Roj Rodriguez began his career assisting local and visiting photographers in his hometown, Houston,Texas. He relocated to New York City in 2000 where he assisted well-established photographers in projects worldwide covering a wide range of subjects including fashion, sports, commercial and advertising.
In 2006, he launched the next stage of his career by establishing himself as an independent photographer and director to local and international clients. His first major body of work, Mi Sangre, has gained the attention of fine art curators and collectors across the United States and abroad. Selected images from Mi Sangre have been acquired into the permanent collection of six fine art museums, which includes The Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, The San Antonio Museum of Art and La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, The Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM and most recently with the prestigious The Wittliff Collections in San Marcos, TX . In addition, selected images from the "Mi Sangre" series have been exhibited alongside celebrated photographers such as Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, and Flor Garduño.
Roj now lives in Austin enjoying the eclectic food truck scene with his wife and three children, two cats, one dog, several koi fish and a rescued baby turtle, aptly named, Timothy D. Turtle.
Please visit www.rojrodriguez.com to view his commercial work.
Honorable Henry Gabriel Cisneros (born June 11, 1947) is an American politician and businessman. He served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, from 1981 to 1989, the second Latino mayor of a maior American city and the city's first since 1842. A Democrat, Cisneros served as the 10th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the administration of President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. As HUD Secretary, Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of many public housing developments and with formulating policies that contributed to achieving the nation's highest ever rate of home ownership. In his role as the President's chief representative to the cities, Cisneros personally worked in more than two hundred cities spread over all fifty states.
Prior to his Cabinet position, Cisneros served four terms as the mayor of his hometown of San Antonio, from 1981 to 1989. As mayor, Cisneros worked to rebuild the city's economic base, recruited convention business, attracted high tech industries, increased the level of tourism, and worked to bring more jobs to San Antonio. Before his tenure as mayor, Cisneros was elected to three two-year terms on the city council, on which he served from 1975 to 1981 Throughout his career in politics and business, Cisneros has remained actively involved with housing development and urban revitalization. Cisneros is also an active advocate for the Latino community. He has and continues to serve on corporate boards, as well as chairing and serving on several non-profit boards to promote Latinos and the immigrant population. Cisneros has authored, edited, or collaborated on several books and is an in-demand public speaker.
After public office, Cisneros served as President and COO for the Spanish-language network Univision from 1997 to 2000 before forming American City Vista to work with the nation's leading homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. He is a partner in the minority owned investment banking firm Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. He is chairman of American Triple I, an infrastructure investment firm.
Lila Downs is one of the most influential artists in Latin America. She has one of the world’s most singular voices, and is known for her charismatic performances. Her own compositions often combine genres and rhythms as diverse as Mexican rancheras and corridos, boleros, jazz standards, hip-hop, cumbia, and North American folk music. Her music often focuses on social justice, immigration, and women’s issues.
She grew up in both Minnesota and Oaxaca Mexico, her mother is from the Mixtec indigenous group, and her father was Scottish-American. Lila sings in Spanish, English, and varios Native American languages as Zapotec, Mixtec, Nahuatl, Maya, and Purepecha.
She has recorded duets with artists as diverse as Mercedes Sosa, Caetano Veloso, Juanes, Norah Jones, YoYo Ma, Juan Gabriel, Carla Morison, Natalia LaFourcade, Santana, The Chieftains, Nina Pastori, Soledad, Diego La Cigala, Aida Cuevas, Toto La Momposina, and Bunbury. Chavela Vargas “named” Lila her “sucessor”.
She has sung with symphonies such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and the UNAM symphony in Mexico, as well as with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. She has given concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Hollywood Bowl, Auditorio Nacional and Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Gran Rex in Buenos Aires. She was invited by Barack Obama to sing at the White House, and has performed at the Oscars for her participation in the film Frida. Her music has also been included in several other feature films such as The Counselor, Tortilla Soup, Real Women Have Curves, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Carlos Saura's Fados, Mariachi Gringo, and Hecho en México.
Lila has recorded nine studio albums. She has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and has won six.
Besides her musical career, she involves herself with humanitarian causes and political activism, especially dealing with issues of Latin America's indigenous population.
Please visit and donate to the organizations which Lila works hand in hand with:
El Fondo Guadalupe Musalem A.C., www.fondoguadalupemusale.org
Playing For Change
Zero Maternal Deaths
Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta (born April 10, 1930) is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta helped organize the Delano grape strike in 1965 in California and was the lead negotiator in the workers' contract that was created after the strike.
Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers', immigrants', and women's rights, including the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, in 1993.
Huerta is the originator of the phrase, "Si, se puede". As a role model to many in the Latino community, Huerta is the subject of many corridos (Mexican or Mexican-American ballads) and murals.
Best known as one half of the hilariously irreverent, satirical, counter-culture, no-holds-barred duo Cheech and Chong (now on tour), Cheech Marin is a paradox in the world of entertainment. Cheech is an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector, and humanitarian, a man who has enough talent, humor, and intelligence to do just about anything. He is truly a multi-generational star. To this day, Cheech and Chong films remain the number one weekend video rentals, and Cheech is widely acknowledged as a cultural icon. Cheech’s long-awaited memoir entitled Cheech is Not My Real Name…But Don’t Call Me Chong! was released in 2017.
Cheech (real name Richard) Marin was born in South Central Los Angeles and met Tommy Chong in Vancouver, British Columbia as a political refugee. The duo moved back to Los Angeles and proved to be “entertainment gold.” Six of their albums went gold, four were nominated for Grammys, and Los Cochinos won the 1973 Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. The critically acclaimed duo made a fluid transition to films, starring in eight features together.
