Teatro Círculo names Michael Palma Executive Director, Ginny Louloudes is made its Development Director.
When the pandemic hit, everyone’s life turned upside down. For Teatro Círculo, the very nature of our work, performing before a live audience, was threaten – our very reason for being, our mission to serve our Latinx community was directly affronted by a menacing scourge outside our control. Our company felt helpless, but determined to fulfill our mission.
“When it became clear that we would be quarantined for months, I realized that we needed to find a way to offer our season online. This would have been inconceivable to me before, but as it turned out, it was a lifeline for the company,” explained Founding Artistic Director José Cheo Oliveras.
Fortunately, José Cheo had just hired Michael Palma as Director of External Affairs. Michael had worked at many renowned Latino Theatres including INTAR, Puerto Rican Travelling Theater, Repertorio Español and Thalia Spanish Theatre. Together, Michael and José Cheo worked to retain our staff and move all of our programming on-line (even our Award-winning Abuelito dime tú, Senior Residencies at Senior Centers).
Off stage, they applied for and received prestigious funding from The New York Community Trust’s COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund, along with support from the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Hispanic Federation. Michael also applied for Federal Grant and Loan Programs, all of which kept the theater afloat during the pandemic.
That’s when a lightbulb went off for Cheo, “I remember saying to the board, clearly the conditions in the philanthropic field have changed. A new conscience is surging and it is time for us to think Big! Just see the difference in income and output since Michael joined us! Imagine what we can do if we expand our programming and strengthen our fundraising?
The board agreed. They brought on a fundraising consultant, Ginny Louloudes, the former Executive Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York. The three developed a quick camaraderie and discovered they have complementary skills.
On July 1st the board voted to make Michael Palma Teatro Círculo’s Executive Director and to hire Ginny Louloudes as Development Director. Since then, the trio have nearly doubled its contributed income and have expanded its program services to Latinx and BIPOC communities.
For Oliveras, the new staff brings peace of mind: “I cannot imagine producing this season without having Michael at my side full time. His administrative experience and financial skills are excellent and, most importantly, he is a strategic thinker. And, of course, having Ginny on board is a dream come truth. Her contribution to the entire Off and Off-Off Broadway community for the last 30 years is immense; just like the respect and admiration I have for her. I cannot ask for a better team to lead Teatro Círculo to the next level.”