Virgin Unite, Maria Battle
Maria Batlle Foundation

In 2013, self-taught Dominican artist Maria Batlle created The Muse Seek Project, an initiative that uses music and technology as tools to improve education for Deaf students. TMSP's "Whale Muse Seek", a whale-watching expedition where Deaf students can FEEL the live music of the humpback whales with a technology called SubPac, is a pioneer program and was recognized by the Dominican Ministry of Tourism as a successful case of Accessible Tourism.

Every year Maria explores the benefits of music in education at Harvard University together with the Silk Road Ensemble and acclaimed cellist and 15 Grammy Awards winner, Yo Yo Ma.

In 2016, Maria was Guest Speaker at TESLA, Forbes Redefining Power Summit, Yale, NYU, Columbia, Microsoft's Live The Cloud, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and World Music Expo (WOMEX). More than 500 people gave her a powerful standing ovation at her TEDxTALK. In February 2017, Maria met with Sir Richard Branson to discuss inclusive business opportunities for the Deaf community.

A small model of her monumental sculpture My Armenian Heart" is part of the permanent collection of the Armenian Museum of America. Her short film "Whale Muse Seek" was screened at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the world's leading organization in ocean research and education, hosted by the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

As an aviation pilot, Maria is the first Dominican to be member of the Women In Aviation International and has been a Commander for the Dominican Naval Auxiliary since 2011. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women appointed Maria spokeswoman for #HEFORSHE in the Dominican Republic.

In 2017, Maria was named Innovation and International Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of the Presidency and recognized as Honorary Professor at the PHU National University.

Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, ABC News, Miami Herald and El País.