Miracle Center expands art space in Hermosa, revives Broadway hit 'In the Heights'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One organization is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a story of community and culture.

The Miracle Center is reprising Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" and it's in honor of a big announcement.

"It's about the barrios of New York City, a specific barrio called Washington Heights," said Director Maria Torres.

Torres has returned to the Miracle Center to put a unique touch on the Broadway hit "In the Heights."

"I wanted to bring something special. So for me what does the story represent," Torres said. "It represents barrio, it represents culture and from the Latino culture. I said, 'How beautiful would it be to create an installation around the story and make the story to be really experienced from every angle.'"

Local artists have created custom sets and art installations to bring the story to life. A story that brings the Miracle Center full circle.

"In 2014, we did it and now five years later, we're bringing it back because we're home," said Miracle Center Founder and Executive Director Mary Santana. "We secured the funding to purchase the property next door, which is about 20,000 square feet."

The Miracle Center moved into the Hermosa neighborhood five years ago. The new addition will bring an art incubator with a 300- to 400-seat theater, artist lofts, rehearsal spaces and an internet cafe.

"We can do it as a one stop shop, which means we'll have someone to help with their business plan, a graphic designer in there, we'll have an accountant in there and then we'll have a film director in there that can help with promotional videos or their head shots," Santana said.

Lin-Manuel Miranda congratulated the organization on continuing to serve the artist community.

"Congratulations on the new building next door, I cannot wait to see what future inspiration and what future productions come out of that building," he said.

"Especially being a Puerto Rican, and Lin-Manuel has paved the way for a lot of us Latinos to continue in the arts and in theater. It's just truly an honor," said actor Carlos Serrano.

Renovations are supposed to take place over the next two to three years. The production of "In the Heights" has been selling out, so they are extending the show to October 26.
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