Maria Batlle Foundation
Maria Batlle is a mixed media artist based in the Dominican Republic exploring the benefits of music and the arts in education.
She currently has two works on permanent display: one at the Armenian Museum of Boston, and the other at the cardiology center, CEDIMAT, in Santo Domingo.
Both works reflect the exploration of her Armenian heritage.
Maria found herself drawn to education initiatives for the deaf. To that end she created The Muse Seek Project, an initiative that uses music and technology to bridge the gap between the world of the Deaf and that of the hearing. Its varied programs include a whale-watching expedition in which students can experience the sonic vibrations of humpback whales through SubPac.
For five years Maria explored the benefits of music in deaf education at Harvard University in conjunction with the Silk Road Ensemble of acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Founder of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson has described her work as “wonderful initiatives disrupting education and inspiring students”.
Honors in 2017 include being appointed spokesperson for The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as for HE-FOR-SHE in the Dominican Republic, Harvard’s Project Zero Fellow and Georgetown University’s Global Leadership and Competitiveness Fellow.
Maria has delivered lectures at TEDx, UNESCO-Paris, Yale University, NYU, Columbia Teachers College, TESLA Motors, The World Music Expo and the Forbes Redefining Power Summit.
Her short film "Whale Muse Seek" was screened at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the world's leading organisation in ocean research and education.
Articles about her work on inclusive education have been published by The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, El País and Sir Richard Branson's Virgin.com.
On November 2020, Maria was named the first Disability & Inclusion Coordinator at the city hall of Santo Domingo, by its first female Mayor, Carolina Mejía.