Cancer Survivor Dreams of an Artistic Home

What Is Maraya Performing Arts?

Maraya Performing Arts (MPA) is a new, socially-engaged performing arts center in Chula Vista, California designed around our core principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. We envision Maraya Performing Arts Center as a creative safe-haven, artistic hub and home for dancers, actors, musicians and creators; students and teachers; and multigenerational audiences in South Bay San Diego and beyond. 

Programs include multigenerational classes in dance, music, and theatre; and our focus is on children, transitional-aged youth (TAY) and young adults.  We will also offer classes for older adults (our seniors who are young at heart)!

MPA will also offer professional development trainings in the 'business of making art.' These trainings will be designed for artists, arts nonprofits, arts board members, teaching artists, and arts small businesses. 

Meet our family of teaching artists on our website!


Maraya Performing Arts was founded in 2020, literally weeks before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in California.  

When we were forced to shelter in place on March 17, 2020, not long after signing the lease on our new space, our focus shifted to renovating our new performing arts home. Improvements include three dance studios fully equipped with sprung wood or Marley dance flooring, mirrors, and sound equipment. 

MPA will also have a conference room, and a co-working office space for artists, designers and creatives to work and collaborate.

This is truly a place for the whole community.

WHY DONATE? Bayanihan!

Everyone who supports Maraya Performing Arts becomes a member of the MPA extended family.

The Bayanihan (pronounced as buy-uh-nee-hun) is a Filipino custom derived from a Filipino word “bayan”, which means nation, town or community. The term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.

The concept of The Bayanihan is traced back to a long-standing rural tradition where villagers would gather to help a family move to a new place. The beautiful part of the tradition is that the villagers wouldn’t just move belongings, they would move the entire house. Afterward, the whole community would celebrate!

Members of the MPA extended family receive gratitude, updates--and when it's safe--invitations to come see us at work. 


MPA is located in the heart of Chula Vista, a diverse community in Southern San Diego County. 

According to 2019 census data shows the population of Chula Vista is 4.6% African American or Black, .3% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 16% Asian, 59% Hispanic or Latino, .7% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 18%  and White (not Hispanic or Latino). 30.7% of Chula Vista residents are foreign-born.

We’ve been asked by people representing all kinds of backgrounds if MPA is for them. Of course! 

MPA is for everyone! :) 

Because we actively embrace inclusion and diversity, we hope students and visitors will see more Black and Brown faces than any regional arts center they’ve been in before, because that is who is representative of the diverse community we all live in. 

Chula Vista shares its borders with a number of working-class and low to moderate-income neighborhoods including Southeast San Diego, National City, San Ysidro, Otay Mesa and Imperial Beach. We’re uniquely positioned to serve all of these communities and strive to become the go-to performing arts center in South San Diego. 

But for now, we’re a fledgling business with big dreams, a lot of talent, and a need for your enthusiastic support! 


The first thing dancer, choreographer, arts administrator, community leader, Chula Vista native and first generation, Filipina-American Anjanette Maraya-Ramey did when she learned she was cancer-free -  was to create a business plan for a performing arts center. That was just 15 months ago. While she is currently in remission, she is still on daily maintenance chemo for 10 more months. 

“I had seen the worst of life—I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage followed by a heartbreaking miscarriage in 2017, followed by a diagnosis of Leukemia in 2018,” said Anjanette. “After years of health battles, I found clarity.

Two things I know for sure: First, life is short. We never know what the universe is going to throw at us. Second: My hometown needs access to the arts and artists as role models, and that’s been the case since I was a child. What if I don’t step up, and it never happens? I see myself as leading a movement that empowers others, and I’m inviting everyone who reads this to join. Along the way, MPA teaching artists will empower the next generation of artists who will carry this movement forward.”

Maraya-Ramey has a gift for teaching, and a deep, life-long connection with this community.  She’s also an eternal optimist. 

“One good thing that happened since I signed the lease on the building earlier this year is the feeling that has changed the way Americans think about equity and inclusion,” says Maraya-Ramey. “Just like cancer erased my fears about putting everything I have out there, the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless Black bodies, has made America deeply aware of past and current inequities... and has inspired me to help change the system. As Mahatma Ghandi encouraged, I fully intend to be the change I want to see.”

An experienced arts administrator and former nonprofit Executive Director, Anjanette has been involved in the San Diego regional dance community as a dancer, teaching artist, and independent choreographer. Her choreography has been presented at TEDx San Diego, La Jolla Playhouse, Grossmont College, and Diversionary Theater.

Learn more about her professional background and experience here:

Our goal is to raise $75,000 to continue thriving in our new forever home for our community. Your investment in Maraya Performing Arts will ensure that we can continue to not only survive in these times of uncertainty, but rather thrive...for many, many years to come.

Thank you for your love and support of the bayanihan. 

Maraming Salamat (many thanks in Tagalog),
Anjanette Maraya-Ramey
and our entire Maraya Performing Arts Pamilya (family)

*You can also send a donation via post office mail (if you prefer):
Maraya Performing Arts
8085 Lake Adlon Drive
San Diego, CA 92119

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact Anjanette Maraya-Ramey at:

***We are currently working on our 501c3 tax exempt status, but in the meantime, we are fiscally sponsored by the Bonita Historical Society. ***

Stay in touch:
Facebook: Maraya Performing Arts
Instagram and Twitter: @marayaarts

  • angela smiley 
    • $25 
    • 24 d
  • Cherelle Hemsley 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Westfield Group 
    • $3,000 (Offline)
    • 5 mos
  • Catherine Cheng 
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Audie de Castro 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Maraya Performing Arts Pamilya (2)

Anjanette Maraya-Ramey 
Chula Vista, CA
JoAnne Herrada 
Team member
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