DEBRA J.T. PADILLA
Debra is infused with a deep understanding and commitment to socially relevant, activist minded, diversity driven organizations, believing art can be a tool for social change and self-transformation, honored to have served as Executive Director of SPARC for 25 years and as Managing Director of Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Arizona for 7 years, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Arts For LA, and served 8 years on the board and 9 months as Interim Executive Director. Debra was also appointed by LA County Board of Supervisor Shelia Kuehl to serve on the Los Angeles County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is presently working as the Senior Advisor for Heidi Duckler Dance. Debra has served on numerous panels and committees, including but not limited to: the Rockefeller Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust for the Visual Arts, the Ford Foundation Working Capital Fund Panel, the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation-Youth Awards Committee Chair, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Latino Theatre Council for the Latino Theatre Initiative at the Mark Taper Forum, the Los Angeles Cultural Tourism Department, the City of Santa Monica Cultural Grants Panel, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Panel, the Tucson/Pima Arts Council Grants/Heritage Panel, Arizona Commission on the Arts Grants Panel, the Tucson Museum of Art Advisory Board, and served for 14 years on the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Theater Company and for 5 years on the Diversity Advisory Committee for the Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles. She was selected by the California Community Foundation to be part of their leadership fellowship program entitled “Ambassadors Within.”
Debra is a recipient of the Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Award, Cornerstone Theater Trailblazer Award and Flor y Canto Champion of Change Award in Art and Culture.