During his split with Chong, Cheech wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy Born In East L.A. He appeared in over 20 films, including his scene-stealing role in Tin Cup. On television, Cheech was a sitcom regular before joining Don Johnson on the highly successful CBS drama Nash Bridges (1996-2001). He later had a recurring role on the hit NBC show, Lost, and in recent years, he guest-starred on Rob and Jane the Virgin. Through his popular Disney Pixar animation film roles (Oliver & Company, The Lion King, Cars, and more) and as an author of children’s books such as Cheech the School Bus Driver, Cheech is also a favorite with kids and parents around the world.
In 2009, everyone’s favorite duo reunited after 25 years apart for a national and international comedy tour, the Light Up America reunion tour, selling out everywhere. They also shot a full-length live comedy film Hey Watch This in 2010. The pair followed with subsequent tours, satisfying audiences thirsty to see the pair together. They continue to perform together as their schedules allow.
CHICANO ART COLLECTOR & ADVOCATE
Cheech is recognized today as a preeminent Chicano art advocate. In the mid-1980s, he began developing what is now arguably the finest private collection of Chicano art. Much of it formed the core of his inaugural exhibition Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge, which broke attendance records during its groundbreaking 15‐city tour during 2001‐2007 to major art museums across the United States. He states, “Chicano art is American art. My goal is to bring the term ‘Chicano’ to the forefront of the art world.”
Following the success of Chicano Visions, over a dozen additional exhibitions drawn from the Cheech Marin Collection have toured more than 50 major art museums across the United States and in Europe under the direction of Melissa Richardson Banks. In addition, art books have been independently published to accompany many of these exhibitions, including Papel Chicano: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin, Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection, and Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin. Artwork from his collection inspires his work in other ways. For example, the bottle design of Tres Papalote Mezcal, for which Cheech serves as the brand ambassador, was inspired by the contemporary glass sculptures and other works of Einar and Jamex de la Torre, two brothers who are represented his collection.
CHICANO ART EXHIBITIONS
Furthering his goal to introduce Chicano art to a wider audience, Marin has entered a partnership with the City of Riverside and Riverside Art Museum to create The Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry. Slated to open in 2021, The Cheech will become the permanent home for his more than 700 works of Chicano art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography; collectively, the most renowned Chicano art collection in the United States.
CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENTS
Cheech is a nationally ranked golfer, active in the charity circuit. Married to Russian-born classical pianist Natasha Marin, the couple resides in Pacific Palisades, California.
Doug Menuez is an award-winning documentary photographer whose varied career over thirty years began in 1981 at the Washington Post, then as a freelancer for Time, Newsweek, Life, Fortune, The New York Times Magazine, and many more publications. His many awards include honors from Communication Arts, the Kelly Awards, AOP London, and Photo District News, among others. He has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the US and Europe.
In 2004, Stanford University Library acquired his extensive archive of more than 1 million photographs and created the Douglas Menuez Photography Collection at Stanford University Library. His fourth book, "Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000" by Simon & Schuster's Atria Books, was a #1 bestseller on Amazon's photo book list and is now available in 6 countries and 17 languages. Over 100 million people have seen the project worldwide through the book, traveling exhibits, extensive press coverage and his talks. The exhibition of fine art prints from Fearless Genius opened in Moscow at the Photobiennale in March 2012 and has been continuously traveling worldwide with exhibits in China, Spain, France, the IK, and most recently at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, which set a record for attendance.
Menuez has lectured widely on his years as witness to the great innovators at conferences and for corporations. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Woodstock Center for Photography and divides his time between the Hudson Valley and NYC.
Anne Wilkes Tucker was born in 1945 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and studied at Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1967 she received a B.A. in Art History and then went on to receive an AAS in Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1972, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photographic History from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York that was part of the State University of New York, Buffalo. While at the VSW, she worked part time at the Eastman house and studied under Beaumont Newhall, the writer of the history of photography and photographer/curator Nathan Lyons. She then interned with John Szarkowski, the Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1975 she moved to Houston and shortly after she started the photography collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
She acquired for the museum's collection over 30,000 photographs which were made on all seven continents. She also curated forty exhibitions, most with catalogues, including the award-winning books The History of Japanese Photography and WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: IMAGES OF ARMED CONFLICT AND ITS AFTERMATH. Her writings include essays and interviews in over 100 monographs, catalogues, and magazines.
In 2001, TIME magazine honored Tucker as "America's Best Curator." She was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Focus Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2006, and received an Alumnae Achievement Award from Randolph Macon Woman's College. In 2011 she received an honorary doctorate from the College at Brockport State University of New York.
She was granted the title of Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photographs in 1984. In 2014, she announced her retirement from the Museum and finally stepped away in June of 2015.
Emmy and Annie award winning Jorge R. Gutierrez is a Mexican animator, painter, voice actor, writer, and director. Born in Mexico City, raised in Tijuana, CalArts graduate, Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture. Gutierrez was the director & co-writer of the Guillermo Del Toro produced animated feature The Book of Life for Fox/Disney which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe Award nomination. He was also the writer & director of the Emmy nominated Son of Jaguar VR short for Google. Along with his wife and muse, Sandra Equihua, they created the multiple Emmy Award–winning animated series El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. Gutierrez most recently created the event series Maya and the Three for Netflix which recently won 2 Annie Awards, including Best Children’s TV/Media award. Gutierrez is currently developing a Netflix animated feature named I, Chihuahua! with Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias.