About Us

art of self portrait of film maker Gabriel Baca

Gabriel Baca

A New Mexico-born filmmaker, Gabriel became a boom operator at age 15, but his first introduction to film came earlier during the production of Blood In Blood Out (Hollywood Pictures, 1993). His father, Jimmy Santiago Baca, the writer and executive producer of the film, brought Gabriel on-set, planting the seed of his future endeavors.

 

At 17, Gabriel started taking criminal justice and filmmaking courses and soon after began filming, editing, writing and producing documentaries. Gabriel’s credits include: Moving the River Back Home, Lost Voices, A Place to Stand, Las Acequias and more. In addition to documentary work, he has directed and produced internationally viewed music videos and artistic shorts on shoestring budgets. In 2008, he became a member of the West Coast 700 Editors Guild as an assistant editor.

Portrait of musician "Lucia Veronica Carmona"

Lucia Veronica Carmona

Lucia Veronica Carmona is a community organizer and musician.

Portrait of artist "Jaime Chavez"

Jaime Chavez

Jaime Chavez is a native New Mexican Poet, community organizer, and filmmaker, who resides in the Manzano Mountains, east of Albuquerque.  He is completing a collection of poems for publication, (2017) entitled 1 Cosmic Cycle.  He is published in a number of New Mexico Anthologies and has served as a Poet del Pueblo in his community historically, to preserve New Mexico's culture and way of life.  Every year he organizes the Day of the Dead celebration in local theaters with cutting edge poets, musicians, and artists.  He just wrote and directed a film entitled Las Acequias, Lifeblood of New Mexico a 7 Caves, Windows of Aztlan Production. 

Portrait of artist "David Luis Leal Cortez."
David Luis Leal Cortez

David Luis Leal Cortez. David is a writer, filmmaker and former political operative, who has worked on local, state, and national campaigns in northern New Mexico. He is from the Washington, DC area and graduated from the College of Santa Fe in Moving Image Arts. He has worked with art collectives like American Dust and Meow Wolf. David is a contributor to LiveTaos.com and The New Mexico Inquisition, New Mexico’s only source of political satire.

 

 He directed his first feature length documentary, Drilling Mora County, about the first county in the US to ban fracking in 2017 with support from the Max and Anna Levinson Foundation and  the Mora County Economic Development Corporation. 

 

He is currently producing Successful Outlaw about biker builder and platero, Pepe Rochon. He continues to cover local and national issues with short video reports. 


Recent interview with David Luis Leal Cortez on Santa Fe’s KSFR Cinema Scope with Stu Goswick. The show reports on New Mexico based filmmakers. http://cinemascope.libsyn.com/cinemascope-march-10-2017-segment-1-0

 

News coverage of Drilling Mora County.

 

http://www.taosnews.com/stories/to-frack-or-not-to-frack,46043

 

https://www.abqjournal.com/1128012/small-village-hip-to-whats-going-on.html

Emanuel Martinez

Emanuel Martinez

Born in Denver, Colorado, Emanuel Martinez began his artistic pursuits as a means of escape from an oppressive childhood. As a forerunner of the contemporary mural movement that began in the late 60's, Emanuel worked in the civil rights movement with Cesar Chavez and other prominent leaders. Three of the art works he did in that era are now in the permanent collection of The Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

The work of this prolific, highly versatile artist has won him numerous awards: including the Colorado Governors Award For Excellence in the Arts(1985), the Denver Mayors Award for Excellence in the Arts(1995) and the Denver Civil Rights award in 2001. Andrew Connors, a former curator at the National Museum of American Art states in a published book on Emanuel's work; "As an educator and community activist, Martinez has especially helped young people find ways to make their voices heard. We can all find parts of ourselves of our dreams in his artwork because he recreates the triumphs of the individual and at the same time affirms a collective identity in his murals, paintings, prints and sculptures. As an artist Emanuel acts locally with a significance that is national."

Eric Christo Martinez
Eric Christo Martinez

Eric Christo Martinez resides in his hometown Albuquerque, NM dedicated to the arts and spreading his Convictions with the World. Growing up he was fascinated by the arts and tapping into his creative side but it wasn’t until his trip to prison that he discovered his passion for the arts and “tonali” as he calls it, a Nahuatl word meaning your destiny or calling in life and title of one of his paintings. A calling he believes has a purpose much bigger than him and “art for art’s sake”.


