Conference V Bios
Chris Albrecht is chairman and chief executive officer for Home Box Office, responsible for the overall management of the world's largest premium television company. He has followed a track in original programming which began on the west coast, allowed him to develop and produce comedy series for distribution (including "Martin" and "Everybody Loves Raymond"), and eventually led to his current position as president of HBO Original Programming. Before joining HBO, Albrecht worked in talent management with ABC and International Creative Management (ICM), and was co-owner of The Improvisation nightclub in New York City. Albrecht holds a B.A. degree in dramatic literature from Hofstra University in New York; he is currently on Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute and on the Board of Governors for the Museum of Television and Radio.
Dr. Barrera was a graduate fellow at Princeton University, earned her bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, and has held faculty appointments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Austin, and at universities in Latin America. She currently lives in Austin.
Luca Bentivoglio is the Executive Director of LPB (Latino Public Broadcasting), responsible for the development and production of Latino Programs that will provide diversity to the PBS line-up. He creates and implements outreach and international distribution strategies to offer Latino independent producers with additional opportunities. Mr. Bentivoglio has been a television network and production executive for over two decades and is regarded as a pioneer of U.S. Spanish-language television, having worked for Univision, Telemundo, and Warner Bros. Channel in Latin America. He directed the programming, marketing and distribution efforts that made WB the # 1 family channel in Latin America.
As head of his production company Chamba Mediaworks, Inc., producer/director/writer Mr. Bourne has made more than 42 films concentrating on cultural and politi-cal themes, a focus he continues to explore. Most recently, he has produced a feature-length documentary HALF PAST AUTUMN: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF GORDON PARKS about the photo-journalist and filmmaker for HBO. The film has been nominated for three EMMYS (Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Cinematography). With actor Wesley Snipes as executive producer, Bourne directed JOHN HENRIK CLARKE: A GREAT AND MIGHTY WALK, a feature length documentary about the respected historian and Pan-African activist. The film has been invited to the Toronto, Carthage (Tunisia), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso, Africa) and Sundance film festivals. Bourne then directed PAUL ROBESON: HERE I STAND!, a 2-hour documentary for the "American Masters" PBS series. Bourne has begun production on LA PELOTA, a documentary about the history of Cuba through baseball. Other past productions include MAKING "DO THE RIGHT THING", Bourne's acclaimed narrative documentary about the making of Spike Lee's controversial feature. It was invited to the Munich, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Amiens (France), the Festival Dei Popoli and Turino (Italy) film festivals and received national theatrical distribution, an unusual feat for a documentary. Bourne produced and directed IN MOTION: AMIRI BARAKA, a portrait of the activist writer also known as Leroi Jones; LANGSTON HUGHES: THE DREAM KEEPER, a narrative performance documentary for the PBS Voices And Visions series and films for the National Geographic Society's "Explorer" TV series: THE GULLAH CONNECTION about the impact of tourism on the African "Gullah" culture of the South Carolina Sea Island people, NEW ORLEANS BRASS about the brass bands in New Orleans and HERITAGE OF THE BLACK WEST, about African-Americans cowboys and cowgirls. In addition to domestic productions, Bourne produced two one-hour documentaries for a six-part BBC series with Lon-don-based Catalyst TV. Entitled WILL TO WIN, the series explores the political impact of athletes of African descent on international sports. St.Clair Bourne began his career in American public television and was the youngest staff producer for the public affairs series BLACK JOURNAL during the year it won the EMMY. He received the John Russworm Citation for "excellence in broadcasting". His productions range from public television, educational (SESAME STREET series, the American Institute of Architecture, the College Entrance Examination Board), network programs (NBC White Paper Special Report "AMERICA: BLACK AND WHITE" which won the Carlo TV Film Festival's Documentary Award), political films (THE BLACK AND THE GREEN in which African-American activists meet the IRA in Northern Ireland). Bourne's break with traditional television journalism and his move toward more narrative films started with LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN!, which chronicled the maiden voyage into the secular world by a young minister. He made his entrance into theatrical feature films as the co-producer of THE LONG NIGHT which premiered at New York's Museum Of Modern Art's "New Directors, New Films" series. Based on Julian Mayfield's novel, the film had an American theatrical release as well as foreign broadcasts. He also made a dramatic short for television, ON THE BOULEVARD, a love story about two unemployed entertainers in Hollywood Bourne also co-produced REBOUND, a HBO dramatic film about the fall and rise of Earl "The Goat" Manigault, a real-life playground basketball legend. Bourne is currently developing two dramatic feature film projects: EXILES, a love story set in the expatriate community of US Army deserters in Stockholm, Sweden during the Vietnam War and THE BRIDE PRICE, a contemporary thriller set in Senegal about a romance between an African-American businessman and an African holy man's daughter.
