Trini Rodriguez, Interim Executive Director, is co-founder of Tia Chucha’s and gives her time on a voluntary basis. Inspired by a love of learning and a hunger for systemic social change, she has been active all her adult life. A graduate of CSU, Northridge, she has experience as an educator, editor, writer, interpreter, business manager, mentor, and facilitator of women’s talking circles and sweatlodge healing ceremonies. She views the arts and the recovery of ancestral knowledge as necessary to reconnect all people to their creative capacities as artists and thinkers who can realign our world to its most caring transformative possibilities.She does what she can to learn, share, write, heal and help create the conditions, time and space for women, and all our relations, to fully express their authentic selves and live the lives we were born to lead. Awards received include: the 2003 Local Hero of the Year, Hispanic Heritage Month KCET/Union Bank of CA; the 2010 Mujeres Destacadas, Arte y Cultura Award, La Opinion; the 2014: Mujeres de Corazon, Comision Femenil, San Fernando Valley. Contact info: email@example.com
Michael Centeno, Development Director, has been a consistent Tia Chucha’s volunteer since the space opened in 2001 organizing a weekly film series, then moving to the role of Centro coordinator when the non-profit was established in 2003. In 2006 Michael moved on to work for The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as other youth development organizations such as the Youth Policy Institute and Youth Speak Collective, eventually making his way back to become part of the board of directors for Tia Chucha’s. Under the umbrella of Youth Speak Collective, Michael co-founded Media Solutions, a social enterprise which pairs youth with mentors to produce video and photography services for other non-profit organizations and businesses. Michael has over 10 years experience in multi-media production with an emphasis in film production and is passionate about media literacy in underserved communities. In 2015 Michael was officially hired on as Development Director for Tia Chucha’s. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Ehekalli Sanvicente,Tia Chucha’s & El Nido Program Director, has been a consistent Tia Chucha’s volunteer since 2002 and staff member for eight years. She coordinates both onsite and El Nido Arts & Culture offsite programming. She has previously helped with organizing the Celebrating Words Festival. It is her connection to Tia Chucha’s that helped her reignite her love for the arts. Her passion lies in music, dance, and indigenous spirituality. Melissa practices Mexica indigenous drumming and dance for the past 10 years as a member of Kalpulli Xochiyaoyotl. She is a graduate of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, with an emphasis on Mexica indigenous song and dance. Contact info: email@example.com
Rubén Guevara, Fund Development Director, has been an advocate and leader for youth arts programming in the inner city of Los Angeles since 1993 as founder-director of Arts 4 City Youth (funded by the California Arts Council 1993-1997). He is a graduate from UCLA in World Arts & Cultures (cum laude) and an acclaimed performer, writer, musician, producer, and theater director combining his skills to promote the arts through community participation. He organized Tia Chucha’s last three successful benefits at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. The multiethnic lineup reflected his mission of celebrating Angelino culture – a culture of many autonomous cultures. He was program manager of Community Bridges, a Latina/o and Asian/Pacific Islander audience development and outreach program at the Ford Amphitheatre where their attendance was increased substantially under his direction.
Mayra Zaragosa, Bookstore Co-coordinator & Young Warriors Director. As a high school student in 2007 Mayra established the Young Warriors Self -Empowerment Mentoring program with the guidance and support of Luis J. Rodriguez. Over the years Young Warriors became Tia Chucha’s youth program. Mayra's mission in life is to continue providing a safe environment where young people can heal and transform in order to mentally and emotionally prepare for an engaged adulthood. To meet this mission Mayra uses the powerful and meaningful teachings of social justice through art, literacy and writing, as well as proper mentoring and rites of passage. She brings this passion for community empowerment to her role as bookstore co-coordinator as well. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org