Eric’s story began much like that of many others who got caught up in the drug culture, a trap that much of today’s youth fall in to. At the young age of 22 he was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for packing 2 firearms while conducting a cocaine deal. He chose to make the best of situation and began to discover the power to turn his negative into positives. He began by just dabbling in typical prison arts and crafts but it quickly developed into a passion. It wasn’t until he landed in segregation due to a prison riot for 6 months in a 6x9 cell drawing fiercely and developing his craft. After being transferred to Pennsylvania where he met his soon to be mentor, Hendrick Gil, who had formal training as a painter. Martinez is a self-taught artist in addition to mentoring with Gil for 10 months who helped Martinez open the door to the fine arts.


“The Passion of Christo” was Christo’s first painting and self-portrait after Gil left the Pennsylvania penitentiary. This was a defining moment in his journey, finding his voice and painting his convictions of transformation. He chose to embrace and paint his environment and create a new perspective of such experiences and thus the "Conviction Series" was born; a body of work that speaks volumes to people inside and out of the prison walls. Christo found his freedom through art and is dedicated to sharing this voice, inspiration and artwork with the community and those convicted in hopes of helping people find their freedom. Shortly after being released he was discovered by Art Collector Peter Eller at his first public showing. Peter bought the Passion of Christo to donate to the Albuquerque Museum where it now resides in its permanent collection. 


Martinez is active in the local art community and has took numerous awards and Best of Shows but more importantly Christo is dedicated to not only his own career but sharing the knowledge and teaching as he did in prison when he designed a curriculum and started his book "Drawing from the Inside" which he is intent on finishing because he feels maybe it could serve as that mentor that many may not be blessed to cross paths with. He has dedicated his career to also providing a platform for many artists. He realized getting out of prison he wasnt gonna wait for the doors to be open, he was going to create the doors in true artist fashion. He opened Iconink Studio and Gallery in 2012. And in tandem with his opening threw the 1st annual Unite and Conquer event which has spawned into the Unite and Conquer Art Movement. A movement of artists of different mediums who trust in theespecially the fine arts and tattoo communities uniting on common ground. Christo is now organizing the 2nd annual Unite and Conquer Art Summit in conjunction with the opening of his new Studio and Gallery Iconink47 in the heart of downtown at 408 Central SW. A studio to create the many mediums he works in, primarily fine art, tattoo, and design. Iconink47 however  is as much a gallery as is a studio  featuring 2 man shows in Unite and Conquer fashion.  Uniting locals next to world class artist from all over the map. Christo founded the 47 Series, a series highlighting some of New Mexicos wealth of amazing talent and culture in many different mediums. He hopes it will not only help to.Unite and inspire his community but unite with other communities and share the wealth of talent and knowledge to grow in our artistic journey.

Tania Glenn Rodriguez
Chamán (Tania Glenn Rodriguez)

Born and raised on the US Mexico border town of El Paso, TX, Chamán (Tania Glenn Rodriguez) had the unique experience of being immersed in bilingual culture, art and music. Her musical influences had enormous range. Her grandmother had trained as a classical pianist, was an admirer of performers like Pedro Infante, Agustin Lara, and enjoyed a range of operas . Her grandfather was a singer, and together her grandparents would often gather members of her family to play and perform a wide range of corridos, tangos, boleros.  The border environment also introduced Chamán to performers like Juan Gabriel and Maldita Vecindad, while growing up in American culture inspired a love of American classics such as Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, and The Beatles. With these diverse influences Chamán does not limit her music to one language nor does she limit her ability to step out into different genres.

She began singing traditional Mexican music with her grandmother when she was three years old and she learned guitar by the age of 12 to facilitate her songwriting abilities.  Her parents were activists who encouraged her political leanings, leading her to participate in several youth groups that promoted the rights of immigrants, female garment workers and women's empowerment.  By the time she was 18 she became the lead front woman for the highly political and unique latin cumbia-ska band named FUGA, writing and singing original songs in collaboration with her brother Kiko Rodriguez. She completed several tours throughout the southwest and Mexico and two albums with them.

After 10 years of touring,   Chamán decided to take a break in order to raise a family and pursue her other interests; mindfulness, yoga and martial arts. These pursuits would help with the anxiety she began experiencing from living a musician's unpredictable lifestyle. She lived in Thailand for 5 years at a retreat center where she delved deeper into these practices.  Upon returning to the United States with her new family she lived in the Bay area for a few years while enjoying playing music with different groups until finally deciding to move to New Mexico.

In the last few years Chamán has pursued her love of music, women's empowerment and mind-body techniques. She has grown in her abilities as a songwriter and as a teacher of music and mind-body movement.  She is currently working on writing/producing her first album in English while teaching children and adults guitar, piano and songwriting. She is the director of the artist's collaborative Las Almas Collective which seeks to promote women's empowerment through latino culture and music. Check out more information at www.chamanin.com!


