“Orlando has the potential to be even bigger and better than New York,” she said. “We are young and packed with hope and desire. We only need support, guidance and opportunities.”THAMARA BEJARANO
Thamara Bejarano has a dream.
When she closes her eyes at night, she sees the doors opening to a cultural center in Orlando. Inside lies a beautiful space where folks from local grassroots arts organizations can sing, dance, perform, exhibit, rehearse, and connect, all in their native tongues. Orlando is home to world-class arts institutions that host phenomenal traveling acts, but this is a space just for the people to create.
But, for now, this place only lives in Thamara’s dreams.
Thamara is the founder of Open Scene, Inc., a local non-profit arts organization that aims to teach, entertain and empower through the performing and visual arts. Open Scene’s primary focus is on providing professional performance opportunities for Latinx and LGBTQ artists.
“We really believe that we can learn more about each other, work on a better life, and make a more inclusive society,” Thamara said. “That can be achieved through art.”
Open Scene’s arts events range from the traditional (theater, dance, etc.) to the experimental. Open Scene’s first ever performance was called Mad House, a performance art show in the middle of downtown Orlando where passersby could peer in on actors in a “mad house,” but performers stared right back. Their most recent exhibit, Exquisite Corpse, was a virtual reality experience at Immerse Fest 2021 where visual art, music and poetry came to life for guests via VR goggles.
Thamara is beyond proud of what Open Scene and its partners have accomplished, but she’s a dreamer at heart. She wants to finally open that cultural center. She wants to expose audiences to diverse content they might not encounter elsewhere. Most of all, she wants to do more to connect people through the arts.
“Orlando has the potential to be even bigger and better than New York,” she said. “We are young and packed with hope and desire. We only need support, guidance and opportunities.”
If you would like to get in touch with Open Scene about performing, supporting or collaborating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Scene’s next event is Arte en el Jardín / Art in the Garden on December 19 from 2 – 6 p.m. The event features a play reading, live music, flamenco dance, visual arts, a puppets show, food, and crafts. More info TBA.