Dana Crediford, BAAY’s beloved Costuming Director and Costume Shop Manager, has been recognized for her work at BAAY and as an all-around outstanding community member! She is a recipient of the Ken Gass Community Building Awards, which are awarded annually by the Whatcom Community & Family Network.

According to WFCN, the awards recognize “individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to building community and improving the lives of children, youth, and families.” WFCN makes a point to note that “recipients are recognized not just for their specific acts of caring and service, but also because they embody the values of empowerment, of asset-building, and of respect for human dignity. They reflect our community’s highest values and deepest commitment to the well-being of all members of the community.” This all describes Dana perfectly.

Dana Crediford joined the BAAY team as the Costume Shop Manager in fall 2014, and soon realized that there was lots of potential for student involvement and leadership in this area. Dana went on to create the Costume Mentoring Program, which empowers youth to build confidence through creativity, team work, leadership skills, and all things costuming-related: shop and wardrobe maintenance, research and design, costume implementation, and more!

In Dana’s costuming program, youth are supported to develop important life skills to process their internal challenges and achieve external goals. BAAY’s Costume Department is alive with the buzz of self-motivated youth crafting and designing individually and in teams. This is made a reality through Dana’s mentorship. She sees herself as a spotter or coach, to be there as needed to guide and support but allow students to step up and fill the space. Dana is building a place where young people can belong, where they are making important memories, and where no one loses as long as there is a strong sense of community.

In addition to costuming, Dana created and runs BAAY’s Broadway and Movie Clubs! Broadway Club helps BAAY families experience live stage productions by giving them access to discount tickets for Broadway touring productions in Seattle. Movie Club helps foster a love of cinema and appreciation for the art of film, while also giving BAAY students a space to build friendships off-campus.

In March 2020, Dana facilitated free creative online gatherings for students during lockdown. In November 2021, she responded to our county’s flood crisis by spearheading Whatcom Live Aid, a series of benefit concerts that brought in over $17,000 in donations. Dana also created and moderates the Whatcom County Theatre Facebook page, which helps the Whatcom County theatre community engage with upcoming theatrical events and support and attend each others’ artistic endeavors.

Dana is a bridge to connection and joy in the Whatcom theatre world. She demonstrates to young people that their community cares about them, and in turn shows the community what it means to empower youth! Thank you, Dana!