My first experience managing a multi-arts facility was in 2006, when I submitted a proposal to the Department of Cultural Affairs in Puerto Rico and was granted a start-up loan for the development of Araba Café Teatro, a 5,000 square feet venue that served as a platform for emerging artists. In Araba, we offered artists a fully equipped stage with access to audio, video and projection equipment. The audience would enjoy a nice café-style space, with their choice of beverage and “tapas”.
After the drastic economic downturn in 2009, Araba's board of directors decided to close operations. My passion for Middle Eastern dance led me to develop Nailah Dance Company in 2010, where I played the role of instructor, choreographer and director. Nailah was the gateway to programs that focused on women’s empowerment and body consciousness, creating a more social approach to art.
During the process of developing Nailah Dance Company, I began to focus my career goals more on the cultural exchange between the artists and the community, and in 2015 I established Almacén 63, a multidisciplinary arts venue that provided a class, rehearsal and performance space. During the 2 years of operation of Almacén 63, we managed to create alliances with local community leaders, schools and other public programs to promote art as an alternative to physical and mental health.
After hurricane Maria in September 2017, the concept of Almacén 63 was sold. Currently, Almacén 63 is still operating under new management, and continues to promote art within the community. Although I am not a manager, I am lucky to serve as a consultant to the new management team.
Loaya has shown responsibility, belief and firmness in her work. Her focus in all relationships is professional in nature as she does not settle for anything less than that.
The result has been evidenced in supporting spaces for the development of the arts, which continue to this day on the island.
Digital Writer / Freelance Journalist