Nicole Brown is a creative executive at Marc Platt Productions. She was Associate Producer for recently released film, Honey. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Ms. Brown graduated from Columbia University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in History and Film.
Arlene Davila is an associate professor of American studies and anthropology at New York University, where she focuses on Latino/a cultural politics, teaching consumption, media, popular culture, race and nationalism, and the construction of space. Her forthcoming book, entitled Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City, examines contemporary urban and spatial politics among Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and African-Americans in El Barrio/East Harlem, and the significance of this culture-laden place to the history of Puerto Rican and Latino New York.
Hector Galan is an award-winning independent filmmaker and founder of Galan Productions who has contributed over thirty hours of quality programming to the national PBS television schedule including Accordion Dreams, Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, The Forgotten Americans, and Songs of the Homeland. He started out as a camera operator and eventually became a staff producer for PBS- FRONTLINE. Mr. Galan is currently producing Visiones for PBS, a co-production of Galan Productions and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture in association with KLRU-TV/Austin.
Paul Espinosa is the founder of Espinosa Productions, a film and video company specializing in documentary and dramatic films, with a focus on the U.S.-Mexico border region. He has been involved in production for over 20 years, producing many major national PBS productions including: The U.S.-Mexican War: 1846-1848, ...and the earth did not swallow him, The Lemon Grove Incident, The Hunt for Pancho Villa, and The Border. Mr. Espinosa's films have been screened at festivals around the country and the world, winning eight Emmys, five CINE Golden Eagle awards, and others. He is based in San Diego.
Academy Award Nominee Salma Hayek has proven herself as a prolific actress, producer, and director, in both film and television. She received an Academy Award Nomination, a Golden Globe Award Nomination, a SAG Nomination, and a BAFTA Nomination for Best Actress for the title role in Julie Taymor's Frida.
Ms. Hayek is currently in production on Brett Ratner's After the Sunset, with Pierce Brosnan and Woody Harrelson. She will soon begin production on Robert Altman's film, Paint, opposite James Franco. This spring she will
Hayek starred in and co-produced Showtime's, In the Time of the Butterflies, for which she was nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Association's Award. The Mexican feature, No One Writes to the Colonel, was produced by her company, Ventanarosa, and was directed by Arturo Ripstein. No One Writes to the Colonel was selected for official competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
Other film credits include: Mike Figgis' Hotel, Timecode, Kevin Smith's Dogma, Barry Sonnenfeld's Wild Wild West opposite Kevin Kline, Will Smith, and Kenneth Branagh, the comedy Fools Rush In opposite Matthew Perry, 54 co-starring Mike Myers and Ryan Phillippe, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, OnceUpon a Time in Mexico, and Spy Kids 3, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and Breaking Up opposite Russell Crowe.
Cheryl Head is Senior Director of Outreach and Diversity Programming at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. During 23 years in public broadcasting, she was a producer, executive producer, and ultimately Vice President of Production and Community Development at WTVS, Detroit, and was Deputy Director of Programming and Senior V.P. of Corporate Services at WETA, Washington, DC. She was also president of her own media consulting business, during which time she served as Project Director for the National Campaign to Reduce Youth Violence. Ms. Head has a degree in Radio-TV-Film communications from Wayne State University, and an M.A. in public telecommunications management from Ohio University.
