As Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Jairo Ontiveros oversees a diverse portfolio of programs that reach more than 26,000 students a year, from pre-school to 12th grade, as well as adult students, with an emphasis on outreach to populations traditionally underserved by the arts. The majority of young people impacted by these programs are students in the Miami-Dade County Public School District, the second-largest minority-majority school system in the country, with 62 percent of its students being of Hispanic origin, 26 percent African American, 9 percent Non-Hispanic White, 1 percent Asian and less than 2 percent other minorities. One in every four of the 380,006 students in this school system live in families that function below the poverty level.
Before joining the Adrienne Arsht Center in 2007, Mr. Ontiveros was a principal dancer with the Austin-based Aztlan Dance Company as well as serving as coordinator for community projects. While studying in Barcelona, he worked as an assistant to the company manager at Rosita Mauri Academy of Dance. He then completed a Texas Performing Arts Management Fellowship in programming and education at the University of Texas-Austin, where he was instrumental in increasing the performing arts organization’s presence in the Austin community and the Austin and Del Valle Independent School Districts. During this same time period, Mr. Ontiveros produced a summer folk music concert series in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to raise funds to support the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, the oldest crafts school in Tennessee.
Mr. Ontiveros has more than 10 years of experience delivering fine arts programming to communities. Born in Aguascalientes, in northern Mexico, he was raised in North Texas and is fluent in Spanish and English. Mr. Ontiveros holds three degrees – a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Latin American Studies – from the University of Texas, Austin. He has studied theory of cinema at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He also is trained in ADA/504 compliance.