New artistic director for Opening Doors

Jeremy de Maria

Ilona Baldacchino has been appointed as the new artistic director of Opening Doors Association – an arts NGO for adults with learning disabilities.

Baldacchino will continue developing the artistic vision and ethos of Opening Doors, following the tenure of Sandra Mifsud who led the organisation for four years, including the 10th anniversary celebrations in 2018.

Dance and disability is an area that Baldacchino has been exploring and researching over these past seven years. She has been actively involved with Opening Doors for five years, beginning as a volunteer and progressing to assistant dance tutor.

Chairperson of the association Prof. Jo Butterworth said, “Opening Doors is thrilled to welcome Ilona as the new artistic director. I am confident that with her experience and passion to provide creative opportunities for our dancers, actors and musicians, Ilona will continue building on the exceptional work created by Sandra.”

Ilona Baldacchino

A psychology graduate, Baldacchino completed a Masters degree in Performance Studies (Dance) with the University of Malta. Being an Advanced Senior Teacher in Russian Ballet (Legat System), Ilona has been teaching for the past 10 years in various dance schools in Malta. Ilona also holds Creative Dance and Movement sessions for children with disability at St. Monica School, with the intention to give children of all abilities access and the opportunity to engage in dance training.

Her academic research on dance with people with learning disabilities was shared with distinguished experts during several dance studies conferences held at the Universities of Roehampton (UK), Dortmund (Germany) and Malta.

What is Opening Doors?

Jeremy de Maria

The Opening Doors Association is committed to providing professional artistic opportunities and training to adults with learning disabilities. The NGO currently has more than 65 members in seven groups working in music, drama and dance. Thirteen arts professionals and numerous volunteers support the work of the organisation. Although the Opening Doors Association receives funding from Arts Council Malta through the cultural partnership agreement, it is heavily reliant upon the generosity of donations to sustain most of its activities.

For more information and to donate visit the Opening Doors website.