Kathy Im is a Program Officer in the General Program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She is responsible for a diverse grant portfolio that includes the Foundation's work in media and special initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Im was a Community Builder Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, worked in grantmaking at the Field Foundation of Illinois, the Polk Brothers Foundation, and the Bank of America Foundation, and was a speechwriter at the White House. She earned her bachelor's degree from Smith College and master's in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where she was a founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Policy Review.
Susan Lacy is an award-winning producer, having been responsible for the production and national broadcast of over 125 documentary biographies on artistic giants, most of which have been produced through American Masters. Her career in public television began with Thirteen/WNET, after which she served as Senior Program Executive for the award-winning Great Performances series, and eventually headed the East Coast office of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Ms. Lacy has run programs for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has a B.A. in American Studies from University of Virginia, an M.A. in American Studies from George Washington University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Long Island University.
Deborah Leoni formed Flagstaff Pictures in 1998 with the intention of developing diverse, quality programming. Under the Flagstaff banner, she has most recently developed and executive produced Get A Clue and Under Contract, and has developed original movie and pilot scripts for premium networks. Prior to forming Flagstaff Pictures, Deborah worked as a key executive for ABC and as a producer
Cara Mertes has served as Executive Director of P.O.V. and Vice President of American Documentary, Inc., since 1999. During her tenure, P.O.V. films have been nominated for eight national Emmys and received five, as well as two duPont-Columbia Awards and an Academy Award nomination. Ms. Mertes has been active in the independent media field since 1988 as a producer/director, programmer, writer, consultant, and presenter, both independently and for public television. She graduated with honors in 1984 with a BA in English and Film from Vassar College, and is currently pursuing a MA in Film and Media Studies at Hunter College.
Danny’s career started in the grape fields of Fresno. A farmworker’s dream and a Greyhound bus brought him to Hollywood. He is a veteran actor, comedian and writer. As an actor, he got started with a recurring role on NBC’s hit comedy, CHICO AND THE MAN - his work includes three TV series, dozens of episodics and film roles, with guest appearances from DHARMA AND GREG to STATE OF GRACE and most recently “Numero Cinco” a Luchador on ANGEL. Last season he was seen as “Father Rivera” for six episodes on the BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. This season you can see him as restaurant owner “Mr. Carrillo” on THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW. Recent films include BROWN’S REQUIEM, CORONADO, POTOSI ROAD and the principle lead in Epoch’s Sony “Dreamer” Project, THE MAGICIAN.
As a writer Danny earned his union card on staff at the classic sitcom LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY. A founding member of the WGA‘s Latino Writers Committee, the executive producer of the first televised productions of THE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARDS, he is now a contributing writer for “Latin Heat” magazine. For several years his SitCom workshops and seminars have been a highlight of the annual LEMI conference. Graduates of his SitCom Bootcamp include Josephina Lopez “Real Women Have Curves,” Sylvia Cardenas writer-producer MOESHA, Luisa Leschin former writer-producer BROTHERS GARCIA and current story editor of the THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW. Danny’s current students include: Bonita Alford, and recent NALIP Academy graduate Jessica Lopez who is also participating in the Nickelodeon Writer’s Fellowship Program.
David Perez is CEO of Latin Force LLC, an award-winning integrated marketing services company, and is the Chairman of the Cultural Access Group, a leading multicultural market research firm. His clients include Kraft Foods, MTV, Nike, Clear Channel, Pepsi, the NFL, Neiman Marcus, and Wells Fargo, and he has positioned Latin Force as the Hispanic agency and marketing consultants for Nickelodeon Networks. Mr. Perez has had a successful career in finance and founded the non-profit group Silverlining, an internet-based community for families with terminally ill children. Mr. Perez, a Bolivian/American, is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Richard Perez is well-versed in urban problems, restructuring of the U.S. economy, race relations, media stereotyping, electoral politics, community organizing, campus organizing, youth leadership development, and political empowerment. He has become known for his involvement in the movement for community control of the schools, notably in New York City.
