Vilma Gil was the first new person to sign onto the Phoenix Event Alliance back in 2015. She has a dynamic personality, a brilliantly creative mind and a keen business sense. She is an Artist of many Aspects. From the first day we met, we were totally kindred spirits and focused on the concept – yet unnamed – of a park offering something for everyone. Vilma has established herself as an actor, singer, dancer, artist, writer, director, choreographer, instructor and event planner handling a variety of events. What I first noticed about Vilma is that she’s always in motion; always working on one performance project while she lines up the next and consults on a third. She’s a real force of artistic nature. For example, while finishing up the final revisions to a play she’s been writing, she dashed off to Philadelphia where she worked as the Spanish Language consultant and dialect coach for a feature film with an Academy Award winning cast. (Sorry – we can’t tell you more about the film right now but stay tuned!) As the Performing Arts director for the Phoenix Event Alliance, our Common Ground is always in the forefront of her mind
Vilma has successfully created, and produced events and theatrical productions throughout her career of over 35 years. Vilma Gil’s extensive credits in the arts include performances on the International Spanish television Show for Univision’s Sabado Gigante as a winner of its Tropicalisimo Star Search section. While in New York, she was a recording artist for Metropolitan Label as one of the Ladies of Freestyle available on CD’s, LP’s and iTunes. She is a Best Actress winner in Life in 5’s, Short Film. She was recently seen as Camila in the Helen Hayes Best Musical Award winning production of In The Heights with Roundhouse and Olney Theaters.
Additional theatrical credits, as a member of the Actors Equity Association, extend to working with the industries best to include being an original member in the Philadelphia company of the critically acclaimed premiere of Nunsense as Sister Leo the ballerina nun with writer, director Danny Goggin. While attending the University of the Arts and was invited to recreate her role in Nunsense and Nunsense 2, with the original company in CT. Ms. Gil also created the role of Inez in the Off-Broadway workshop of Bring In the Morning. If you’d like to see her in action, check out this clip from the musical Chicago. That’s Vilma belting out All That Jazz!
Her experience with event management is an extra added bonus because we expect to host all manner of public and private occasions on the site. Experience that includes for the Barnum Museum, People’s Bank, The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, private birthday parties for MTV’s owner, cruises, debutant balls in CT and weddings in VA.
Vilma Gil is multilingual and has translated scripts and lyrics into Spanish, collaborating on bilingual productions for the critically acclaimed Downtown Cabaret Theatre Children’s Co. as a resident member at Downtown Cabaret Theatre for over 15 years. She also worked on both English and Spanish language productions at theaters and schools throughout CT as performer and choreographer. She co-created the Cotillion program as instructor for the Fredericksburg Service League, teaching formal and informal etiquette and proper protocol as well as Latin and Swing dance classes and has directed fashion shows for school fundraisers.
And if that’s not all, she’s a wonderful dancer, both as a performer and instructor. She was a dance instructor for Music Theatre of CT, and extended teaching dance and Theatre Arts for after school programs. Vilma Gil has worked up and down the east coast performing in industrials, voice overs, corporate functions for Crystal Light, GTE, trade shows at the Javits Center in NYC. Then there’s her experience as a include life as a New York City shoe model or her stints as a DJ in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Creatively, Vilma has not missed out on much.
With a resume like that, it’s exciting that what Vilma is most proud of is being able to share her passion for The Arts and collaborate with the other PEA members. That being said, her favorite role to date is that of wife to Wes McClain, Mom to Seren, Hannah, Giselle and MIL to William Hill, and Grandma Mimi to Selah and Kenzie, who remind her with so little to be sure of in this world to be kind and make good choices. “The drama is for the stage.” and what truly defines her is the love for her family “and the joy of sharing all that is grounded, God loving fun, and wonderful today and always, Namaste and dream big! ”
An Open Letter from Vilma Gil
Today the arts are having a dramatic effect beyond their aesthetic value. They are providing solutions to social and economic challenges in counties around the nation. Starting with educational development programs, working with preschool and up, both in and outside of classrooms, the performing arts are helping when used in innovative ways. This is true especially when programs are created BY youth FOR at risk youth. Improving a child’s self-esteem, through role playing creates and makes it a positive experience while teaching life skills. The arts are an outreach to those less fortunate, teaching children and adults of all ages. The disciplines of song and dance, dramatic and comedic storytelling, can help anyone learn to deal with present social, educational and economic development issues. Arts programs are unique in that they collectively impact business tourism, the development of a sustainable community and the quality of life for all citizens, young and old. Preserving history while promoting a positive healing and artistic message, the arts therapeutic program allow the elderly to stay fit, mentally and physically. A dance class, for example, includes a seated class accommodation for those unable to stand. The arts allow the elderly to travel down memory lane to the jazz band or choir. It provides an avenue for veterans -disabled or not – to express themselves in a new outlet and be given a new voice. The arts can transform an abused person into a writer or actor or allow those to escape in time through music, photography and endless artistic options. The arts provide cultural events and outdoor activities in botanical gardens occurring with greater frequency in our surrounding counties. Millions of Americans attend at least one of the following arts activities:
Jazz, Classical Music, Opera, Concerts, musicals, comedy, dramatic play, ballet, art exhibit including visual arts, Arts in education, festivals and gap programming filling art organizations that also target a specific under-served segment of the community.
By creating a place for the arts we are making rehearsal space, gallery space and performance space, creative incubators for the community as well as surrounding outdoor space for events. We envision a welcoming space including holistic horticulture and healing hands therapy as we build the arts together.
The county could share these facilities and incorporate underused space like warehouses and empty strip malls with local arts organization agencies.
Since 1997, according to the US Dept. of Commerce, the American public spent more than $10 BILLION on admissions to performing arts events. Spending on the performing arts was 1.6 times greater than the amount spent on admissions to motion pictures and this difference has grown thanks to Red Box, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Movies on Demand. With the variety of artistic expression in concerts, churches, school plays, craft and arts guilds, and historic societies the arts excellent quality with outstanding organizations will be showcased and recognized. Our goal to have the best coordinated efforts to fund, support, promote and conduct all programs with an artistic revitalization and workshop sunder our nonprofit umbrella.
The performing and visual arts are educating, training, inspiring and entertaining. Basement productions takes on these challenges and opportunities of transforming the community providing a venue that offers a leadership development for all generating public support in state and local levels that improves the value of life for everyone. As part of the PEA, Basement Productions is building a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Join me, Vilma Gil and the Phoenix Event Alliance on this amazing journey.