Casita Maria


create * achieve * explore

And so it began…

Originally uploaded by CasitaMaria

Lila Downs arrived at Casita Maria on Thursday afternoon with her kind staff and band mates. They ate lunch in our conference room (and no one was shy to finish the brownies!). After lunch, Lila and the band went through our gallery. We had just finished putting up the artwork from the New York Region Scholastic Art Awards. They were very impressed! Some could not believe that this was “student” work.

Later on in the afternoon I could hear Lila Downs warm up. From my desk I heard the range of her vocal chords.  Listening to her practice felt almost too private – like I was intruding on some great magic before the performance. I tried to concentrate on my work but it was hard! Her presence was so graceful and humble. When she smiles, she means it.

As six drew near, the phone did not stop ringing: “how can I get there?” “What is the status of the waiting list?” “I can’t BELIEVE Lila Downs is here!”

Our performance space felt like it was going to burst. No one could resist the energy of the room. Or when Lila Downs first walked on stage! The crowd roared and then danced. Some of the audience brought their hands to their cheeks in awe and celebration. Lila Downs is more than a performer. She is a presence.

We are so proud to look back on that night. We cannot thank Lila Downs, her wonderful band, generous staff and Carnegie Hall enough.


Filed under: Community Sing, music

Community Sing with Lila Downs!

Lila Downs, a Oaxaca, Mexican-born, Minnesota-raised singer, draws from a range of pan-Hispanic experiences and has a style that ranges from reggae to country to folk to rock and “weaves rancheras, cumbias, boleros, and other Mexican and Latin styles.” She has recorded with such greats as Mercedes Sosa and her stunning voice has been compared to Edith Piaf.

Reserve your free tickets for Lila Downs at – or – call 718.589.2230

Filed under: Community Sing, music

Smile! Casita’s Camera Roll

We Are

Jacqueline Weld Drake

Chairman Emeritus
Norrisa O’Keeffe

Vice Chairman
Benigno Rodriguez-Cubeñas

Mario Buccellati, II

John E. Avery

Nancy Barry
John L. Bernbach
Martha Bograd
Elizabeth A. Caldas
Ambassador Paul L. Cejas
Gaetana Enders
Miguel A. Fuentes, Jr.
Alan G. Levin
Alberto Mariaca
Alberto Mejia
Liliana Melo de Sada
Violy McCausland Seve
Joseph Unanué, Sr.
Saundra Whitney
Michael L. Ziegler, Esq.

Chairman’s Council
Daniel Brodsky
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Anne Eisenhower Flöttl
Wolfgang K. Flöttl
Sergio Millerman
Frank T. Modica
Lewis S. Ranieri
Pilar Crespi Robert

Executive Director
Sarah Calderon