Puerto Rican entrepreneur Sami Haiman-Marrero has launched a space to promote culture among Latinos and Black communities in Orlando, Florida.
CASA CULTURE is a collaborative development model designed and implemented by SOS by Urbander, which offers an inclusive arts and cultural ecosystem for Central Florida artist-entrepreneurs, producers, and creators to access the necessary resources.
The model is to allow a creative space and professional development and networking tools to promote the participation, celebration, and sponsorship of diverse art forms through the exercise of entrepreneurship.
“We have established a collaborative framework to ideate, produce, exhibit, disseminate, and promote world cultures and identities through the arts as a viable solution to address the cycle of persistent urban poverty in distressed communities that are adversely affected by the low-paying part-time employment offered by the Hospitality, Tourism, and Leisure industry that characterizes the region,” the organization said in a press release. “These communities live in the outskirts of the amusement parks, hotel strips, museums, performing arts and convention centers, cruise lines, and international airport and serve as the primary workforce that caters to this billion-dollar industry.”
Guided by the principles of culture, heritage, creativity, respect, community, and inclusion, CASA CULTURE seeks to act as a hub or central point where the community and tourists can interact and experience the artistic expressions created by communities of color in Central Florida.
“We have realized that in this market that we have all the parks, and that the arts, especially with Dr. Phillips [Center for the Performing Arts], with International Drive, the museums, there is a lot of cultural activity, but the presence of artists and creators who are Hispanic, African American or of Black descent, is not very prominent,” Haiman-Marrero told the Orlando Sentinel.
“Hispanic organizations and Black organizations are going to … create together and … have access to the resources that we need to be able to scale and amplify our messages, our missions and the impact we have together in society,” she said.