Two Massachusetts Nonprofit Leaders Cited for Lifetime Work
September 25, 2021 — Two longtime Massachusetts nonprofit leaders this week were conferred with lifetime achievement awards by the state’s nonprofit trade association in recognition of their service which makes Massachusetts “a better place.”
Honored were Julianne Boyd, founder and artistic director of the Barrington Stage Company (BSC), a regional theater in Pittsfield that develops and produces plays and musicals and offers educational outreach programs, and Gladys Vega, executive director of La Colaborativa in Chelsea, which provides health and social services to Latinx communities in East Boston, Everett, Malden, and Revere.
Jim Klocke, chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN), said, “We’re delighted to honor Gladys and Julianne with MNN’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The need for, and value of, their work has become even more apparent over the past year. Gladys’s and Julianne’s examples of service, commitment, and creativity make Massachusetts a better place.”
Boyd founded BSC in January 1995, directing many productions, including Company starring Aaron Tveit and the world premiere of Christopher Demos-Brown’s American Son, which won the Laurents-Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016 by an emerging playwright.
Other productions include the world premieres of Mark St. Germain’s Dancing Lessons, Dr. Ruth, All The Way and Best of Enemies, and the critically acclaimed revival of Goldman and Sondheim’s Follies. In 1997 she directed Cabaret, which won six Boston Theatre Critics Awards and transferred to the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge for an extended run.
Boyd conceived and directed the Broadway musical Eubie!, a show based on the music of Eubie Blake which starred Gregory Hines and garnered three Tony nominations. She also co-conceived and directed (with Joan Micklin Silver) the award-winning Off Broadway musical revue A…My Name Is Alice (Outer Critics’ Award) and its sequel A…My Name Is Still Alice.
In 2000 Ms. Boyd created the Playwright Mentoring Project, BSC’s program for disenfranchised youth, that won the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award in 2007. This award, given by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, is the nation’s highest honor for after school and out of school programming. In 2015 the Playwright Mentoring Project also won the Commonwealth Award for Creative Youth Development.
From 1992 to 1998 Ms. Boyd served as president of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the national labor union representing professional directors and choreographers in the U.S. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from CUNY Graduate Center.
Vega has dedicated 30 years of service to the City of Chelsea and the Chelsea Collaborative, now known as La Colaborativa, which she joined in 1990, two years after its founding. She took on increasing responsibility with each passing year moving from receptionist to community organizer to assistant executive director and ultimately becoming the executive director in 2006.
Vega is the architect of most of the organization’s community coalitions. She has played leadership roles in organizing for immigrants’ rights, welfare rights, tenants’ rights, open space and the environment, multicultural and anti-racism programs, and in numerous grassroots campaigns. She is one of Chelsea’s most prominent and important community leaders, receiving citywide, statewide, and national accolades for her leadership. In 2007, she led the Chelsea City Council to make Chelsea Massachusetts’ third sanctuary City.
Vega was also a founding member of Centro Latino, the only direct service for Latinos in Chelsea at the time, and served as board president of the organization for five years. She has also served on the Chelsea Board of Health, United Way Committee, and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2000.
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