Teatro Esperanza Business Plan Project

Organization Overview: 

Esperanza is focused on turning "geographies of poverty" into "geographies of opportunity". Throughout its history, Esperanza has achieved this by creating "on-ramps" out of poverty and into the mainstream. This is done by equipping people to take advantage of their inherent potential and providing access to opportunity. Esperanza has consistently maintained a sharp focus on this theory of change, developed over the course of its history and woven into all of its work: Low-income individuals, families, and communities need agency, assets and on-ramps to capitalize on opportunity and achieve mobility.

Through the creation of effective community-focused institutions operating within the neighborhood, Esperanza builds on-ramps out of poverty that provide access to opportunity, change systems, and create the conditions for mobility. Firmly rooted in the community it has served for thirty years, Esperanza's institutions have matured over time to become the leading regional provider of place-conscious programs aimed at improving conditions within our neighborhood.

Project Name: 
Teatro Esperanza Business Plan Project
Project Type: 
Program Development; Strategic Plan
Project Overview: 

The new Esperanza Performing and Visual Arts Center is part of a $6 million expansion of our existing administrative, programmatic, and educational buildings to include spaces for live events, exhibitions, conferences and community meetings, academic research, and religious contemplation. At the center of the new space is the Esperanza Theater, a two-story tall, 5,750 square foot SAG-approved performing arts venue, that will be able to host high-caliber professional productions by Philadelphia’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, while also serving as a training facility for students and a space for members of the local community to develop and present Latino-focused performing and visual arts pieces.

Esperanza has already reached an agreement with the Kimmel Center that would allow its seven resident companies to perform in our new 300-seat theater, and we are now in discussions with individual Kimmel groups such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, PHILADANCO, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, about the potential for regular performances in Hunting Park. In addition, as prominent Latino artists and musicians come through Philadelphia, it is our expectation that the Esperanza Performing and Visual Arts Center will become a special attraction for many of them, making Hunting Park a hub for Latino arts and culture. At the same time, the Esperanza Theater will offer affordable and accessible performance space for the Hunting Park community and the more than 2,000 students at the Esperanza Academy Charter School (K-12), Esperanza College, and our afterschool music program Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA). The theater will have a flexible stage and adjustable seating so it can be configured for a variety of uses, while still providing access to state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video equipment (funded by a Comcast Foundation grant), allowing community members and young people to put on high-quality productions and learn valuable technology and career skills. The new space will build on AMLA’s existing sound engineering program, where students learn through hands-on work with the latest technology in the field (also made possible by a previous multi-year investment from Comcast).

Esperanza has long been in the business of creating change, but Arts & Culture programming a new space for us. We seek assistance in creating a revenue model and business plan for the Teatro Esperanza. 


  • Market Analysis: Assessment of viability of theater in community
  • Organization Management: recommended staffing structure & pay scales
  • Sales Strategies: revenue generation models
  • Funding Requirements: stat up costs analysis & recommendations
  • Financial Timeline & Projections: expected timelines for sustainability
Spots Available: 
Executive; Full-Time
To Apply: 

To apply for this project, please contact Cassie Tomkins at ctomkins@upenn.edu.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829