(team) Cristina Balli

Former Executive Director

Cristina Ballí is a bilingual cultural worker and arts administrator with expertise in Texas-Mexican border culture and Mexican-American music history.  She has produced many programs on conjunto music, a Texas-Mexican syncretic traditional music based on accordion and bajo sexto, a 12-string Mexican guitar. She directed the NEA-funded radio projects “Stories from Deep in the Heart” and “Border Voices” as well as the state-wide “Big Squeeze” accordion contest. Previously Ballí was director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito where in 2007 she oversaw the building and opening of the Historical, Conjunto Hall of Fame and Freddy Fender Museums. Ballí has worked for KMBH/KHID, the Rio Grande Valley’s public radio station, for whom she covered the arts beat and produced radio documentaries. Balli is a member of the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020 with whom she has participated in international arts, immigration, and civil society projects. A native of Brownsville, Texas, Balli received a Bachelor of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.  She served as the Executive Director of Texas Folklife from 2012-2016.

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