Who are you? Can you give a little bit of background about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Deborah Cullinan. I am the executive director of Intersection for the Arts. I am also a member of the board of the California Arts Advocates and a cofounder - along with Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson - of SF Arts Forum. How did I get here? My journey is not traditional. I didn't come to Intersection with formal experience in the arts. I came with a commitment to the role that artists play in cultivating common ground and re-imagining community. I have stayed with Intersection for more than a decade because of the artists and activists who are leading beautiful, positive change in our neighborhoods.
What is your history with Theatre Bay Area?
Intersection has been a member of Theatre Bay Area since I can remember, but my relationship is really rooted in a vision that Brad Erickson and I share for a thriving San Francisco with dance, theatre and performance driving connection and vibrancy.
You are being honored particularly for your advocacy work. Please tell us about your association with Theatre Bay Area.
With the active support of the staff and board of Theatre Bay Area, Brad and I cofounded SF Arts Forum in response to the near-demise of the California Arts Council, the mayoral race that would result in a run-off between Matt Gonzalez and Gavin Newsom, and a shared commitment to strong public policy that supports the powerful role that art plays in our region. Brad, as the Chair of the California Arts Advocates Board, invited me to join colleagues across California in state-wide advocacy efforts. Again, Theatre Bay Area has supported these efforts and boldly asserted that advocacy is central to its mission to further the goals and enhance the vibrancy of our field. Theatre Bay Area's advocacy leadership cannot be underestimated. The commitment of Brad, the board and staff is tireless and has resulted in networks, relationships, policy conversations and extraordinary progress for all of us!
Why is theatre important? What do you think your role is in keeping it a vital part of civilization? How does Theatre Bay Area help?
Theatre is important because it is live - in the moment, the here and now - and because it is collaborative. These two characteristics are essential and increasingly rare in today's world. We rarely come together across expertise and despite boundaries to imagine and experience new worlds as a community. Theatre provides us with this opportunity. Theatre makers are utterly unique in their ability to create places that allow us to share real moments that help us understand our complicated world and see a different future.
Click here for more information about the 35 Years, 35 Faces campaign.
Click here to donate to Theatre Bay Area in support of the 35 Years, 35 Faces campaign.
Click here to RSVP for the 35 Years, 35 Faces Celebration on April 30, 2012.