The Guadalupe selects Cristina Ballí to be the new Executive Director
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center has selected accomplished bilingual cultural manager and arts administrator Cristina Ballí to be the new Executive Director. Ballí officially stepped into leadership, September 12, 2016.
Twenty years of experience in nonprofit community-based work, and over a decade in Latino arts programming and administration in Texas, makes Cristina Ballí the perfect fit for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Most recently she has made a significant impact state wide as Executive Director of Texas Folklife, the Austin-based organization designated by the National Endowment for the Arts to preserve and present the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State.
“I am extremely honored to join the historic Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and its dedicated community of artists, staff, board, volunteers, members and supporters” says Ballí. “The Guadalupe’s rich cultural legacy is one I have always admired and have aimed to emulate in all my cultural work; I look forward to serving the community of San Antonio and beyond.”
Before her work as an arts administrator Ballí earned her B.A. in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio Texas. Over the course of her career she has most notably served as Producer/Operations Manager at RGV Educational Broadcasting in Harlingen Texas, Director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito Texas, Tourism/Fund Development Coordinator in San Benito, Texas where she oversaw the opening of the Historical, Conjunto Hall of Fame and Freddy Fender Museums, and most recently Executive Director of Texas Folklife.
“It’s a great honor to welcome Cristina back to San Antonio,” says Celina Peña, President of the GCAC Board of Directors. “Cristina’s expertise, passion and commitment in Latino arts and arts administration is clear. She comes at a great time for the Guadalupe as we celebrate 25 years of the dance company and raise the profile of CineFestival and the Tejano Conjunto Festival. It’s great to marry the expertise of Cristina to the great Guadalupe; the staff, board and community is excited.”
Cristina has proven to be highly successful in increasing visibility for all of the organizations she has worked with, primarily through the production of compelling artistic programs. As Director of Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, a small but powerful Chicano arts organization, she gained an international platform as an ambassador of border culture and conjunto music particularly.
“I’m super excited that Cristina Balli will be the new Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center” says Juan Tejeda, founder of the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center’s Tejano Conjunto Festival, “I have known Cristina for about the last fifteen years and have worked with her on various projects. She brings a wealth of experience to the Guadalupe, both in terms of arts programming and management, and I think she’s the right person at the right time for the center.”