 

Completed albums:

Desde la Frontera    -FUGA 2006

 

Relatos Rebeldes    -FUGA 2008

"A LATIN CULT CLASSIC. Blistering accordion licks with haunting lead female vocals combining cumbia, punk, son, ska, rock and other feisty rhythms for album that will keep you awake on the road and sweaty on the dance floor."

 

Alma de Jaguar       -Frontera Bugalu 2016

 

Video Production/

Ni Una Mas    2018

Kiko Rodriguez

Kiko Rodriguez

Frontera Bugalu is a musical project founded by accordionist and composer Kiko Rodriguez (from Fuga) in El Paso, Texas in 2011. Originally established to cover songs by border composers from Texas, it eventually became its own creative project with the release of its debut album in 2011. The band made its name by performing an energetic fusion of border folk music with carribean influences.

"Frontera Buglaú plays raw, edgy socially conscious folk music that's danceable. The norteño influence is immediately evident."

-SA Current

The unique fusion of button accordion, harp, piano, and clarinet, the music creates a connection between traditional border music, big city mambo and Caribbean music that swept through Mexico in the 30's. Drawing inspiration from musicians such as Cuban sonero Beny More and mambo master Perez Prado, the result is a unique sound, reflective of the underground “Pachuco” scene of El Paso and Juarez.

FRONTERA BUGALU highlights the roots of Latin music, as well as composers from the El Paso and borderland areas who have had a tremendous influence on modern Latin music.
El nombre de la agrupación surgió en homenaje al Bugalú, una corriente musical surgida entre las comunidades cubanas y puertorriqueñas en el Nueva York de los 60s y 70s, y la música tropical que se bailaba en las fronteras de México y Estados Unidos de esa misma época.

Susana Sandoval

Photo credit: Antonio Hernandez

Susana Sandoval

Susana Sandoval, a Native Chicagoan, poetisa, y educadora de descendencïa Mexicana (Purépecha), hails from a 30 year family owned media business in entertainment and news in the United States. Utilizing her nonprofit organizational community development background, she continues to serve the community as an organizer in the civil rights arena. A recent U.S. Senate candidate in Illinois, she builds coalitions for basic human rights: education, healthcare, food security and religious freedom. A NALAC fellow and curator of the Smiling Brown Project , Ms. Sandoval has toured internationally and domestically with Pharoah Sanders (John Coltrane), Robert Baabe Irving III (Miles Davis); and Poets Against SB 1070. As a migrant cultural worker and multidisciplinary artist, she continues to sow semillas de consciencía en la nuestra comunidad. 

Valentin Sandoval

Valentin Sandoval

Valentin Sandoval received the 1st Award ever at UTEP for Independent Filmmaking in 1996. He won 1st Place for Documentary at UTEP’s International Film Festival 2006 and The Rasquache Film Festival, where he received an award for Best Documentary for the film “Clamor”. The awards allowed Valentin to work on industry films that came into El Paso through 1996-2002 (films include working with Miramax, TriStar, Paramount Pictures, Wavemount Productions).

Valentin became SAG eligible at the age of 21 in the film “On the Border”, where he acted with Pedro Armendarez Jr, Brian Brown, Daniel Baldwin, to name a few). He then worked as a lead actor in the acclaimed Cuban playwright Maria Irene Fornes’ play, “The Conduct of Life”. He went on to act on multiple plays in El Paso, and was the co-creator of a comedy troupe, “Chuco Town Raize”, that performed in Austin.

He then decided to leave to Austin where he worked with famed Cinematographer of cult classic films such as: “Slacker”, “Dazed and Confused”, “Boyhood”. In Austin he also did technical work, such as light and sound for the pioneering theatre troupe, “The Latino Comedy Project”. In Austin. Valentin also befriended, and in some cases, mentored with activist and acclaimed writer Raul Salinas.

Valentin then returned to El Paso to work at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, Inc. where he produced Public Service Announcements, and health education plays and videos that were pertinent to the Segundo Barrio Community.

He then produced a documentary titled, “Corrientes de la Frontera”, that covered the complexities of NAFTA throughout the Southwest region and how it impacted the agricultural communities throughout both Mexico and the United States Borders.

Valentin then went on to work at Univison as a TV show Producer for 4 years. After that experience he began his career as a freelancer, mutlimedia content creator. He worked on Chihuahua, Texas, and New Mexico political campaigns, everything ranging from Juarez mayoral races, to Senator Shapleigh campaign against Dee Margo, and Senator Linda Lopez in New Mexico as well as the governors race with Gary King going up against, now governor, Suzana Martinez.

