Esperanza is a multi-service education and community economic development organization in support of the North Philadelphia community, offering bilingual services in areas including housing, education, job training, and accessibility. It operates the Esperanza Arts Center, which presents music, dance, theater, and cinema from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as a broad spectrum of traditions from around the world.
A music theater work traverses Mexico’s long history and contemplates national identity after centuries of conquest, colonization, and cultural transformation. Nichos is developed by bilingual theater director and writer Tanaquil Márquez and composer and musician Ximena Violante with the band Ampersan. Their collaboration with local Mexican community members culminates in a performance with both historical and fantastical elements that collectively examine the challenges of preserving languages and cultural traditions. The performance is staged within a large-scale nicho—a type of Mexican folk art that typically takes the form of a small, decorative shadow box—designed and built by muralist Calo Rosa.
The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.