Richard Perez is a published author, with “Committee Against Fort Apache: The Bronx Mobilizes Against Multi-National Media“ (1985) and “From Assimilation to Annihilation: Puerto Rican Images in U.S. Films” (1990), which is assigned reading around the country. He has appeared on news broadcasts around the nation, having been interviewed on 60 Minutes, NY 1's "Road to City Hall," Like It Is, Visiones, Positively Black, and Tiempo, among others.
A past member of the Young Lords Party, the Anti-Bakke Decision Coalition, the NY Committee to Free the Puerto Rican Nationalist Prisoners, and the Committee Against Fort Apache (the movie), Perez is a founding member and current co-chair of the Justice Committee--National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights.
Mr. Perez has responsible for organizing efforts against police misconduct and racially motivated violence, working with youth organizations and families of victims. He coordinated community mobilization resulting in the jailing of the police officer who killed Anthony Baez; he organized parents and victims during the civil disobedience campaign demanding an indictment in the Amadou Diallo case; he was lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that successfully abolished the NYPD’s Street Crimes Unit; and he is a founder of People's Justice 2000, a coalition formed to mobilize support for the trials of the police officers who killed Amadou Diallo and tortured Abner Louima.
Currently the Director of the Political Development Department of the Community Service Society, Richard Perez shares responsibility for the agency's urban agenda, and its voter rights and registration efforts. He continues to help local groups develop issue-based campaigns, providing training in community organizing strategy and tactics.
Harrison Reiner. Staff Story Analyst (I.A.T.S.E.), CBS Movies of the Week and Mini-Series; Lecturer, CBS Diversity Institute; Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing for Directors, UCLA M.F.A. Directing Program; Instructor of Screenwriting, UCLA Professional Screenwriting Program; Instructor of Story Analysis and Script Development, UCLA Extension; Founding Director, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Writers Workshop and Desi Arnaz Memorial Scholarship; Mentor and Lecturer, Producers Academy, National Association of Latino Independent Producers; conducts the screenwriting workshops of the Hollywood Black Film Festival; Lecturer, Producers Guild of America seminar, THE ART OF DEVELOPMENT; supervised development on the selling draft of CLIFFHANGER, penned by Michael France; former Production Executive, Sovereign Pictures (co-distributors of Academy Award-winning motion pictures MY LEFT FOOT and CINEMA PARADISO); former Story Editor, RKO Pictures; also served as story analyst for Universal Pictures, Sherry Lansing Productions in association with Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers Feature Animation, and Turner Network Television. Certificate, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art–London. B.F.A. New York University Tisch School of the Arts. M.F.A. Columbia University School of the Arts.
Gabriel Reyes is President of Reyes Entertainment. With a high-profile client portfolio, he has established an award-winning reputation in publicity and marketing campaigns with strong results in both English and Spanish. After years of hands-on training as Marketing Director for TV production company GaLAn Entertainment at HBO and Fox Television, Reyes went on to establish the Latino Division at The Lee Solters Company. Mr. Reyes was a founding member of the First Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival, spent time on the board of OUTFEST and The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
Angel Rivera is the National Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity at the Screen Actors Guild. He oversees EEO/ADA compliance and the enforcement of all SAG sexual harassment and non-discrimination contract provisions. Mr. Rivera, also, is responsible for raising industry and community awareness regarding diversity issues in the television, film and advertising industries. His Department develops, support and promotes educational programs, conferences, studies and network showcases designed to improve employment opportunities for minority performers, women, seniors and performers with disabilities. The Department provides casting services through its Diversity, Special Skills and Talent Bank and works closely with SAG Indie to promote the Diversity in Casting Incentive for independent productions. After graduating from Fordham University, Angel Rivera has had over 20 years of professional employment experience in the public, non-profit, educational and private sector. Before he joined the Screen Actors Guild, Mr. Rivera was the Director of Corporate Global Diversity at Foote, Cone and Belding Worldwide and the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. after it acquired True North Communications,Inc.. Mr. Rivera served three New York Mayors as an audit analyst, a labor/management facilitator and a project planner in the New York City Mayor's Office of Operations. Under the former Mayor Giuliani's administration, Mr. Rivera served as a Special Assistant to the Fire Commissioner and Director of Employment Initiatives at the New York City Fire Department. In 1995, Mr. Rivera was a Program Director at the Edwin Gould Foundation for Children's Sponsor for Educational Opportunities (SEO) program. Mr. Rivera is a member of the NAACP Image Awards Nomination Committee and has served as Chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies' Diversity/Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. He was, also, the Chairman of the Advertising Club of New York's Changing Face of Advertising Committee and a member of the American Advertising Federation's Multicultural Business Practice Leadership Council.