Valentin then worked with the SEIU and Mi Familia Vota, (America’s largest voter registration non-profit). The job was to create a documentary process, archiving the
“Get the Latino Vote Out” for President Barrack Obama’s reelection campaign. The project required him to travel to 24 cities throughout a 3 month duration with famed organizer that trained with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and was called “the most important Latino you don’t know about” by The New Yorker.

Valentin recently edited a feature film in Manhattan associated with Magnolia Pictures and spent 4 months in New York City. He’s also taught for Adobe’s Premiere Pro for Adobe Certified Training Center Lumenbrite based in Austin, TX.

Some of his writing credits include: University of Minnesota’s Yellow Medicine Review, Orbis Forum out of UTEP, and several articles for local magazines, as well as producing Hip Hop videos for artist across the Southwest, specializing in Chicano Hip Hop.

Daniel W. Schreck

Daniel Schreck

Daniel Wells Schreck has been in the foundation business for twenty-seven years, 1989-present.  He has been a board member, 1974-present, and past President of the Abelard Foundation, 2006-2009.  He was introduced to the Funding Exchange by Saquaro board member, Teresa Juarez, where Ray Santiago was program officer to his donor-advised fund, 1990.  

    

Daniel Wells Schreck was a very-actively participating member of NNG (National Network of Grantmakers) and was on the conference planning committee for the Albuquerque conference of 1995, where NNG's first indigenous peoples' day occurred, an idea initiated by Ingrid Washinawatok, although Schreck had a list of fifty groups that needed to participate in his hand when Ingrid proposed the idea.  

    

Schreck first met PDF ED Paul Haible at a Big Mountain prayer vigil in honor of MLK's birthday, at Teddy Begay's hogan, in 1990.  

    

Schreck is a co-founder of the Teh-luh-lah Children's Healing and Learning Center in Chimayo, NM with his companera, Teresa Juarez.  They are also operating a family farm, such as it is.  

    

PDF board member Iva Kaufman is a former NNG colleague.  Ali El-Issa, as well, is a co-producer of "The St. Patrick's Battalion" DVD with Daniel.  Lori Goodman, Teresa Juarez, and previous grantee, Mildred McClain, of Savannah, GA, went to Paris last year for COP 21.  Daniel, also, visited the exhibit of surrealist art at the Pompidou Center, especially the Andre Breton display of his library.  McClain and Goodman oversaw the renewal of the Schreck/Juarez wedding vows on the Isis (lovers) bridge behind Notre Dame Cathedral with the bouquet being thrown into the Seine.  

    

Schreck continues his work with PDF with his donor-advised, The Aztlan Fund, which supports work in indigenous country, and tries to, at least at a seed level, to continue the work of the Paul Robeson Fund for Film and Media at the Funding Exchange.  The late Saul Landau was very instrumental in mentoring Daniel on the idea of becoming an executive producer, and to fund indigenous people to retain their intellectual property rights by filming their own cultural material. 

Earl Tulley

Earl Tulley

Earl Tulley is an environmental activist and filmmaker. 

Gloria Castillo

Gloria Castillo

Gloria Castillo is the Founder of BioRegional Strategies (BRS). BioRegional Strategies is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable strategies to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. BRS was established in 1993 as a direct culmination of her lifelong involvement in the Southwest as an organizer in Texas and New Mexico.After attending the University of Texas in the mid-seventie at the age of 17, Gloria began her life- long work within her community as a community activist, and advocate for the civil rights of all people.

 

BioRegional Strategies was founded to promote economic development based on Regeneration and Renewal. At BRS, we believe that the technology exists to enable families, neighborhoods, and communities to plan for a peaceable transition from an economy based on Scarcity and unnecessary Depletion of our remaining natural resources, to an economy based on agri-fuels and agri-fibers that promotes bio-regional self-reliance. A BioRegional Economy is one that values strengthening local, economies and can assist individuals and local communities to make the transition to a more self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle.

 

Ms. Castillo is a member in good standing of Tap Pilam Clan, Nacion Coahuilteca, registered with the State of Texas as American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT*SCM). In addition to attending the University of Texas, Gloria studied ed theology at the Institute for Christian Studies (Texas) and also studied Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture at the Institute for Traditional Medicine (Santa Fe, NM).

 

This is her latest endeavor coordinating the artists that reflect the ongoing work of the Aztlan Fund. To be associated with the collective of artists that continue the mission of community activism, as we fondly describe as the “movimento” is an honor. “I’m proud to be associated with the Aztlan Fund and play a role in featuring the many gifted artists that have contributed to the struggle and defended our communities with grace and elegance.”