Gina Belafonte

Gina Belafonte

Born and raised in New York City, Gina Belafonte has spent her life in the arenas of entertainment and activism where her professional work thrives today. As the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose impact in these fields is among the most influential and progressive in the world, Gina’s passions come as no surprise. Gina was the lead producer on the internationally acclaimed documentary film, Sing Your Song, exploring the extraordinary life and legacy of Harry Belafonte that was selected as the opening film for the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.  

 

At age 14, Gina began working in the theatre as an actress.  After graduating from the High-School of Performing Arts, Gina landed her first film role and worked on the production of Alan Parker’s legendary Fame. As a graduate of SUNY Purchase, Gina honed her craft touring with The National Shakespeare Company in the title role of Romeo and Juliet. Her love of theater led her to work with The Mirror Reparatory Company in NYC, under the Artistic Direction of John Strasberg, alongside greats such as Geraldine Page, F. Murray Abraham, Anne Jackson, and Elisabeth Franz.  

 

A series of opportunities to work in film and television moved her to Hollywood, where she appeared in several guest-starring roles, and landed a television series called The Commish starring Michael Chiklis. After two formative years on screen with the series, her lifelong passion for stage production ultimately led her to produce theater in Los Angeles. Gina’s technical expertise and insight into the world of film and television production were developed while working with Paula Weinstein and Barry Levinson at Baltimore Spring Creek/Warner Brothers.   

 

After becoming a mother, Gina followed her early childhood environment by immersing herself in activism. Collaborating with leading gang interventionist Bo Taylor, Gina developed a deeper understanding of gang culture by working in the California prison system, and co-founded a non-profit organization called The Gathering For Justice. This multi-cultural, multi-generational organization focuses on youth incarceration and the criminalization of poverty. She currently sits on the Board of 2nd Call, a community based organization designed to save lives by reducing violence and assisting in the personal development of high risk individuals, proven offenders, ex-felons, parolees, and others who society disregards, as well as the internationally acclaimed Actors Gang Theatre founded by Tim Robbins.

 

After dedicating over two decades to addressing gang intervention and mass incarceration, Gina traveled around the world with her father to bring together two inspiring generations of art and activism with the critically acclaimed HBO film Sing Your Song.  

 

Recently Gina has been invited to consult on multiple projects and femtor youth and emerging organizations on art and activism. The intersection of art and activism has the potential to dramatically change the direction of civic engagement. She is a speaker and lecturer on the subject of art and activism and how art can be used as a tool to build the beloved community

 

Today, Gina lives in LA and New York, and is working with diverse artists, activists and organizations worldwide to promote cultural and civic engagement in the 21st century. Ms. Belafonte is currently involved in many artistic ventures, such as producing a documentary film titled Another Night In The Free World that explores the lives of three young women activists, their struggles and challenges, and the difference they are making in the world; developing alongside her father with Martin Scorsese on a television mini-series about the colonization of the Congo by King Leopold the 2nd; and the staged version of the Grammy nominated 6 CD box set anthology of black music The Long Road To Freedom. She is the Producer and Director of Lyrics from Lockdown- a hip-hop theater, multimedia production addressing the impact of wrongful imprisonment and mass incarceration, most recently performed at the Terrace Theatre Kennedy Center stage. Driven by her passion for the arts and activism, Gina reflects: "After we finished Sing Your Song, I knew then as long as my dad had an idea, I would do whatever I could to help bring those ideas to fruition, continue the best of my elders’ traditions, and preserve our family’s legacy."  

 

Ms. Belafonte’s theatre credits include: the internationally critically acclaimed all female version of King Lear, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Clarence, Vivat Vivat Regina, The Cafe, Stepping Into Tomorrow, and American Family Values. Television credits include: as a series regular, The Commish, Haywire (sketch comedy), The Ed Begley Jr. Show, All My Children. Guest star roles include: Friends, Dear John, Booker and The Cosby ShowFilm credits include: Beat Street, Fame, Hanky Panky, Bright Lights Big City, Kansas City, Tokyo Pop, and Splitsville.