Recipient of a Certificate of Congressional Recognition (2012), a Jefferson Award (2010), and two City of Houston Proclamations (2009, 2003), Raúl Orlando Edwards continues to use the arts as a way of having a positive impact in the Houston Community. A singer and dancer as well as a teacher and administrator, he began music studies at the Conservatorio Nacional de Panamá, and later moved to the United States where he received a B.A. in Music. Having performed in both operatic and musical genres, he has turned much of his attention to expanding the Foundation for Modern Music and to the performance and promotion of Latin American Art through Flamárt (Featuring Latin American Music and Arts), which he founded in 2005 and is now an active component of FMM. Appointed Artistic Director in the spring of 2009, Raul has led FMM in transforming itself from locally to internationally recognized, from averaging just a few hundred in annual attendance to over 6,000. His vision has also led FMM in new programs and partnership that include six collaborations with members of the Houston Consular Body, an example of the organization’s commitments to reflect the cultural diversity with which our city has become synonymous, and evidenced in its programming.
He is also the founder and director of the first established salsa dance studio in Houston, Strictly Street Salsa, which in collaboration with Flamart and FMM has launched Salsa y Salud, the country’s first full salsa-health-initiative program (September 2011), and Houston's first ever El Festival de la Salsa (November 2012). His artistic professional engagements include VH-1's movie The Way She Moves, the Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Ballet, Society for the Performing Arts, Opera in the Heights, Conference of the Fantastics in the Arts, the Ensemble Theater, Miller Outdoor Theater, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), and others. His over 15 year trajectory has been featured in over 25 newspaper articles and over 35 appearances on television and radio. He currently continues studies in voice with the renowned author, teacher and his friend, Lois Alba.