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Jorge Valdivia, a latino man wearing a blue shirt. He is looking at the viewer.
Photo credit: Chicago Latino Theater Alliance

Chicago Latino Theater Alliance chooses new Executive Director

Jorge Valdivia will succeed the late Myrna Salazar as executive director of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance, working to improve Latino inclusion and equity.

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The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) has announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as their new Executive Director, taking the place of the late Myrna Salazar, co-founder of CLATA.

CLATA was founded by the three most prominent Latino theater groups in Chicago: International Latino Cultural Center, National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, brought together by the late arts executive Myrna Salazar.

The three groups were brought together in order to push the Chicago Latino theater community forwards and combat the issues of cultural inequality and inclusion.

"We on the Board of Directors of CLATA are excited that Jorge will be joining the team! He will lead CLATA with not only his knowledge of the local performing arts scene, but with experience and a reputation at the national and international level as well," said Marty Castro, CLATA Board President and President and CEO of Casa Central.

Valdivia holds 25 years of experience in managing arts and media. His work has been focused on promoting equity and diversity in the arts through advocacy, public engagement, and social practice, receiving awards for his support of the Latino and LGBTQ community.

His role prior to Executive Director of CLATA was Director of Performing Arts at the National Museum of Mexican Art, curating a full year’s worth of events centered around performing arts, film, and literature, such as the museum’s ​​Sor Juana Arts Festival.

In addition to these, he has cultivated partnerships with leading art organizations across the country for joint festivals and events.

"Working for the National Museum of Mexican Art Mexican was a dream job… I now get to take on another dream job. Assuming the role of executive director for the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” Valdivia said.

For six weeks every year in the fall, CLATA hosts Destinos — the Chicago International Latino Theater Festival — their signature program.

This city-wide festival showcases Chicago’s Latino theater community alongside top Latino artists in both the country and Latin America.

Destinos presents a richly diverse array of bilingual and Latino-themed panels, shows, and student-performances, each held at downtown marquee venues, storefront theaters, and cultural institutions in Latino-predominant neighborhoods.

Valdivia will take leadership on Jan. 3, 2023, where he will continue to pursue the goals and mission of CLATA to increase the Latino theater community’s prominence and improve Latino representation within Chicago theater.

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