Speakers


Eduardo Abaroa

Eduardo Abaroa is a Mexico City-based artist who examines aspects of impermanence, history, and the socio-political fabric of North American society. Through frequent re-imagining of iconic works and powerful cultural symbols, he seeks to dismantle notions of monumentality and modernity. Abaroa earned his BFA from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (UNAM) and his MFA…

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Leylha Ahuile

Leylha Ahuile is the Senior Editor of Books in Spanish for Publishers Weekly, a U.S. magazine dedicated to the book publishing industry. She is also the President and Founder of PromoLatino, a Hispanic literary and marketing agency dedicated to representing Latino authors and promoting their works. Prior to launching PromoLatino in 2001, Ahuile was Vice…

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Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada is a recipient of the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Award, and the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film El General, Todo lo demás (Everything Else). Her first narrative feature, starring Academy-award nominated Adriana Barraza, premiered at the 2016 New York Film Festival. Almada’s 2011 film El Velador premiered at New Directors/New Films…

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Betto Arcos

Betto Arcos is radio journalist, DJ, lecturer and music promoter based in Los Angeles. Since 2008, he has been a regular contributor to National Public Radio, PRI-BBC’s The World and KPCC’s The Frame and Take Two, writing and producing stories about musicians and music from around the globe. Arcos produces and hosts the podcast The…

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Chiara Arroyo

Chiara Arroyo Cella is a journalist and editor. In 2011, she co-founded LA librería, a Los Angeles-based distribution company specializing in children’s literature in Spanish-language, designed to provide quality books from Latin America and Spain for families raising bilingual and multicultural children in the U.S.A. Before LA librería, Arroyo worked as journalist and editor for…

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Carmen Boullosa

Carmen Boullosa has authored 18 novels, two books of essays, and 17 collections of poetry. Her work has been published widely in Latin America and Spain, and translated into more than 10 languages. Her novel La otra mano de Lepanto was hailed as one of the top works of literature written in Spanish in the…

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Marisa Canales

Marisa Canales is a very active and internationally acclaimed flautist as well as a Latin Grammy nominated record producer. She has premiered over 50 works for flute in different scorings written for her by leading American, Mexican and Latin American composers. Canales has performed with Mexico’s leading orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra and…

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César Castro

César Castro began studying Son Jarocho at the age of 11 with renowned harpist, Andres Alfonso Vergara. He continued his studies with Gilberto Gutierrez of El Grupo Mono Blanco, and at 16, he formally joined the group. With Mono Blanco, Castro traveled through Mexico, the United States and Europe, and began teaching this cultural tradition…

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Bertha Cea

Bertha Cea Echenique has served as Executive Coordinator of the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso since 2013. In recent years, she has brought significant exhibitions to Mexico City in collaboration with major international museums, such as Darwin, Museum of Natural History of New York; the Islamic collection, LACMA; and masterpieces from the National Art Museum…

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Tomas Cookman

Tomas Cookman is the founder and CEO of Industria Works, a multi-platform company that specializes in expanding the reach of Latin music and culture on a global level. Named a “Billboard Latin Power Player,” the Nuyorican-born, Los Angeles-based entrepreneur first established himself as an artist manager, guiding the careers of many notable artists to international…

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Eduardo Cruz

Eduardo Cruz Vázquez is a journalist whose writing about culture has, for more than the past three decades, focused on the economic impact of cultural production. He has served as cultural attaché with both the Mexican Embassies in Chile and Colombia. Cruz Vázquez writes a weekly column for the newspaper El Economista. He is Director…

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Jonás Cuarón

Jonás Cuarón is the co-creator of films such as Desierto, Año Uña, and Gravity. Desierto portrays the journey of Mexican and Central American migrant workers seeking a better life by crossing the North American desert. It received a Toronto International Film Festival FIPRESCI prize and an Oscar nomination. Cuarón’s first film, Año Uña, also explored…

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Ruth Estévez

Ruth Estévez is a writer, curator, and set designer based in Los Angeles, where she is the director and curator of the Gallery at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater). Between 2007 and 2011, Estévez served as the chief curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City. In 2011 she cofounded LIGA,…

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Bruce W. Ferguson

Bruce W. Ferguson is an accomplished author and curator of numerous nationally and internationally noted exhibitions, and became president of Otis College of Art and Design in May 2015. He was the founding director and first curator of the nationally acclaimed SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico. Ferguson has curated for such eminent institutions as…

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Carla Fernández

Carla Fernández has gained international acclaim for her approach to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities, expressed through clothing, textiles, and housewares. In 2013, Fernández was one of 11 worldwide recipients of the Prince Claus Award, which recognizes artists whose cultural actions have a positive impact on the development of their…

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Harry Gamboa Jr.

