Rita Finds Home

Feb 3 – Mar 12, 2023

Get Tickets

For the 2023 Ballet for Young People performances, guest will enjoy a new story ballet relevant to the South Florida community.

Rita Finds Home tells the story of Rita, a young artist, who paints and dreams of one day living in the big city despite the lush tropical island she lives in. When a hurricane thrusts Rita and her mother into a new life in an urban metropolis, she struggles to adapt to her new environment. Feeling lost and like everything she knew, including her talents, were washed away by the storm, Rita embarks on a journey that helps her re-define what home means to her. With a little help from her new friends and her family, Rita’s spirits lift as she explores the beauty of her new city, igniting a new sense of home, and the realization that her talents never left her.

This 45-minute production comes to life with brightly colored costumes and props. The audience will be transported to the Caribbean and then to the big city by the beautiful sets. Rita Finds Home is a co-production with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

Amy Hall Garner
Karla Estela Rivera
Elisa Chavarri


Upcoming Family Matinees

The following shows are open for families to experience the Rita Finds Home together. Families across South Florida are invited to register for tickets to for the following locations:

Sanctuary of the Arts Saturday February 4th, 2023 2:00pm-3:00pm
Sanctuary of the Arts Sunday February 5th, 2023 2:00pm-3:00pm
Arsht Center Saturday February 11th, 2023 1:30pm-2:15pm
Society of the Four Arts Saturday February 25th, 2023 2:00pm-2:45pm
Haulover Beach Sunday March 12th, 2023 2:00pm-3:00pm


Upcoming Student Matinees

South Florida schools are invited to the Student Matinees of Rita Finds Home. The mission of Ballet for Young People is to bring the youth of South Florida to an authentic ballet performance through a live theater experience. Each student receives an Educational Guide that teaches them about the many components of ballet performance.

Sanctuary of the Arts Friday February 3rd, 2023 10:30am-11:30am
Society of the Four Arts Friday February 24th, 2023 10:15am-11:00am
Parker Playhouse, Broward Center Monday March 6th, 2023 10:00am & 11:30am


For Student Matinee tickets please contact our Community Engagement department. Call 786.364.4566 or email Kristina.Jackson@miamicityballet.org. Information on access for persons with disabilities for a sign language interpreter also available upon request.

Amy Hall Garner
Karla Estela Rivera
Elisa Chavarri


Amy Hall Garner is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a graduate of The Juilliard School. Her work has been praised internationally and commissioned by Ailey II, ABT Studio Company, Collage Dance Collective, The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, Barnard College, The University of the Arts, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Point Park University, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Recently, she has received virtual commissions from BalletX, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Digital Series, ABT Studio Company, and a dual company collaboration between the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Miami City Ballet. She personally coached Grammy Award winner Beyoncé, providing additional choreography for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Theatrical choreography credits include: The Color Purple (Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Invisible Thread, associate choreographer (Second Stage Theater). In 2018, she was selected to participate in Alvin Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab supported by the Ford Foundation. Garner was one of the first recipients of The Joffrey Ballet’s Choreography of Color Award (now titled Winning Works). In December 2020 she was named a Toulmin Fellow as part of a new program between the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU and National Sawdust to foster collaboration between women composers and choreographers with the aim of creating new works in the virtual medium. Amy Hall Garner is an adjunct professor at New York University’s New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts.

As a choreographer, educator, and mother, the story of Rita Finds Home connects to my passion of finding the arts at an early age. The exposure to the arts during my formative years changed the trajectory of my life. My hope is that through the wonderful story written by Karla, the movement, and the beautiful illustrations by Elisa, children are introduced to three elements of the arts that initiate and spark curiosity and creativity within their ‘home.’” – Amy Hall Garner

Karla Estela Rivera is a writer, performer, activist, and arts advocate that has leveraged her gift of storytelling to uplift and create opportunities for, with, and in divested communities. For over a decade, Karla has balanced her artistic practice and serving in community-based organizations, beginning as a teaching artist and youth worker, to making national history in systems-level leadership and policy. She now proudly serves as the founding executive director of the Arts Administrators of Color Network (AAC).

Prior to her role at AAC, she had the honor of being the executive director of the historic Free Street Theater. She is currently a company member of 2nd Story, is a co-host of the Creative Generation’s Why Change? Podcast, and the author/narrator of the first-ever commissioned young audiences piece for the Joffrey Ballet, Rita Finds Home (a co-production with the Miami City Ballet).

Karla continues to perform in venues and zoom rooms across the country, actively teaches storytelling and consults on arts education, social justice, and advocacy initiatives. She is a native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and holds a BA from Columbia College Chicago, with graduate studies at New York University.

IG & Twitter: @kestelarivera
LinkedIn: karlaerivera

Elisa Chavarri is a freelance illustrator originally from Lima, Peru. She did much of her growing up in Northern Michigan, where her family kept their Peruvian culture and Latin roots alive. Elisa’s client list includes Sesame Street, American Girl, National Geographic Learning, Hallmark, and Highlights.

As an artist and immigrant who came to this country at a young age, I feel a strong connection to Karla’s story and its protagonist, Rita. It speaks to me how the obstacle of feeling displaced in a new environment can be overcome by the beauty of keeping your own culture alive as you are embracing a new one. I am inspired by the use of art in self-expression, in processing emotions, and in unifying people, therefore my hope is that this piece will convey a feeling that the arts are for everyone and that ‘home’ is within you.”