Ruth Page Center for the Arts Announces Silvino da Silva as New Executive Director
Silvino da Silva, who has served as interim executive director since late 2020, has been chosen as the next executive director of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts by its board of trustees, effective immediately.
da Silva is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic planning of the respected and nationally recognized dance center in Chicago which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, as well as energizing and engaging staff, volunteers , partners and donors. Silvino da Silva, recently named one of Newcity’s 2022 “50 Players”, has been at the Ruth Page Center since 2000 as Director of Marketing, Communications and Development.
Over the past two years, da Silva’s leadership has already led to increased impact within the organization, ranging from developing new policies that cultivate equity, diversity and inclusion, to programming that unleashes artistic potential while fostering and inspiring change. Amid the COVID pandemic, he oversaw the successful implementation of courses and performances moving to digital platforms; created a new BIPOC Young Dancer Scholarship in honor of Lauren Anderson, former Principal Dancer of Houston Ballet and one of the first African-American ballerinas to become the director of a major dance company; expanded the Ruth Page Center residency program to include two important cultural institutions, Chicago Dance History Project and Giordano Dance Chicago; expanded programs with key artistic partners, Ravinia Festival and Northeastern Illinois University; created and implemented special 50th anniversary programs and events, including the Expanding Universe Award and Grant, which promotes vital voices and increases access to resources and representation within the Chicago dance community ; and led the return to in-person activities while adhering to city health standards.
“Silvino took on the role of Interim Executive Director at the end of 2020. It has been an extremely difficult time to take on,” said Thea Flaum, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. “Silvino had to deal with the COVID shutdown and reinvent ways to continue our educational activities, special programs, and performances. All of this as we kicked off our 50th anniversary season. He performed brilliantly, leading the staff to through a period of reconsidering growth and new initiatives while maintaining a strong financial footing.”
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ruth Page Center, I see this as an opportunity for introspection while dedicating ourselves to a new examination of the extraordinary depth and breadth of our programs and their relevance. “, da Silva said. “For us, this is an unprecedented step towards deepening our understanding of who we are, how we can continue to be a cultural leader, and a promise of strong engagement with those who depend on us to be here.”
“As one of Ruth Page Center’s resident organizations, Porchlight Music Theater has worked closely with Silvino and on behalf of Porchlight, we congratulate him on this new position where we know he will continue to excel.” said Porchlight Music Theater artistic director Michael Weber. “We appreciate all he has done and continues to do while embracing the Center’s mission to be an incubator for all the arts.”
Silvino da Silva has over 37 years of experience in strategic planning, fundraising, public relations and arts marketing and was previously director of marketing, communications and development for the Ruth Page Center (2000-2020), promoting the organization’s unique combination of arts programs that impact more than 40,000 children and adults each year while meeting financial fundraising, development and special event goals.
Originally from San Jose, California, he moved to Chicago in 1984 to complete his BA in Business Economics at DePaul University. Her deep passion for the arts, especially dance, began with her first job as an Executive Assistant and then Marketing Coordinator with Hubbard Street Dance Company (now Hubbard Street Dance Chicago). After leaving Hubbard Street, da Silva continued to provide public relations strategy for the National Radio Theater, the nonprofit independent producer of radio plays, and later as director of marketing for Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater. From 1992 to 1996 he lived and worked as a marketing consultant in the US Virgin Islands. Among its USVI clients was Calparrio International Travels, the largest tour and tour operator in the Caribbean at the time with an operating budget of fifteen million dollars. Upon returning to Chicago, da Silva founded Ideas Without Boundaries, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in public relations and marketing for the nonprofit arts sector, working with notable organizations such as Melissa Thodos & Dancers ( now Thodos Dance Chicago), Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Northlight Theatre, Rivendell Theater Ensemble, Carol Fox & Associates and Dance for Life/Chicago Dancers United to name a few. In 1999, da Silva was hired as a consultant by the Ruth Page Foundation to design and implement a year-long series of events celebrating Ruth Page’s centenary. Given the success of this project, he was asked to promote and market the many activities of the Foundation as Director of Marketing.
In addition to his work in the non-profit sector, he has worked extensively in retail advertising, providing public relations strategy and coordinating projects for retailers such as Montgomery Ward & Company, Bloomingdales, Woodfield Shopping Center, Randhurst Shopping Center and Olivia Newton-John’s. Koala Blue Shops. He has also worked extensively with trade show industry leader Live Marketing in creating marketing and promotional materials for their global trade shows.
Silvino has been on dance panels for the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs/CityArts.