Champions of Change
Giselle “Gigi” Antoni is president and CEO of Big Thought, one of the nation’s leading nonprofits devoted to closing the opportunity gap in education through creative learning. Gigi leads the organization in developing groundbreaking partnerships, including Thriving Minds, a system of programs that joins the City of Dallas, the Dallas Independent School District and more than 100 other organizations, with Big Thought as managing partner. She was also instrumental in forming a partnership with the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee to implement SLANT 45, one of the largest communitywide service-learning programs for children in U.S. and NFL history. Gigi has worked for more than 20 years in the arts-education field as an administrator, educator, community developer and performing artist. She joined Big Thought in 1990 and was named president and CEO in 1995. Sought out by cities and school districts throughout the U.S., Gigi has lectured nationally about the success of organizing and convening communities, designing and building programs, and developing systemic arts-integration initiatives. She has also served on numerous local, state and national committees, boards and juries. Nationally, she has worked with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Awards; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Partnership for Arts, Culture and Education; The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration; and the National Working Group of the Arts for Learning organization. On the state level, Gigi has worked with The Texas Commission on the Arts: Arts-in-Education Working Group; The Texas Coalition of Quality Arts Education and was recently named to the 2011 class of the Dallas Assembly. In 2010, Gigi was honored with the National Arts Leadership Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. In 2005, Gigi was selected for the prestigious Local Hero award, given by Bank of America. She is a Fellow of the British-American Project, which creates sharing and exchange between top young leaders from each country. Her alma maters are Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley where she graduated with distinction. Gigi resides in Dallas with her husband Dana Mullen and daughter Analise.