$30,000 Gift from Bell Atlantic Lights Up Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre's 30th Birthday

$30,000 Gift from Bell Atlantic Lights Up Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre's 30th Birthday

September 18, 1997

Media contacts:Roy Cosme

NEW YORK -- Grants totaling $30,000 from the Bell Atlantic Foundation will enable the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre to provide bilingual theatrical education for economically disadvantaged youth. The donation honors the theater group's 30th anniversary season.

Bell Atlantic will join in celebrating the accomplishments of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and honoring artistic director, Miriam Colon, for her visionary role in the Hispanic community at a gala event on September 18 at the Copacabana in Manhattan.

"Artistic organizations like the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre are powerful communicators that increase understanding of the Hispanic cultures in our society, promote education and advance a vision of the future for people in the Hispanic community," said Toby Webb, Bell Atlantic's executive vice-president for external affairs and corporate communications. "We salute them on their 30th anniversary for their accomplishments and for culturally enriching our community."

The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre has performed throughout the New York area and is well-known in the Hispanic community. The company, which performs in both Spanish and English, is an important training ground for aspiring Hispanic actors and actresses. The Bell Atlantic grants will support the group's Arts in the Schools Program and the Raul Julia Training Unit (which has served over 5,000 students).

The Arts in the Schools Program makes it possible for students in public elementary and secondary schools to see the works of contemporary Latino playwrights. The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre will create a work study guide for teachers and students that will help teachers incorporate the artistic works into the curriculum.

"Bell Atlantic's tremendous support of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre's work has enabled us to continue our role in bilingual communication and education through the medium of theatre," said Miriam Colon Valle, artistic director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.

Bell Atlantic has long-standing financial commitments to a wide array of cultural organizations throughout its territory, including many in the New York Hispanic community such as El Museo del Barrio, Mexican Cultural Institute and the Spanish Theatre Repertory.

"Our region has the most vibrant mix of arts and cultural organizations," said Suzanne DuBose, president of the Bell Atlantic Foundation. "We are committed to keeping these organizations alive, stimulating their talent and encouraging the diverse cultural expressions of their communities."

Bell Atlantic's support of the Hispanic community extends into education and community services. The Bell Atlantic Foundation has provided financial support to such organizations as Aspira of New York, Enlace-Latino Children Education Network, the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Westchester Hispanic Coalition. Earlier this year, the company announced a $500,000 grant to the Hispanic Federation of New York, one of the largest grants ever received by the organization. That grant is designed to strengthen the technological infrastructure of the federation's member agency network, which is comprised of 60 community-based organizations serving New York's Hispanic community.

The Bell Atlantic Foundation administers all domestic and international philanthropic grants on behalf of Bell Atlantic. The Foundation's philanthropic emphasis is on providing safe havens for youth and grants to technology and education, arts and human services.

As a result of the recent merger of the two companies, the Bell Atlantic Foundation and the NYNEX Foundation have merged. All grant programs previously operated under the NYNEX banner are now part of the Bell Atlantic Foundation.

For a complete list of grant recipients and additional information on the Bell Atlantic Foundation, visit www.bellatlanticfoundation.com on the Internet.

The new Bell Atlantic -- formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -- is at the forefront of the new communications, information and entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and 5.5 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.

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