Zahaira Curiel is a native of New York, born and raised in Washington Heights, with roots planted in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. She graduated from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and made her Off-Broadway debut in Plátanos and Collard Greens. She Is currently one of Statement Arts’ Project Directors and a board member, and is providing a positive impact to the youth of Washington Heights and beyond, by creating and providing arts programming and college assistance to kids who may not otherwise have access to them. As one of Statement Arts’ pioneer students, she has come up through the ranks of this non-profit organization and understands first hand what a profound impact the arts can have on a young person’s life. Other roles in her life include being a t\eaching artist with People’s Theatre Project; baker/owner of Sassy’s Sweets, a local business focusing on unique and delicious desserts; and cast of STAR at the Directors Company. She was one of a handful of women honored by the Centro Altagracia de Fe y Justicia for enriching the community of Washington Heights and Inwood (in upper Manhattan) as part of International Women’s Day. The awards ceremony will be on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 809 Restaurant Lounge in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood.