Esperanza works to preserve and promote artistic and cultural expression of and among diverse communities. As people moved by a vision of social justice, we have learned the power of art in our lives. We have learned that to participate fully in democratic civic life, individuals must be culturally grounded, confident of their own voices, and certain of the value of their contributions. Art and culture give us this grounding. They connect us to our histories and plant the seed for our self-worth. Moreover, we have learned the importance of cross-cultural understanding – that social and political divisions cannot be bridged without accurate and respectful cultural understanding. Through artistic creation and cultural expression, previously silenced groups and isolated individuals come to new understandings of themselves, each other, and the world.