Hometown Friday - Talento Bilingüe de Houston


Since 1977, Talento Bilingüe de Houston Cultural Arts & Education Center has served as a hub for the arts and Latino culture in the historic East End of Houston.

In the shadow of the downtown Houston theater district, a one-story building features bright-colored murals as a beacon for the arts in the historic East End.

"We're really the only one in all of Houston that does what we do and that's to concentrate to focus on developing Latino art cultural art and also education," says Richard Farias from the Talento Bilingüe de Houston.

The organization had humble beginnings as a small theater troupe more than four decades ago. Through community grassroots efforts and city grants, TBH has grown into a 240-seat facility, a haven of Latino cultural arts.

"I think the unique thing about TBH is a lot of our stuff is homegrown." says TBH executive director Javier Perez. "We use all local actors, as a matter fact, we train our own actors, and it amazes me the level of professionalism and the level of talent that we have here."

TBH also promotes painters and often showcases their work. There are comedians, musical performers and the facility features one of the best Mexican folk dance groups in the U.S.

"The strength of our program is keeping our doors open, so you know that's one thing you know, it's great to get grants but when you can go out there and just by selling tickets and getting people in here, that's saying something," adds Perez.

The most exciting venture yet for TBH is 'the big screen,' producing the feature film "Beyond Dreams," the true story of boxer Emmanuel 'El Cabrito' Zuniga, who was said to have the same potential as some of the greatest fighters. The project is already generating plenty of attention.

"... trailer has already been nominated by the Imagen Awards," says TBH artistic director Lupe Casares. "And of course we're very grateful to TBH for all their support."

The film project has been a huge labor of love as all of the actors and production are from TBH.

"It shows what the community can do when it comes together when you have a place like TBH to support you," adds Casares.