Farewell Message from Lorna Velasco


To my Bindlestiff family,

As of June 1, 2016, I will be stepping down as your Artistic Director after completing my one-year commitment of pro-bono work for this beloved organization.

In my year as AD I set out to do three things:

1) Get Money: Apply for multi-year funding towards operations and paid staffing; pull off a successful end of the year campaign. With a team of dedicated folks, we were able to secure multi-year funding towards artistic programming and paid staff. We are indebted to the staff of San Francisco Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission for their belief and support! And, with the utmost gratitude, thank you to our individual donors who continually give to us throughout the year, from buying tickets to our shows to donating to our crowdfunding campaigns.

2) Pack the Season: We have an exciting and robust season that fully encapsulates the spirit of our organization, from investing in our homegrown talent with the world premiere of Christina Ying’s There’s the Moon and Then There’s You, to solidifying our roots in Tagalog: a festival of one acts where for the first time ever, we produced works entirely in Tagalog by playwrights from the Philippines. We continue to nurture staple productions such as Stories High, the Love Edition, and various music shows. There’s still more to come with SoMaganda, Queer as F*ck, Stories High XVI, and the San Francisco premiere of (another homegrown talent) Michael Premsirat’s Girl Most Likely.

3) Community and Arts Advocacy: Bindlestiff will always be rooted in the community, this is why we are honored to be a part of and to be in the heart of SOMA Pilipinas. There is so much work still left to be done and I encourage all of you to support the work of our allies and partners: SOMCAN, Bayanihan Community Center, Veterans Equity Center, Kularts, Gabriela, NAFCON, Migrante, Filipino Community Center, Westbay Filipino Multi-Service Center, League of Filipino Students, Kearny Street Workshop, United Playaz, and Manila Heritage Foundation. We have such depth of talent, heart, and passion when it comes to our artists. I will always treasure being in a room full of brilliant people where every second is about creating something meaningful and finding ways to make each other laugh.

Being the Artistic Director of Bindlestiff Studio was a dream come true for me. All that I have worked for has culminated in leading an organization that has been my home, with artists that have become my friends, mentors, and mentees. Unfortunately, like many other families in the Bay Area, my family has had to relocate in order to pursue another dream – that of buying a home. Bindlestiff deserves a leader who will be present and who will always put the organization, its staff and artists first.

The board of directors is looking for the next Artistic Director. You will partner with Managing Director, Oliver Saria, another homegrown Bindlestiffer, who for the past few years has devoted his heart and soul to the theatre. The hours can be long, but you will not be alone, you will be in the trenches with the Working Stiffs: Ed, Dave, Darius, Lyle, Conrad, and Manny - a salty and hard-working group of fellow craftsmen and the many other volunteers who have been the heart of the theater (the newbies and the OG’s). It is a very exciting time in Bindlestiff’s history as we are now generating tremendous support from foundations and individuals as we continually generate and nurture both emerging and veteran artists. It was an honor for me to have been a part of that, not just this past year, but for the past 22 years.

Maraming salamat,
Lorna Velasco, Bindlestiff Resident Artist for life