Harry Gamboa Jr. is an artist, writer, and educator. He is the founder and director of the international performance troupe, Virtual Vérité (2005-Present), and co-founder of Asco, the Los Angeles-based performance group (1972-1985). Gamboa is a faculty member of the Photo/Media Program at California Institute of the Arts, and a lecturer with the Chicana/o Studies…

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Rodrigo García

Rodrigo García is a director whose feature credits include the award winning Nine Lives; three-time Academy Award-nominated Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close; and Mother and Child, starring Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson. In 2010, his first film as a writer and director, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at…

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Carlos García de Alba

Carlos García de Alba has more than 30 years of experience in the Mexican diplomatic corps. He was ratified by the Mexican Senate as Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles in April 2016. Since 2010, García de Alba has been the academic advisor Ad Honorem of the Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, charged…

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Gabriella Gómez-Mont

Gabriella Gómez-Mont founded and currently directs Laboratorio Para La Cuidad, a government department focused on urban creativity and civic innovation in Mexico City. This project began with a personal invitation from Dr. Miguel Angel Mancera, Mexico City’s newly elected Mayor, to incorporate the initiative into the city’s official structure over the next six years. In…

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Julieta González

Julieta González is Artistic Director at Museo Jumex. Previously she was Adjunct Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Senior Curator at the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, and Adjunct Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York. Between 2009 and 2012 González was…

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Benjamín Juárez Echenique

Benjamín Juárez Echenique served as Dean of the College of Fine Art at Boston University from 2010-2015, where he was instrumental in the Arts Leadership Minor, and taught CFA 510: Arts Leadership Forum. He previously directed Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico’s national arts center, where he launched joint programs with prestigious institutions such as…

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Josh Kun

Josh Kun is a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, and a former fellow of The Sundance Institute, Ucross Foundation, and The Mesa Refuge. His research focuses on the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, the cultures of globalization, the USA-Mexico border, Los Angeles, and Jewish-American musical history. Kun founded the USC…

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Camilo Lara

Camilo Lara is one of Mexico’s leading music entrepreneurs, with experience ranging from record executive, to musician and composer. He is the founder of The Mexican Institute of Sound. Lara has also created official remixes for Morrissey, Tom Tom Club, Placebo, and Beastie Boys, among others. A performer at festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza,…

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Steven D. Lavine

Steven D. Lavine was president of California Institute of the Arts from 1988 to 2017. A leader in the cultural life of Los Angeles as well as the nation, Lavine was recognized with the “2005 Los Angeles Highlight Award” presented by W.O.M.E.N. Inc. of Los Angeles. He is currently co-chair of the Arts Coalition for…

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David Lida

David Lida is the author of four books, including First Stop in the New World, a street-level panorama of contemporary Mexico City that received favorable reviews from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune, and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The San Francisco…

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Edgardo Moctezuma

Edgardo Moctezuma began his career in the distribution of Mexican newspapers and magazines. He established Latin American Book Source Inc. in 1989, after a brief career in the academic world in which he taught at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, UCSD and San Diego State University in San Diego. From 1991 to 2006, Latin American Book…

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Juan Mora Catlett

Juan Mora Catlett has showcased the indigenous world in a unique way with his feature films Return to Aztlán and Erendira Ikikunari, both of which have received several awards in Mexico and abroad. He has been a John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation fellow, and a member of Mexico’s Sistema Nacional…

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Ingrid Moye

Ingrid Moye co-founded the Mexico City/Berlin-based architectural firm Zeller & Moye in 2013. Targeting work that positively impacts public life, Zeller & Moye focuses on cultural and social projects ranging in scale from objects and artworks to large buildings and master plans, and it has recently won several international competitions that are currently in development.…

