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Debora Balardini Elected as the Co-VP of Programming for the League of Professional Theater Women
Just one year after being elected as the Director at Large on the Board of Professional Theatre Women, 30-year veteran in the arts Debora Balardini has been elected a new title.
By: Debora Balardini/LPTW
While both roles are deeply connected to the core mission of LPTW, which advocates for opportunities and visibility for female theater professionals, the body of the board of directors ensures the organization prospers by collectively directing the company's affairs, effectively being the agents of the company. As Co-VP of Programming, Balardini's duties, alongside Co-VP Yvette Heyliger, now include working collectively to oversee the general management of all program areas, which includes program development, strategy, planning, delivery and evaluation, as well as fundraising, budget setting, knowledge, and external relationship management.
The inherited duties of Co-VP of Programming are juxtaposed to Balardini's role as Executive Director at Group .BR, coined New York's only Brazilian theater company. During her tenure as Co-VP of Programming, she will focus on sustaining a participatory and empowering culture, compelling and impactful programming, and the League's #RoadToParity campaign to keep its mission of closing the gender gap and advancing the nation's theater workforce and industry. Balardini will serve as an ambassador, spokesperson, and high-profile organizational leader before a range of audiences and the media.
As the LPTW continues to up-level its internal policies and training regarding inclusion, and having made substantial efforts in the last year to ensure LGBTQ inclusion is prioritized, Balardini will focus on advancing strategic internal and external dialogues and engagement of members that are comprised of a multitude of different communities both nationally and internationally.
The election and new role are especially empowering to Balardini, who lived in Brazil at the tail end of the dictatorship and witnessed firsthand the censorship of thespians and artists. "As a bit of background, Brazil became a full dictatorship in 1968, reaching its peak in the early 1970s. Oppression was not limited to those who joined the guerrilla action to fight the dictatorship but also reached other opponents, such as artists, journalists, and others in the civil society. Not only could I feel the oppression growing up, not being allowed to talk about politics in my household, but having questions about anything could put your life and those of your family at risk. I remember an incident where I was rehearsing for a devised play that talked about the French Revolution, and the censors came to watch a few days before its premiere. The director was happy because they didn't cut too much of the play, but just the fact that the government came and dictated what was approved to say and perform and what wasn't was in and of itself a violation of freedom of thought. While civilians returned to power in 1985, I learned neither the right nor the left is free from corruption—it can corrode from every angle.
"I feel that art is the most powerful tool we have in our hands. The LPTW is a safe and supportive platform for us, women and artists in general. Minorities have been shut [down] for so long, and women are among them. Being invited by LPTW to help with their programming is an amazing opportunity for me to be active in what I believe in. This is the [volunteer community role] I have been looking forward to having, where I am able to work with a team of professionals who care about the same things I care for but, most of all, a team that sets the wheels in motion. The League has come a long way since its inception in 1981.
"Freedom of expression and freedom of speech for women is very important and at the core of what we do. It is about time we ALL make amends to correct the mistakes we made against women in the past by creating a safe, honest, and strong environment for women to thrive. We have achieved a lot, but the job is far from done."
Balardini will be eligible to run for re-election for the following term after her two-year term.
About Debora Balardini (www.deborabalardini.com):
Debora Balardini is the co-founder of PUNTO Space, Group.BR, and the award-winning Nettles Artists Collective (NAC). With 30 years of unwavering commitment to the arts, expression, and movement, Debora Balardini (La Frontera – The Border) has traveled beyond craft to her calling as a global performer, educator, director, and producer. Balardini has received multiple nominations and is a recipient of a 2017 SheRocks Art Innovator of the Year Award and a 2017 40 Over Forty recipient. Currently, Balardini is in pre-production for Group .BR's Inside the Wild Heart and Bother Line. As seen in Forbes, Livid Magazine, Howl Round, IR tv, Industry Rules, The Miami Herald, The Story Exchange, Cheapism, Trendy Trippin', Mushaka's Motivational Monday/Huffington Post blog, On Deck with Lucy, and Business News Daily.
About the League of Professional Theater Women (http://theatrewomen.org/
The League of Professional Theater Women (LPWT) is an organization that champions women in theater.
The organization advocates for opportunities and visibility for female theater professionals. LPTW spearheads vibrant public programming, advocacy projects, and transformational initiatives that create community, cultivate leadership and professional development, and raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women's voices. LPWT's events, media, and publications celebrate industry luminaries, preserve the legacy of historic visionaries, and shine a spotlight on the importance of striving for gender parity and of fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theater world and in the world at large.
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Page Updated Last on: Jul 16, 2019