Anita Durst is the founder and Executive Director of chashama. Her passion for renovating space began in 1989 through her collaborations with Annie Hamburger of EnGardeArts, and Reza Abdoh of Dar a Luz. Anita has assisted more than 12,000 artists through space grants, production stipends, and administrative and technical support. She has produced and presented over 2,500 productions and has transformed over 85 temporarily vacant buildings into multi-arts complexes. She was awarded a “Young Visionary Award” by The Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations, and was honored by A.R.T./New York in 2008. Anita has taught theater workshops in the Balkan Region, as well as created an original musical that toured Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia. At chashama, Anita is responsible for the vision and direction of the organization.