Born and raised in Miami, FL (yes, a native Miamian) to Colombian and Cuban parents, Isabel Almaraz began her artistic journey as a dancer at Ballet Concerto School – Miami’s second established ballet school, first semi-professional dance company, and the first directed by women and Latina’s. Graduating from acclaimed performing arts high school, Coral Reef Senior High and subsequently from Ballet Concerto, she began her professional career as a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist at the age of 18.
Earning a B.A. in Dance Education from Florida International University, she has taught, choreographed, and directed dance programs in public schools and private dance studios; choreographed for international artists such as Jon Secada and impersonators Frankie Kein and Manuel Arte; and performed in a wide variety of local and touring productions, for concert and corporate dance companies, television shows, and lyrical theater companies.
Pursuing a Master’s degree in the midst of her professional performing and teaching career, Isabel earned her M.A. in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013, then turning her focus to making an impact on Miami’s arts and culture industry as an administrator. She has served as the Grants and Corporate Officer at Florida Grand Opera, and the General Manager at GableStage. Isabel has served on grant panels for the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County and most recently opened her own creative consulting group in order to help small to mid-size nonprofit arts organizations through a variety of services. Additionally, Isabel is the Chief Rep for the newly established South Florida chapter of the Parent Artist Advocacy League, a national network and solutions generator for caregivers in the arts and media. As a wife and mother in the arts industry, advocacy, accessibility, and representation has become an increasingly important pillar of her work and thru PAAL, Isabel will be able to help elevate the national and local standard of care for caregivers in the arts.
In this new role as Orchestra Miami’s Executive Director, Isabel hopes to continue the organizations mission of building community through quality programs that ensure the arts are evolving, thriving, and accessible to all in South Florida.
“It is an honor, and a responsibility I do not take lightly, to serve as the new Executive Director of Orchestra Miami, especially in this special milestone ‘Quinceañera’ year. I look forward to working with Elaine and the amazing artists that make up Orchestra Miami to continue bringing impactful symphonic programming of the highest artistic caliber to ALL of Miami and to catapult the organization to the next fifteen years. I am excited to meet our audience and patrons in person and together continue building Miami’s Orchestra.”