Acclaimed entertainer and choreographer, Maria Torres, is the inspiration behind MTEAF (Maria Torres Emerging Artists Foundation) a philanthropic organization designed to create opportunities and mentor multi-ethnic aspiring artists from underprivileged communities.
MTEAF boasts an impressive team of people who all have experience in performing arts with various backgrounds in TV, film and music. The team consists of Maria Torres (Founder), Vanessa Williams (Co-Founder), John O’Connor (Co-Founder), James Brent White (Co-Executive Director) and many more. The MTEAF website outlines the organization’s mission which is to provide a “rigorous, interdisciplinary educational and mentorship program in the performing arts empowering pre-teens and young adults, from multi-ethnic and undeserved communities, to achieve their goals as professionals in the entertainment industry.”
To that end, Torres and the other members of the organization are passionate about connecting dedicated aspiring artists to their area of interest and finding opportunities for those artists to succeed and realize their professional dreams.
The MTEAF acronym has a dual meaning, also standing for Motivation, Teaching, Education, Action and Fellowship. The organization embodies all of these attributes through its commitment to mentorship. Members of MTEAF will learn from the best, and make valuable connections within their respective discipline.
The website outlines nine of the organization’s commitments and goals for aspiring artists. These include:
- Cultivating exceptional talent in the performing arts
- Enhancing the educational experience of our students
- Building active role models and community leaders
- Improving character and self-esteem
- Promoting multiethnic inclusiveness in the entertainment industry
- Providing a platform for actors, dancers and singers to create original work
- Facilitating career opportunities through industry connections
- Developing community outreach programs for social benefit
- Producing accessible and quality entertainment for our community
Members of MTEAF receive educational instruction depending on their area of interest including, theater, dance and music. The organization is committed to providing members with resources in an effort to foster character development, increase self-esteem and create role models. Members are encouraged to ‘pay it forward’ and use their new skill set and knowledge to train and mentor others.
Maria Torres is a respected choreographer and entertainer. Torres’ commitment to excellence and passion for performing arts has made her a distinguished dance professional and the driving choreographic influence behind many popular music videos, dance sequences in movies and Broadway productions. She has worked with singing and acting star Vanessa Williams on several occasions, which has allowed the duo to form a close bond and collaborate to empower MTEAF and its students.
The organization is passionate about celebrating differences and treating people from all walks of life with equality. The MTEAF Facebook page shows the wonderful impact the organization has on the community. In one post a Harlem elementary school was given the opportunity to learn and dance to numbers from popular Broadway production, Fame. The programs offered by MTEAF seem to have a unifying effect on schools and allows children, pre-teens and adults to transcend their circumstances and enjoy a positive outlet.