"I’m a people person with a passion for community building, the arts and culture. My major professional accomplishments include being awarded the prestigious $50,000 “Our Town” grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. I utilized the grant opportunity to direct my socially-engaged public art project “Sacred Voice of the Bayou.” In 2018 I went on to travel the world solo, supporting myself with my freelance creative career. More recently, in 2021 I have been a NY City Artist Corps grantee for my directorial filmmaking debut "Jaguars in Jumpsuits," an internationally produced project. Now, I’m pursuing a masters in Arts Administration at Columbia University with the intention of becoming an important leader in the international Arts & Entertainment field."
Celestina Cardona Billington is an artist and creative professional specializing in collaborative works for performance and public art. Her work is multidisciplinary and eschews easy identification, though she has most often been credited as a director, producer, writer, performer and activist. Themes of her work could be and have been labeled, "experimental," "communal," "spiritual," and "feminist." Her work is evolving and ongoing. She has displayed at theaters and in galleries around the world.
Born in Houston, Texas, in the Hispanic-majority district "The East End," Celestina was raised in the urban South along the Bayous. Her ethnic origins are Tejano and she is a woman of color. An only child, she was ideological and imaginative from a young age, and cultivated these traits into adulthood.
Cardona-Billington has been featured in and collaborated on projects that have appeared at: La Mama Experimental Theater Club, Sydney Fusion Festival, Museo de Arte Moderno, CICA museum, the DiverseWorks galleries, The Blaffer, Houston Art Car Museum, The MATCH Theater, The Alley Theater, Experimental Action Festival, Counter Current Festival, Gallery Petite and Houston Zine Fest. Her writing has been published in editions of The Indypendent, FreePressHouston, The Menial, the Alethea and more.
Cardona-Billington's creative practice has been recognized by multiple grants and awards. Awarding institutions include: Columbia University, New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Corporation for National and Community Service, Emerging Artist Initiative (EAI), The City of Houston, Houston Arts Alliance, and The Idea Fund. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, where she also received an additional two years of conservatory training as an actor, with her minor in Women's Studies. She is an incoming Masters scholar of Columbia University's Arts Administration program, where she is supported by scholarships from the institution and is expected to graduate in 2023.