Village Youth Theatre Founder Wins Cultural Arts Award

Birmingham's Cathie Badalamenti receives the 17th annual Birminham/Bloomfield Cultural Arts Award.

Cathie Badalamenti, founder of Birmingham's Village Youth Theatre, is the 17th annual recipient of the Birmingham/Bloomfield Cultural Arts Award.

The award is sponsored by the , the (BBAC), and the Observer and Eccentric newspapers.

Badalamenti founded the Village Youth Theatre — the youth arm of Birmingham's theater troupe — in 2007 for youths ages 8 to 18. The group produces two musicals a year, while also sponsoring a Summer Theatre Arts Camp.

"I am so very excited and honored to receive this award," Badalamenti said. "I have always felt very fortunate to live in a community that emphasizes the understanding, development and support of arts programming."

"I am especially proud that my work with youth performing arts programs has been recognized in our community," she added.

According to a press release from the Cultural Council, Badalamenti was chosen for her dedication and impact on local theater arts programs for children.

"(Badalamenti) has worked for years with children at private and public schools, as well as in undeserving communities to promote performing arts programs and, as her nomination said, (uses) drama to improve the self-confidence, leadership, tolerance, teamwork and compassion of youngsters," the release reads.

The Village Youth Theatre isn't Badalamenti's first foray into theater. Badalamenti has performed with the Village Players, playing Bella in the group's January's production of .

In addition, Badalamenti has participated in youth theater programs with The Community House's Sara Smith Productions, 's Summer Stock Theatre, the Performing Arts Company, Project DayDream as well as programs at and the .

Badalamenti will be presented with her award designed by Link Wachler during the opening reception for the , held from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 7 at the BBAC.

Badalementi's name will also be engraved on a plaque at .

The Birmingham Village Youth Theatre has one more show in its 2013-13 season. Disney's My Son Pinocchio is set for Dec. 6-9 at the Village Players theater. For ticket information, visit www.villageyouththeater.com.

Cathie Badalamenti August 17, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Many thanks to the Eccentric, The Community House, the BBAC and the Cultural Council of Birmingham-Bloomfield for honoring me with this wonderful award. The Village Youth Theatre is like a family and involves so many people--the youth actors, their families, our wonderful directors and music directors, the many other students and adults on the production teams, the Village Players community and the community at large. As they say, "It takes a village to raise a child." I believe that the fantastic theatre arts programming provided by the tremendous team at the Village Youth Theatre provides our youth with a foundation in the arts and, perhaps more importantly, helps to develop skills such as leadership, self-confidence and compassion that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Jane Bonanata August 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Congrats to Cathie! so well deserved!


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