Staff Bios



As its Founder, Manuel Zarate brings leadership, vision and a wealth of experience in Theater, Technology and Business to the organization. Mr. Zarate has over 20 years of professional experience in Theater. He has served as Artist-in-Education for the State of Oregon and served as the Director of Arts for the Washington Institute for Leadership. He is a nationally recognized Playwright and Director and is a member of Actors Equity. He has served as a National Juror for the American Multicultural Festival and has served as Artistic Director for several professional theaters. He has received numerous awards for artistic excellence including Best New Script from the Austin Critic's Table 1998.

On the business side, Mr. Zarate has developed several highly successful businesses in the Austin area over the last 15 years. He is currently the President of HBMG, Inc., an Austin company providing information technology services to a range of clients across several industries. The company has distinguished itself as a leader in software development and information technology systems.  The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of HBMG Inc. which extends deep into the arts in Austin.


Creativity Specialist

Ann Pittman found her way to the foundation through the arts, performing in the Foundation's production of Foursquare at Frontera Fest 2012 and a staged reading of Shakespeare Scrooge in 2013. She is an actor and writer who splits her time between Austin, Texas and Creede, Colorado performing at theatres along the way including Creede Repertory Theatre, ZACH Theatre, and Austin Playhouse. She is Artistic Director of Trinity Street Players in Austin and served on the selection committee for Mainstreet Musicals in New York in 2015. Alongside Manuel, she hosts a playwrights retreat in Colorado helping writers to retreat, relax and create new works. 

Ann is an advocate for women's rights and gay rights and believes that art is the medium through which change most authentically comes. Ann devotes her time to telling stories onstage or off and helping everyone foster art through their own storytelling capacity.