The purpose of Encanto Arts is to assist rural youth from underrepresented populations in Washington State by promoting the performing arts, culture and education.
In the fall of 2012, Jose Iñiguez performed a selection of opera arias at the Tagaris Winery in Richland, WA. Jose, an aspiring performer born and raised in a farm working family in nearby Mattawa, WA, had always dreamed of becoming an opera tenor, and the Tagaris performance was his first significant public performance. It was also one of the first times that opera was performed in the Tri-Cities area in southeast Washington, a rural and agricultural community with a large Latino population. The diverse audience loved his singing that evening, but what made Jose’s initial performance special was that in addition to performing traditional opera arias, Jose also performed several Mexican boleros, a style of music very popular in Latin America and gaining popularity in the United States. For many in the audience, it was their first time hearing live opera, for others, it was their first time hearing Mexican boleros accompanied by classical piano. That first performance and combination of traditional opera and Mexican boleros was the seed that would eventually become Encanto Arts.
Following that initial show, Jose traveled throughout the state of Washington performing in rural communities, high schools and colleges, and for community and cultural organizations that welcomed his bringing together of opera arias and Mexican boleros accompanied by classical piano. He was soon joined by local musicians, performers and mariachi groups who backed his performances. In 2013, and now calling his performance, “Encanto,” Jose used his performances to raise money for college scholarships and for cultural organizations and art groups. One of the more significant developments was the establishment of the first scholarship endowments for Latino students at Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University and most recently at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA.
Over the years José Iñiguez has made it a point to bring Encanto Arts’ engaging experience to a variety of different venues and audiences in and out of the state of Washington. The Encanto Arts experience is the ethereal beauty of opera aria, classical piano, and mariachi boleros. Since Encanto Arts inception, it has worked collaboratively with many community agencies, companies and educational institutions to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars while establishing three educational endowments around Washington State that support communities of color.
As community builders we have come together to show that diversity is what all our organizations should strive for. We are stronger together and we are an example of why it should be intentional to have a diverse board of directors.
Co-Director of Technology
Vice President & Co-Director of Technology
Simon Iñiguez M.Ed
Co-Director of Communications
Francisco Diaz - Maria Sotelo
Ricardo Iñiguez M.Ed
Advisor to the board
President & Executive Director
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