Giselle Töngi-Walters named FilAm Arts’ new executive director

Giselle Tongi-Walters

THE board of directors of the Association for the Advancement of Filipino American Arts and Culture, also known as “FilAm Arts,” has named Giselle Töngi-Walters as the organization’s Executive Director — only its third-ever in its near quarter of a century history.

FilAm Arts is a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles with a mission of bringing people and communities together through the power of arts and culture, partnerships and collaboration for presentation, representation, and education.

Since May 2019, Töngi-Walters was FilAm Arts’ program director, in which she produced special events for the organization. She has served in the FilAm Arts community starting as a volunteer host, to an event and festival producer, subsequently increasing her involvement in production and general promotion of Philippine arts and culture in the U.S.

Last year, she spearheaded the pioneering 27th Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) — the organization’s debut virtual fiesta, which aired multiple hours of programming free of charge over the course of three days on Facebook, YouTube, and Kumu, the Philippine-based live streaming app. The new online format and multi-platforms were all firsts for FilAm Arts.

“As (FilAm Arts) envisions its way toward the half century mark of its history, we could not imagine a better fit than Giselle, with her background and out-of-the-box creative thinking, to lead the organization forward,” said Theresa Calimag, FilAm Arts Board Chair.

“We are thrilled for what’s in store for our community.”

Töngi-Walters is equally looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m excited to continue my partnership with Fil Am Arts and cement my commitment to providing stages for our artists and a spotlight for our culture,” she said. “At a time of upheaval, the role of arts in a healthy society is that much more key and FilAm Arts has always embraced a leading role in making that happen. I am firmly committed to continuing its trailblazing tradition and to next-leveling the organization, our artists and ultimately, our community.”

Töngi-Walters has long been active in the entertainment industry with over two decades of TV experience in both the Asian and American markets. Primarily recognized for her acting in film, television, and TV in the Philippines, Töngi is also a writer and producer.

Her past work includes the short film “Pinoy Grease,” “Pinoy Tango,” as well as “The Balikbayan Project: With the Bascos,” a 13-part travel series about a second-generation Fil-Am family’s experience in the Philippines. She was the host and producer of “Kababyan Today” a daily talk show for Filipinos living in America, which aired on LA 18-KSCI.

An alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles, she recently completed her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University.

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