We are very sad to note the recent passing of Myrna Salazar, who died suddenly in her Chicago home on August 3 at the age of 75.
Myrna was a tireless advocate for Chicago Latino actors and theaters. She enjoyed a long career as an agent for many of the city’s stage and screen talent, many of whom have gone on to national prominence. After a year’s retirement, she went on to serve as director of development and marketing for the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.
Those of us in the foundation got to know her as the co-founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), which we have been supporting for several years. CLATA is a peer, service, and support organization for Chicago’s Spanish language theaters. Most significantly, with Myrna at the helm, CLATA has been the organizer and host of Destinos, the tremendous international festival of Latino theater, which, in its initial four years, has presented the work of Spanish language companies from Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Argentina. Myrna was also a key force and organizer of the first Chicago Latino Arts and Culture Summit, which the foundation co-presented this past May.
So many of us who got to know Myrna feel stunned, sad, and lost by her sudden passing. Her impact in local and national Latino theater really cannot be overstated. In the performing arts world, where egos can be fragile, tempers quick, situations contentious, and self-doubt ever present, Myrna was a center of positive energy. She had a tremendous ability to bring people together to work, to create, to flourish. She was a strong ally, supportive mentor, organized professional, committed partner, proud Latina, and, most importantly, a warm, thoughtful, caring friend. Chicago has truly lost a gem of a person.
Donations in Myrna’s honor may be made to the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance at CLATA.org We also encourage Chicagoans to honor her by attending events at the upcoming fifth Destinos Festival, which was her final project, and which is dedicated to her memory.
A more complete outline of Myrna’s life and career can be found in the below obituary from the Chicago Reader.