Christopher Street West (CSW), the 501(c)3 non-profit that produces the annual LA Pride Festival and Parade in the City of West Hollywood, announced today that Madonna Cacciatore has been appointed to the role of Executive Director, effective July 1, 2018.
Cacciatore has held a number of high-profile roles at two of the largest LGBTQ+ service organizations in the world – the Los Angeles LGBT Center and AIDS Project Los Angeles. That makes her unquestionably attuned to the issues facing LA’s diverse LGBTQ+ community. According to a CSW press release, she embodies the right mix of leadership, development, fundraising, community affairs, and event production expertise – coupled with a life-long passion for activism and an unwavering dedication to the welfare of LA’s LGBTQ+ community – to lead the future of CSW, especially as it prepares for its historic 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2020.
“This is an exciting moment in CSW’s storied history,” says Chris Classen, CSW Board President. “I’m confident that Madonna will help propel this amazing organization forward in a big way.”
“As a leader, I know it’s vital for me to listen, care, and have compassion,” Cacciatore said after the announcement of her new leadership role. “One of my most treasured skills is something that has been part of me since I was young: being able to work with people and making them feel vital in the moment. I have been an LGBTQ+ activist all my life and have built amazing relationships in the community and with allies. I work hard and give it my all to find creative solutions.”
As Director of Special Events for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Cacciatore oversaw the growth and development of the special events fundraising activities of the largest LGBT organization in the world. During her tenure, which began in 2012, Madonna successfully cultivated and managed relationships with members of the organization’s leadership and board of directors, high-profile event co-chairs, celebrities, volunteer committee members, other community and nonprofit organizations, major vendors and venues, community members, and allies. The Center’s two largest events grew to record-breaking levels under Madonna’s oversight, highlighted by the 2017 Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards raising more than $1 million and 2018’s Simply diVine tripling in size while raising the most support in the event’s 13-year history.
Prior to joining the Center, Madonna began her professional nonprofit career at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) in 2006. She joined the organization shortly after losing her brother Johnny to AIDS-related complications. Madonna began her activism for women’s rights and the LGBTQ+ community almost in the same moment that she came out as a lesbian in 1973. Born a proud Italian-American in Mineral Wells, Texas, Madonna grew up in Irving, Texas, before moving to Chicago as a young adult. She moved next to Washington, D.C., where she did grassroots work for marriage equality and volunteered at The NAMES Project – AIDS Memorial Quilt. From D.C., Madonna landed in New York City, where she continued to care for the community and her brother at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Her marriage equality work continued in Seattle before she moved to Los Angeles to work for APLA.
With a background in and passion for dance, theatre, and acting, Madonna strives to find projects that advance social justice through creativity and artistry. On August 5, 2017, Madonna married her partner of 14 years, Robin McWilliams. Although they had no plans to marry at the time, a photo of the couple landed on the front page of the Los Angeles Times the morning after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made marriage equality the law of the land. The newlyweds currently live in Los Angeles, where they continue to care for and create change for their community.
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