Pedro Rodriguez, founder and CEO of FilmGate, a distributor of films throughout Latin America and marketer of films to the Hispanic audience in the United States. He has acquired English language pictures for the past 15 years, handling all aspects of distribution in Latin America for the theatrical, video, and TV markets. After spending some time in film production, Mr. Rodriguez relocated to Mexico City, where he began working in distribution, first for Videomax, then for NuVision, a leading independent film distributor in Latin America. Mr. Rodriguez was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, graduated from Bard College in New York, and is now based in Los Angeles.
Irene Romero is a veteran banker with over twenty years experience servicing the financial and banking needs of the entertainment industry. She has managed the Entertainment Divisions for Wells Fargo Bank, City National Bank, and Mercantile National Bank. In 1993 Irene formed her own company, Kifaru Productions. Her current clients include Comerica Bank, International Film Guarantors, and Icon Productions. Currently Chief Financial Officer of she provides financial consultation services including: arranging financing for independent film production companies and high net worth individuals in the entertainment industry; creating new financial products for a variety of service industries; preparing entertainment industry studies for potential investors; evaluating the financial viability of troubled companies and orchestrating the restructuring of the company, or the sale of its' assets; and, assisting in the resolution of disputes to avoid costly litigation. A few of the film projects Ms. Romero has been responsible for financing include: "What Women Want""Bravehart", "The Commitments", "Field Of Dreams", "Midnight Clear", "Man Without A Face", "Bull Durham", "Mississippi Burning", "Muppet Christmas", "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", "Princess Caribou", and "The Road To Wellville", "Payback" and "Ideal Husband" . Ms. Romero also serves as Chief Financial Officer of Dreamcatchers, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of Indigenous cultures and sacred lands. Through this non-profit she produced the dramatic feature film "Follow Me Home"(along with others) starring Benjamin Bratt and Alfre Woodard, and the documentary, "A Seat At The Table; Struggling For American Indian Religious Freedom," featuring legendary professor of the world's religions.
Bernardo Ruiz is a writer /producer who works on both sides of the narrative/documentary border. He has received grants from New York Foundation on the Arts (NYFA) and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB). He produced the groundbreaking POV’s Migrations, a 10-week web-based, documentary interactive series. Mr. Ruiz wrote and directed Countdown to Graduation (WGBH), co-produced the award-winning The Sixth Section, and has written and directed two narrative shorts: Night Magic and The Devil’s Twilight.
Mark Samels was named Executive Producer of American Experience in 2003, after having served as the series' Senior Producer since 1997. He was instrumental in developing a number of films for the series, including A Brilliant Madness, a biography of the mathematician and schizophrenic John Nash, which he directed and co-wrote. His career as a documentary filmmaker and television producer has won him numerous awards, with credits such as Revelations and Different Drummer. Mr. Samels is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Born and raised in Argentina, Paula Schmit started working in film production while finishing her degree in Communication Science at the University of Buenos Aires.
Paula produced an award-winning short and worked in various production capacities in Argentina before moving to Los Angeles in 1990 where she focused on visual effects and post-production. She joined Film Finances in 1994.
Film Finances is the leading completion guarantor in the independent feature field with such clients as Fox Searchlight, Focus Features, Warner Brothers, Lions Gate, Disney, New Line, Sony Pictures, Franchise, Screen Gems, and GreeneStreet Films.
Paula oversees all aspects of post-production for Film Finances as well as supervises production both in the US and overseas. Over the years, she has been involved in more than 1000 feature films and television programs. Recent projects include “Lost In Translation,” “Monster,” “21 Grams,” “Motorcycle Diaries,” “City of God,” “Butterfly Effect,” “Open Range,” “Raising Victor Vargas,” and the upcoming “World of Tomorrow,” “Shopgirl,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “She Hate Me.”
