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ASU student founds ¡Habla! AZ to empower high school students through theater

June 26, 2015

Theater is for everyone – or at least it should be. Over the past year, Elisa Gonzales, a master's in performance student in the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, has been working to turn this belief into a reality in metro Phoenix with a program that encourages Latino high school students to express themselves through performance.

Gonzales founded the program, ¡Habla! AZ, in 2014 through ASU’s Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship’s Art Venture Incubator, which supports a variety of student ventures every year.

¡Habla! AZ is a community arts engagement program; Gonzales says its primary mission is to “empower Latino high school students to create original theatre pieces based on their own experience.”

The program is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to work directly with successful Latino artists in their field, developing strong mentor-mentee relationships and fostering an inclusive environment where creativity can flourish.

Communications Program Coordinator, ASU Art Museum