The Hispanic Alliance for the Performing Arts (HAPA) was created in 2011 to increase access to and support for the performing arts in Austin’s growing Hispanic and minority communities. Our mission is: to boost academic and social achievement by exposing underserved students and their families to the arts, and to ensure that Hispanics and all underserved kids are a vital part of the performing arts community for generations to come.
Austin Soundwaves is HAPA’s first initiative to support Austin’s underserved students and their families by involving them directly in musical arts. The program widens pathways to college and develops cultural participation in Austin’s youth through high-quality, intensive orchestral education. Austin Soundwaves is a youth orchestra inspired by a world-renowned model for music education known as El Sistema.
HAPA created Austin Soundwaves in collaboration with The University of Texas College of Fine Arts. Last fall we launched the first program at East Austin College Prep, a charter school located in a predominantly Hispanic area of Austin, where more than 27 percent of families live in poverty and more than half of the residents over 25 years-old do not have a high school diploma. Students receive an instrument, all supplies, lesson books, and at least ten hours of weekly instruction by trained musician educators at no cost. After less than two months of instruction participants give their first public orchestral performance to parents, teachers, siblings and supporters.
The ethnic makeup of our program participants are 81.68% Hispanic, 10.5% African American, and almost 8% are disadvantaged Caucasians and other minorities.
Our students come from almost every zip code in the Central Texas area representing coverage from all segments of our underserved population.
In addition to Austin Soundwaves, HAPA continues to operate its Arts Liaison Program, through which trained volunteers assist Austin arts organizations to increase attendance and participation rates among Austin’s minorities. To date, HAPA has formed fundamental relationships with the following organizations in Central Texas that seeks to ensure minority participation in their programs: Austin Classical Guitar Society, Austin Lyric Opera, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Austin, The Long Center for the Performing Arts, The Paramount Theater and Zach Scott Theatre. HAPA also collaborates with the University of Texas College of Fine Arts, the Butler School of Music, and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.