Debora Balardini, Duke York and Sandie Luna created PUNTO Space as a creative haven for a multitude of private events, art happenings and performances, while nurturing a collaborative aesthetic. The three drew inspiration from years of experience as performing arts professionals, and the trouble they had finding a creative home, or even a space available for their work, drove them to create a venue which can meet the demands of any events. Their mission-based for-profit business model fuses the professional and artistic side of hospitality, while deepening creative roots for programs they spearhead as the co-founders of Nettles Artists Collective.
Inspired by their own needs as artists and parents, the trio set out to nurture creative talent too often stagnated in the existing spaces in the city. The three designed PUNTO to provide services for event professionals, create a wonderful experience for guests, and full support for entrepreneurs. The team envisioned a venue that thrived and a mission that created community.
Each founder brings a unique skill set to PUNTO Space and a commitment to the arts community as well as their own solo works. They know the needs of theater directors, writers, conceptual designers, dancers, producers, and mixed-media performers. Since PUNTO’s inception in 2014, the three have developed #PUNTOGivesBack and #PUNTOInspires; initiatives that allow them to continue to evolve their mission of building a creative community.
Debora Balardini has been performing, teaching, directing and producing for the past thirty years in several countries, including Japan, Argentina, the United States, France, Chile and her native Brazil. She has an extensive dance background in ballet, jazz and tap as well as Hatha yoga. Balardini is a workshop leader and one of the founders and Artistic Directors of the Nettles Artists Collective as well as one of the founders of the only Brazilian theatre companies in New York City, Group .BR.
Duke York is the co-founder and director of finance of PUNTO Space and a founding member of the Nettles Artists Collective. As a writer, York has been engaged in collaborative storytelling for over thirty years and is also the CEO of Interlock Commercial Finance, a financial liaison company that connects new and established businesses to funding. With a rich background in science and the arts, York holds a double major in Chemical Engineering and Arts & Literature from Rice University.
Sandie Luna is a self-defined "non-solo artist" whose work is made up of collaboration in multi-disciplinary experimentation with covert references to her cultural and ethnic background. She holds a degree in Theater and Sociology from Florida State University. For the past ten years she has served as Co-Artistic Director and founder of NYC's Nettles Artists Collective. She has worked extensively in theater, radio and TV in both the English and Spanish markets.
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