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Meet Eriberto Jimenez of Miami Hispanic Ballet Corp in Little Havana

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eriberto Jimenez.

Eriberto, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center (MHCAC) is the home to some of the most recognized arts organizations in Miami: the Miami Hispanic Ballet (MHB) presenting the Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami, the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM), dedicated to preserve the brilliant technique and rich heritage of the famed Cuban Ballet tradition outside Cuba and Creation Art Center (CAC) with the mission to preserve and promote the Hispanic Culture in Miami Dade County, producing all cultural events at the MHCAC. The Center also houses the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami School, dedicated to training dancers to a professional level, based on the Cuban ballet methodology and the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center Music Conservatory with the aim to nurture future artistic talents in the community.

This exciting new Cultural Arts Center resides in the magnificent 1911 fully restored Miami Landmark building. The J.W. Warner Place, House and Garden, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the only one from Miami featured in Remaking America, the definitive book of historic houses in America.

MHCAC offers a variety of artistic disciplines: Theater, Art Exhibits, Films, Performances, Concerts, Book Presentations, Poetry Readings, and regular instruction in Ballet and Music with an exceptional national and international staff of teachers. MHCAC is dedicated to presenting quality, affordable performances and instruction.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The organizations within the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center have been around for many years. Creation Art Center was founded in 1983, Miami Hispanic Ballet in 1992 and Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami in 2006. After so many years of hard work and dedication in 2010, the Miami Hispanic Ballet, per the recommendation of Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro and the Cultural Affairs Council, received a grant of $1 million for the purchase of the property that houses the MHCAC.

In 2011, Miami Hispanic Ballet was also the recipient of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant Award of $100,000 in support of the restoration of the historical building offices. In 2012, Miami Hispanic Ballet, per the recommendation of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Jimenez and the Cultural Affairs Council (Director, Michael Spring) received a GOB Grand of $250,000 as well with the assistance of Mayor Tomas Regalado, a Community Development Block Grant of $50,000 to remodel the entire historical building.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Miami Hispanic Ballet Corp story. Tell us more about your organization.
The Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center home of Miami Hispanic Ballet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami and Creation Art Center, offers a variety of artistic disciplines: Theater, Art Exhibits, Films, Performances, Concerts, Book Presentations, Poetry Readings, and regular instruction in Ballet and Music with an exceptional national and international staff of teachers. MHCAC is dedicated to presenting quality, affordable performances and instruction.

MIAMI HISPANIC BALLET (MHB). The Miami Hispanic Ballet Company was established in 1993, as a non for profit dance organization dedicated to identifying and promoting professional dance artists, and is the umbrella company for the Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami. Held annually during the months of July and August the Festival represents the most ambitious ballet project ever conceived in South Florida, the magnitude of its program, along with the prestige of the participating companies and the renowned principal ballet stars, have captured the attention of the most demanding audiences. The festival has accomplished the task of introducing to South Florida’s residents and visitors to a stunning array of national and international ballet companies encompassing Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the USA. Furthermore, it has provided the opportunity for local dance and ballet companies to demonstrate their talent alongside the world’s most renowned dancers. The festival has received rave reviews and earned the utmost respect of the local and international media.

The Festival also includes a Dance Films Series. Art Exhibits Inspired by Dance, Book Presentations, Workshops and Master Classes, culmination with the most spectacular Gala Performances bringing to Miami-Dade County over 100 Principal Dancers from the best companies around the world.

CUBAN CLASSICAL BALLET OF MIAMI (CCBM). A non-profit organization CCBM was founded in 2006 by Pedro Pablo Peña and is solely dedicated to performing and preserving the classical ballet repertoire as exemplified by the Cuban ballet tradition. One of CCBM’s goals is to establish a permanent classical ballet company and school that will preserve and further the tradition of the Cuban Classical School of ballet outside of Cuba.

Currently, under the artistic direction of Eriberto Jimenez, the Company has a regular yearly season that includes four programs, presented in several venues throughout Miami-Dade County, featuring guest Cuban principal dancers and soloists as well as CCBM corps the ballet.

CREATION ART CENTER (CAC). Creation Art Center (CAC) was established in 1983 as a non for profit organization dedicated to preserve and promote the Hispanic culture in the Miami Dade County, to provide quality arts programming and education for our residents and visitors, as well as to support Hispanic artists in South Florida.

The organization offers an annual season of Theater Productions, Play-readings, Poem readings, Workshops, Literary encounters, and Book presentations, which are presented in Spanish. These activities are open to the public and anyone interested in learning about Hispanic Theater and Culture. CAC seeks integration of cultural genres, in an effort to broaden its appeal to the non-Spanish speaking community, while maintaining its commitment to support Hispanic artists, CAC also offer Concerts, Musical Recitals, Film Series and Art Exhibitions that do not require spoken capabilities. The programs at the MHCAC “Pena’s Gallery” include art exhibits featuring local and visiting visual artists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, open every day to the public and free of charge to all visitors to this Historic Landmark. CAC also supports numerous Hispanic organizations in the development of their work by providing guidance and in-kind support.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
More than luck or bad luck, hard work has been the key to be able to achieve our goals. When you work on what you are passionate about and dedicate your life to it, especially if you are in the art business, each step is always a satisfaction. The future plan is for the original colonial-style building to be complemented by a new contemporary crafted building housing brand new state of the art ballet studios and a black box theater.

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Image Credit:
Photos: Simon Soong

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