Kitchen Table Conversation: Debbie Chinn

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DATE:  January 21, 2021

Debbie Chinn

Our inaugural guest will be El Cerrito resident Debbie Chinn, Managing Director of Anna Deavere Smith’s Pipeline Project and author of a forthcoming book about her family’s historical connection to the missionaries of China and of the pioneering impact her family of immigrants has made to advance the fields of research, science, medicine, academia, engineering, arts, humanities, and culinary hospitality in the United States.

Here’s a little bit more about Debbie:

Over the past 20+ years, Debbie has held C-suite positions as Executive Director of Opera Parallèle, Carmel Bach Festival, as Managing Director at Baltimore’s Center Stage, and Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey.

Debbie is currently the Managing Director for Anna Deavere Smith’s Pipeline Project, Girls which is based on comprehensive community-based research focusing on what has been branded “the school to prison pipeline”. The focus is on young women (ages 14-20) of all races who live in poverty. A play and film will result, and art-making will dominate the process.

She is Board President of Theatre Bay Area, one of the largest service organizations for theatres in the U.S. She is also on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Community Music Center as Chair of the Audit Committee and as a member of the Development Committee.

As a frequent strategic consultant and advisor, her clients have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ventura Music Festival, and Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival.

Debbie currently serves on the Advisory Council of West Edge Opera and on the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association – the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization based in Washington. D.C. with 65,000 members across every state and industry in the U.S.

Her past board affiliations include Theatre Communications Group, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (Board President), and Network of Ensemble Theatres.

Her transformative leadership work in the realm of community engagement is featured as one of 13 case studies in “Creative Social Change: Leadership for a Healthy World” in the International Leadership Association Series which assembles thought leaders to reimagine leadership in building a healthy, sustainable, and equitable world.


This post was written by CCCT