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The Guadalupe welcomes new executive director

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The Guadalupe taps Harvard grad with South Texas roots to chart new course as executive director

San Antonio, Texas (April 29, 2015) – The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is ready for a sea change and has found a dynamic leader to guide them toward a new horizon.

Critically acclaimed director and producer Jerry Ruiz, who made his mark in New York City’s theater scene and hails originally from South Texas, has been named the executive director of the Guadalupe. In NYC, Ruiz has proven a passionate advocate for Latino/a artists, particularly those from South Texas, bringing their work to a wider audience. He takes the helm from interim executive director Pedro Rodríguez, who returned temporarily last September to the position he held from 1983-1998. Ruiz officially steps into the leadership role May 4.

“I envision the Guadalupe becoming a real force not just locally but nationally by serving as a home for top flight Latino artists from around the U.S.,” said Ruiz. “It’s important to stay true to the Center’s mission and audience, while at the same time cultivating relationships with notable Hispanic artists from across the country.”

Before directing at prominent off-Broadway and regional theaters, Ruiz earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA from the University of California – San Diego. For the past five years, he has served as curator and producer of the Crossing Borders Festival at the Two River Theater Company in New Jersey. He aims to use his expertise to usher in an exciting new era for the Guadalupe – one that will position the Westside institution as a leader in the Latino arts scene.

“We are thrilled to be bringing someone into the organization who not only has a strong passion for the arts, but experience as an arts administrator,” said Claudia Castillo Gonzalez, Guadalupe board chair. “We look forward to embracing his vision and anticipate big things happening at the Guadalupe under his leadership.”

Prior to launching Crossing Borders, Ruiz gained significant administrative experience working with major arts and cultural nonprofit organizations, including New York City’s 92nd Street Y, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Second Stage Theater, The Public, and La Jolla Playhouse.

Actor Raúl Castillo (HBO’s Looking), who worked with Ruiz during the production of Contigo at the off-Broadway Signature Theater, said the Guadalupe is getting someone who has his finger on the pulse of the arts world and is dedicated to making the arts accessible to as many people as possible.

“As a stage director, Jerry always knew where to channel his resources and energies, so I think that is going to work well for him in his new role as executive director of the Guadalupe,” Castillo said. “He has a very sharp eye and enjoys championing artists he believes in.”

ABOUT THE GUADALUPE: The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is a 501c(3) non- profit organization founded in 1980 to preserve, promote and develop the arts and culture of the Chicano/Latino/Native American peoples for all ages and backgrounds through public and educational programming.