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Alison Nieder

Alison A. Nieder is the executive editor of California Apparel News, a position she has held since 2000. Nieder has worked in publishing and in the apparel industry in California and New York. She has written for business publications Sportswear International, Fashion Reporter and Eyewear, consumer glossies Nylon and Fashion (Canada), and online for Copenhagen-based…

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Rubén Ortiz-Torres

Ruben Ortiz-Torres is a Mexican-born artist who has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1990. Ortiz-Torres is widely regarded as one of today’s leading Mexican artists and, as an innovator in the 1980s of a specifically Mexican form of postmodernism. Over the past ten years, he has produced a body of work in a…

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José Luis “Pacho” Paredes

José Luis Paredes directs Museo Universitario del Chopo, in Mexico City, and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. In 2015, he created the undergraduate degree program Experimentación y disenso: culturas subterráneas y heterodoxas en México 1956-2003, while on the faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.…

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José Antonio Peral

José Antonio Peral is Executive Director for Export & Investment Strategy for ProMéxico in México City. Peral is an expert in international negotiations, trade and investment strategies that promote new investment in Mexico. He received an MBA specializing in International Financial Markets from Yonsei University in South Korea, and a special joint MBA from Sejong…

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Ravi S. Rajan

Ravi S. Rajan is president of CalArts. Most recently he served as dean of the School of the Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York. Rajan became an Assistant Dean of Art+Design at Purchase in 2005, eventually rising to the position of Dean of the School of Arts in 2012. He is an…

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Tom Rothman

Tom Rothman is Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. In that role, Rothman oversees all of the studio’s motion picture production and distribution activities worldwide. Rothman joined Sony Pictures in late 2013 as Chairman of TriStar Productions. Previously, he served as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment from 2000-2012. He left FFE…

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Alma Ruiz

Alma Ruiz is an expert in Latin American and Contemporary Art. She is currently a Center for Management in Creative Industries Senior Fellow at Claremont Graduate University and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Ruiz is former senior curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, where she curated exhibitions on the postwar period in…

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Julio A. Santaella

Julio A. Santaella is President of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), the Mexican National Statistics and Geography Institute. From 2001 to 2015, Mr. Santaella served at the Bank of Mexico in several positions, including Executive Coordinator of the Mexican Petroleum Fund, and Director of the Central Bank Operations Support. In the field…

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Marisol Schulz

Marisol Schulz has directed the Guadalajara International Book Fair since April 2013, the second largest book fair in the world, and the largest one in the Spanish-language. In 2010, she initiated the LéaLA project, launching a book fair in Los Angeles, organized by the Universidad de Guadalajara, that promotes books in Spanish and increases recognition…

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David Shook

David Shook is a poet, translator and publisher whose collection, Our Obsidian Tongues, was longlisted for the 2013 International Dylan Thomas Prize. Poems from this collection have been translated into French, Isthmus Zapotec, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Swedish, and Uyghur, and are being adapted into a short film. Shook founded Los Angeles-based nonprofit publishing house Phoneme…

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Janet Sternburg

Janet Sternburg is a photographer, writer, and philosopher who lives and works in Los Angeles and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Solo photography exhibitions include Berlin, New York, Seoul, Los Angeles; photo publications include portfolios in Aperture and Art Journal as well as the monograph, Overspilling World: The Photographs of Janet Sternburg (Distanz Verlag, 2016).…

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Juan Villoro

Juan Villoro is a writer whose work has been recognized with awards from international prizes such as the Herralde de Novela, Premio Xavier Villaurrutia, Rey de España, Ciudad de Barcelona, and Vázquez Montalbán de Periodismo Deportivo. A columnist for the newspapers Reforma and El Periódico de Catalunya, Villoro was a professor of literature at UNAM,…

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Jorge Volpi

Jorge Volpi has been a professor at Emory, Las Américas, Puebla, Cornell, Catholic University of Chile, Princeton, and, since 2008, he has taught one of the Spanish Exile Chairs in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of UNAM. He is the author of numerous novels, including his “Tetralogy of Power,” formed by En busca de…

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Raúl Zorrilla

Raúl Zorrilla holds a BA in Economics and a Masters in business from the ITAM (Mexico’s Intitute of Tecnology). He also has a Masters degree in Economics and Economic History from the London School of Economics. From 1996 to 2006 Zorrilla held positions at Mexico’s Ministry of Culture including head of Publications, President and Director…

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