Our sincere condolences go to the family and friends of Shirley Ballantyne. We know there are many.
Shirley was a true community champion. She was a volunteer and then a member of H’art’s board of directors for three years. Even after she finished her term on the board, she was generous with her time. Many of you are probably wearing the masks she handcrafted as a fundraiser throughout the pandemic. She took on this effort when most of us were still uncertain of our next steps.
Shirley was a passionate believer in community arts, inclusive arts, and particularly inclusive theatre. As the mother to talented playwright Jacob, she believed in raising expectations. She wanted to see a world with a greater representation of people who are neurodiverse in the performing arts. She wanted to help artists who face barriers to training or practicing their art in a professional setting. We will be establishing a memorial fund in her name dedicated to that aim.
Most of all, Shirley was an uplifting presence and a steady friend. Her spirit brought out the best in us here at H’art and will continue to inspire us. She is missed.