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Artistic Director Valerie Curtis-Newton ’81 Named One of Seattle’s Most Influential People of the Decade

Seattle Times
January 14th, 2020 by 

Photo courtesy of Valerie Curtis-Newton
Photo courtesy of Valerie Curtis-Newton

Valerie Curtis-Newton, Holy Cross graduate of 1981 and an award-winning artistic director, has been named one of Seattle’s most influential people in the past decade by the Seattle Times. Other notable figures making the list include: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Currently Head of Directing at the University of Washington’s School of Drama, Valerie is co-founder of the Hansberry Project – an African American Theatre Lab, a theatre company devoted to artistic excellence in Black theatre.

Curtis-Newton, who was a sociology major and theatre minor at Holy Cross, is considered a titan in the Seattle cultural scene. And according to the Seattle Times article, “she got there not by being flashy, but by doing the hard work, in the trenches, with the community and inside arts organizations large and small, doggedly insisting on two things: artistic excellence and increasingly incorporating a Black lens into the collective view of what theater is and can be.”

To read the full article, go to SeattleTimes.com.

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