Carla Dirlikov_ThumbnailCarla Dirlikov Canales, an opera singer, has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.” In 2014 she became the first singer ever to win the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sotomayor in a ceremony at the Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Dirlikov Canales is the proud daughter of a Bulgarian father and a Mexican mother and holds both U.S. and Mexican citizenship. _

For her unflagging advocacy of empowerment through music, the U.S. State Department recently conferred upon her the title of Cultural Envoy, the duties of which include promoting American culture overseas, giving master classes and teaching music to orphans and poverty-stricken youth. Most recently, she joined the roster of the Americans for the Arts Artists Committee, and was part of the closing plenary of their 2014 conference in Nashville. Last summer, Ms. Dirlikov Canales was a featured artist at the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ Policy Forum for Music and the Arts. Ms. Dirlikov Canales is in demand at opera houses and concert venues around the world. As a Turnaround Artist, she works with Lake Forest Elementary School in Pembroke Park, FL, and Meadow Homes Elementary School in Concord, CA.

“All children deserve passion-driven learning. You never know when or where you will find your passion. Bringing the arts into schools will allow even more students to discover their own creativity and artistic talent like I did when I was younger. That’s the beauty of the Turnaround Arts program, and I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it for the next two years in Broward County and in California.”