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Maraya Performing Arts center opening fulfills lifelong dream of founder

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Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 20:55:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The finishing touches are still being put on Maraya Performing Arts center, the lifelong dream of artist and cancer survivor Anjanette Maraya Ramey.

She brought the dream to life in the midst of a pandemic and daily cancer treatments.

"It's designed to serve and uplift systemically marginalized communities, particularly those who have been under-resourced in the arts," said Ramey.

The grand opening was held this weekend, something Ramey says she moved mountains to make it happen.

Ramey was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2018. After intense chemotherapy, she knew she needed something to fight for: a center that focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in her lifelong home here in the South Bay.

"Told that I was in remission, I said that I'm not going to wait anymore and that I was just going to realize it," she said.

She signed the lease in spring 2020 and then the pandemic hit, shuttering the business. She worked tirelessly to apply for grants and fundraise to keep the center alive. Ramey credits her strong Filipina American roots that taught her how to survive.

"All that I struggled and fought for was a testament that I should not waste another day not fulfilling my dreams," Ramey said. "Every day is not promised to you."

But she promises this center will be a healing place in a time where it's never been needed more.

"It's the arts that are going to keep us thriving and surviving through this pandemic," said Ramey.