Lisa Byrd

Executive Director

Lisa Byrd hails from Philadelphia, PA. Her career in the arts has spanned over 20 years and encompassed a wide variety of disciplines. More recently, she has become a specialist at developing programming, coordinating theatrical and artistic events and managing all aspects of the performing and media arts.


After obtaining a BA degree in Philosophy from Lock Haven State University in Lock Haven, PA and a certificate in Audio Engineering from SUNY- Freedonia, Ms. Byrd first made her mark on the industry as a freelance Sound Designer and Record Producer. She has leant her talents to a national spectrum of organizations including Opera North (PA), Zach Scott Theatre (TX), Capital City Playhouse (TX), North Carolina Shakespeare Festival (NC), Donald Byrd/The Group (NY), Austin Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Austin. She also served as the resident Sound Designer for Austin Lyric Opera for nearly a decade.


Following a successful tenure as the Audio Supervisor for the University of Texas Performing Arts Center, she continued her education, obtaining a MA in Theatre & Public Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX


Ms. Byrd went on to serve as a management executive for organizations such as Donald Byrd Dance Company and Scribe Video Center, eventually heading back to Austin to accept the position of Production Director at Ballet Austin. As an integral member of the artistic, development and educational team, Ms. Byrd was responsible for managing the production process from idea to stage, as well as developing and managing a budget of over $1,000,000. She also participated as the organization’s representative on the owner’s rep committee for the brand new Long Center for the Performing Arts.


In 2005, Ms. Byrd left Ballet Austin to assume the mantle of Executive Director for ProArts Collective and its sister organization, the African American Arts Technical Resource Center. Previously small, community based, culturally specific organizations, under Ms. Byrd’s leadership, both organizations blossomed into sustainable institutions, based mainly on the artistic and administrative infrastructure Ms. Byrd was able to bring to table. ProArts and AAATRC have risen to the forefront as producers and community partners.


An ardent supporter of both education and community development, Ms. Byrd’s accomplishments reflect a continuing commitment to both of these efforts. She has served as a guest lecturer and instructor for both the Scribe Video Center and Austin Community College, and was also responsible for designing the undergraduate training program at the University of Texas at Austin. In support of other community performance groups she has served on the Board of Directors for both Austin Shakespeare Festival and Second Youth Repertory Theatre, and as a theatre critic for the Austin American Statesman. Outside of theatre, Ms. Byrd is an active member of the efforts to restore and invigorate life in East Austin and beyond. She serves as a commission member on the Austin City Council’s African American Advisory Resource Commission, a board member for the Austin Revitalization Authority and Community Co-Chair for the African American Quality of Life Initiative.

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