In the heart of bustling Columbia Heights lies the National Center for Latino Performing Arts, GALA Hispanic Theatre. A unique fusion of theater, youth development, and community development in a transitioning Washington, DC neighborhood, GALA mounts classical, modern, contemporary, and new works, including musical and dance theater pieces, by artists from Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the US. Its children’s theatre produces bilingual musicals that enrich family life while reinforcing Hispanic language and culture for young audience members; its matinee performances and post-show education programs draw over 8,000 students every year; and Paso Nuevo (New Step), its signature outreach initiative, engages at-risk Latino and multicultural youth in a bilingual program that exposes them to the rich literary and theatrical traditions of their heritage while giving them the chance to create and perform their own work on a professional stage. In 2012, Paso Nuevo was the recipient of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Award – quite an honor. A gift to GALA gives artistic voice to a new generation of Washingtonians!