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Celebrating 50 Years of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

The Legacy lives on!

For half a century, the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) has illuminated the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, uniting Spanish- and English-speaking audiences through the magic of Hispanic theater. Founded in 1973 by the remarkable trio of Mexican-American actress Carmen Zapata, Cuban-born actress, playwright, director Margarita Galban, and

Argentinian-American producer-manager Estella Scarlata, BFA has become an integral part of the city's artistic fabric, dedicated to fostering understanding and cultural enrichment.

A History of Excellence:

Carmen Zapata, Margarita Galban and Estella Scarlata, three luminaries in the world of theater, embarked on a journey to celebrate and preserve Hispanic literary culture. Their vision has since evolved into a legacy that transcends linguistic and cultural boundaries. BFA's 50-year history is a testament to their unwavering dedication.

Bridging Cultures:

One of BFA's defining characteristics is its ability to bridge cultures. The theater company serves as a unifying force in the diverse tapestry of Los Angeles. By emphasizing the commonalities of the human experience, BFA highlights the shared threads that unite us all, fostering a deeper understanding among different communities.

Cultural Pride and Education:

BFA's productions are not merely performances; they are windows into the soul of Hispanic culture. For Spanish-speaking audiences, these Spanish-language productions instill a profound sense of cultural pride. For English-speaking audiences, they serve as an introduction to the rich and eloquent history of diverse Hispanic cultures. BFA's work transcends language, offering a gateway to the heart of a rich heritage.

Carmen Zapata: A Living Legend:

Carmen Zapata, an accomplished actress, translator, theater producer, and community leader, has left an indelible mark on both the Hispanic culture and the world of theater. Her remarkable contributions were recognized when she was Knighted by King Juan Carlos of Spain. Additionally, she received the Cross of Isabel, La Catolica, for her tireless efforts in preserving Hispanic culture, spanning from the Golden Age to contemporary works. Ms. Zapata was also honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her exceptional contributions to live theater.

As we celebrate BFA's half-century legacy, we are reminded of the profound impact it has had on our city and its people. The Bilingual Foundation of the Arts has brought us closer together, fostering a sense of unity and pride. Its founders, Carmen Zapata, Margarita Galban and Estella Scarlata, have bequeathed a priceless treasure to Los Angeles - the gift of cultural understanding and enrichment.

A Call to Support:

As BFA looks ahead to the next 50 years, they need your support to continue their vital mission. Your donations can ensure that the flame of Hispanic theater continues to burn brightly, bringing diverse communities together and enriching our cultural heritage.

Join us in celebrating the BFA, an institution that has tirelessly worked to preserve and share the beauty of Hispanic culture. Whether you donate, attend their performances, or share their story, you are an essential part of this enduring legacy.

BFA, a beacon of cultural unity, invites you to be a part of the next chapter in their extraordinary journey. Donate today and help them continue to bridge cultures, ignite passion, and keep the spirit of Hispanic theater alive for generations to come.

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1 Comment

Rachel Ceasar
Rachel Ceasar
Nov 14, 2023

Tried calling and emailling--how do I buy tickets for TOO MANY TAMALES?

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