Liz Zito is the Cultural Partnerships Manager at Regional Arts Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. She manages seven Creative Arts Facilitators who work in regional areas to support creative arts activity. Her arts industry roles have included Acting Manager of Performing Arts and Conventions and Festivals and Events Coordinator at Greater Shepparton City Council; Manager, Theatre and Function Centre, COPAC Colac Otway Shire; and Executive Officer, SheppARTon Festival. Zito has been a Panel Member of the Regional Arts Fund administered by Regional Arts Victoria and was a board member of Regional Arts Victoria prior to taking on her current role. She is a life member of the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group Inc (STAG Inc). Zito has an Advanced Diploma of Business Management and a Diploma of Tourism but describes her qualifications as grass roots – learning on the job whilst living, working and playing in regional communities.
Regionally born to Italian migrant parents and inspired by their journey to Australia in the early 1900s, Liz Zito has spent the past 15 years conducting family history and genealogical research. She began documenting her personal journey through the research in 2011 with a plan to produce a document she could share with her family, however her busy professional lifestyle limited this somewhat. A visit to La Porte Peinte in Noyers, France in 2013 inspired Zito to explore the opportunity to settle for a week at the residency to continue to record her research. She spent the week in residence in July 2015 translating from Italian to English her grandparents’ death certificates which she obtained during a recent trip to her parents’ villages in Calabria. She also spent time planning and pondering as she continued to write, building on the stories of family and detailing facts from the certification. La Porte Peinte was also the perfect space for Zito to spend time reflecting on the experience of walking in her parents footsteps.