elementary School, Goleta Valley Jr. High School and Dos Pueblos High School. A graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in World Arts in Cultures, Ms. Cabrera credits her early exposure to dance to Santa Barbara’s rich and diverse dance community. She began her dance training in the styles of Classical Spanish, Flamenco, Baroque, Ballet and Mexican Folklorico, among others. Her family, The Cabrera Family, has been actively involved in Old Spanish Days Fiesta for the last 27 years. Ms. Cabrera was the Spirit of Fiesta in 2001 and her youth performing dance ensemble, Bailes de España, presented Classical Spanish, Flamenco and regional dances of Spain during Fiesta over the last 15 years.

In addition to performing, Ms. Cabrera grew to love arts education and sharing the importance of the performing and visual arts with young people. She returned to her alma mater, La Patera School, to work with 5th and 6th grade students for her senior project at UCLA. She was later employed by Children’s Creative Project as a Teaching Artist for dance serving McKinley School, Washington School, Harding School and PVAC, (Performing & Visual Arts Camp).

Ms. Cabrera recently completed her Master’s in Arts Education at NYU’s Gallatin School in a self-designed program: “Integrated Arts Curriculum for Elementary School Classrooms with an emphasis on Critical Thinking.” Currently Ms. Cabrera is a Program Coordinator in Ballet Hispanico’s Education & Outreach area and manages the organization’s second company, BHdos. BHdos tours and performs repertory throughout New York City, at public and private schools and at corporate events. Her work also includes teaching residencies, development of educational materials and professional development for dancers. She is delighted to share the Ballet Hispanico experience with students, educators and families throughout the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, a city she keeps close to her heart!

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is a program of the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center, Isla Vista School, and UCSB Arts & Lectures. Presenting free music and dance from important traditions to neighborhood venues, schools and community organizations throughout Santa Barbara County, Viva is led by co-ordinators Alíz Ruvalcaba, Graciela Parra, and Catherine Boyer. In January 2011, the national Association of Performing Arts Presenters recognized Viva as one of two exemplary outreach programs in the nation.

¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! is funded by the James Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and SAGE. Additional support is provided by the Santa Barbara Foundation, Incredible Children’s Art Network, the UCSB Office of Education Partnerships, the Marjorie Luke Theatre’s Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund, the Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara Latino, Santa Maria Sun, Univisión, the Sandman Inn, Pacifica Suites, Radio Bronco, and R&V Photography, and the Consulate of Mexico in Oxnard. This project is funded in part by the Community Arts Grant Program using funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation and its Education Outreach Committee. Co-presented by the Marjorie Luke Theatre, the Guadalupe Arts & Education Center and UCSB Arts & Lectures, in collaboration with the Isla Vista School After School Grant.


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