Producer/Director Myrl A. Schreibman is a member of the Directors Guild of America and received his MFA at UCLA in 1969 with a specialization in Radio-Television-Film. Among the scores of feature film, documentary, television and stage projects in his lengthy list of credits are the motion pictures COMING OF AGE (in development), CRIME TASK FORCE, HUNTER’S BLOOD, THE CLONUS HORROR, BOSS, THE ITALIAN, and THE PROTECTERS. A popular speaker, author and academic professor, he has taught as an adjunct professor at UCLA in the School of Theater, Film and Television as well as the Stasberg Institute. Schreibman is the author of what has become the independent producer’s bible, The Indie Producers Handbook: Creative Producing from A – Z, published by ifilm Publications in 2001. Among the television projects he has produced and directed are shows for HBO, Fox Television, ABC, CBS and Paramount.
Director of News and Public Affairs, Thirteen/WNET, New York
Stephen Segaller is director of news and public affairs programming at Thirteen/WNET. He is an author and producer specializing in journalism, media and technology. At Thirteen/WNET, the flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service, he is responsible for the development and production of all the national news and public affairs output of the station.
His program portfolio also includes the weekly newsmagazine Religion and Ethics Newsweekly; documentary series such as Local News, Allies at War, Red Gold: and The Epic Story of Blood; the continuing output of Fred Friendly Seminars and the films of Frederick Wiseman; and documentary specials such as the Emmy award-winning Srebrenica - A Cry From The Grave; Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm and the Academy award-nominated Sound and Fury. In 2002, he created the primetime international documentary series Wide Angle. Currently moving into its third season of production, Wide Angle has reported on stories in over twenty countries and on every major continent, and won multiple journalism awards.
Mr. Segaller has spent almost 25 years as a television producer working chiefly in journalism, current affairs and documentaries. His work in England includes current affairs television for London Weekend Television and Granada Television, and numerous documentaries and series for Channel 4. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious William Benton fellowship in Broadcast Journalism, and spent an academic year at the University of Chicago, graduating with a Masters Degree in international relations. His Bachelor's degree is in English Literature, from Cambridge University.
Prior to his arrival at WNET, Mr. Segaller was director of national and international production for Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), where he produced Nerds 2.0.1, a brief history of the Internet, and two other series featuring writer Bob Cringely, Triumph of the Nerds and Plane Crazy, as well as Return to the Lion’s Den with Terry Anderson. For OPB, Mr. Segaller also served as executive producer of Eyewitness, Running Out of Time, A Question of Genes and The Machines That Won the War.
He is the author of three books: Invisible Armies: Terrorism into the 1990s (London, 1986) - described by one reviewer as “the most authoritative study of its kind”; Wisdom of the Dream: The World of C.G. Jung (London and Boston, 1989; republished New York, 2000); and Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet (New York, 1998).
He is a member of the Radio & Television News Directors’ Association, BAFTA East Coast (board member) the New York and U.S.A. Triathlon Associations and The Groucho Club.
Ilan Stavansis the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Latino Literature Prize, and many other honors. His books include The Hispanic Condition (1998), The Riddle Of Cantinflas (1998), Latino Usa: A Cartoon History (2000), On Borrowed Words (2001) and Spanglish: The Making Of A New American Language (2003). He also edited The Oxford Book Of Latin American Essays and The Poetry Of Pablo Neruda. His work has been translated into half a dozen languages.
Jerry Velasco is an actor and owner of Velasco and Associates, a production and public relations company. He began his involvement in the arts with a two-year scholarship to the Actor’s Studio, having later appeared on Fantasy Island, Chico and the Man, and Hunter, and co-starred in Mercenaries of Death, Heartbreaker, and The Jerk. He is past and current president of the Board of Directors of Nosotros, and has been very instrumental in acquiring Hollywood’s Doolittle Theater, soon to become the Ricardo Montalban Theater. Mr. Velasco is a native of Jalisco, Mexico, who was raised in the city of Los Angeles.