Twenty years of experience in nonprofit community-based work, and over a decade in Latino arts programming and administration in Texas, makes Cristina Ballí the perfect fit for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Most recently she has made a significant impact state wide as Executive Director of Texas Folklife, the Austin-based organization designated by the National Endowment for the Arts to preserve and present the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State.
Before her work as an arts administrator Ballí earned her B.A. in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio Texas. Over the course of her career she has most notably served as Producer/Operations Manager at RGV Educational Broadcasting in Harlingen Texas, Director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito Texas, Tourism/Fund Development Coordinator in San Benito, Texas where she oversaw the opening of the Historical, Conjunto Hall of Fame and Freddy Fender Museums, and most recently Executive Director of Texas Folklife.
Cristina has proven to be highly successful in increasing visibility for all of the organizations she has worked with, primarily through the production of compelling artistic programs. As Director of Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, a small but powerful Chicano arts organization, she gained an international platform as an ambassador of border culture and conjunto music particularly.
Jeannette Chavez holds a BA in Communications from the University of the Incarnate Word, an Associate’s of applied science from San Antonio College in Radio/TV/Film Technology and has more than twenty years teaching dance for the Guadalupe Dance Academy, in San Antonio at area schools and at Palo Alto College as well as local community centers. Jeannette began as an original member of the Guadalupe Dance Company in 1991; shortly thereafter Jeannette began teaching classes with the Guadalupe Dance Academy and became a part-time assistant to then Company Director, Belinda Menchaca in 1997. In 2001 Jeannette was brought on full time eventually becoming Co-Director and then taking on the role of Guadalupe Dance Company Artistic Director in 2007.
Mark Anthony Martinez
Visual Arts Director
A native to San Antonio, Mark Anthony Martínez is the Visual Arts Director for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Since 2015, Martinez oversees Galería Guadalupe, manages quarterly exhibitions, the Dia De Los Muertos Altar exhibition, Hecho a Mano fundraiser and the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival poster contest.
Martinez’s introduction to the Guadalupe occurred in 2003, through Cinéfestival, by way of a student film submission via Say Sí. Martinez has lived, worked, exhibited and curated in Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas and his hometown of San Antonio. Mark Anthony is a Say Sí media arts alum (2005) who received a BFA in Intermedia at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (2011), interned at the Guadalupe in 2011 and received his MFA in Contemporary Art Practice from Portland State University (2014).
Marcie Ann Martinez
A native of South Texas, Marcie Ann Martinez is the Development Associate for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Marcie received her B.A. in Communications with a public relations concentration from The University of Texas at San Antonio. With over 5 years experience in nonprofit development and multi channel outreach, Marcie’s institutional knowledge derives from working in major nonprofit organizations such as Meals on Wheels of San Antonio and the Veterans of Foreign Wars-McAllen. Community involvement includes Mission San Jose’s Missionfest, The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Business Alliance, Texas Young Professionals, St. Paul Lutheran Child Development Center, and American Fundraising Professionals- San Antonio Chapter.
As Development Associate, Marcie is in charge of Corporate and community relationships, strategic fundraising initiatives, major gifts, membership, and grants management.
Education director Belinda Menchaca has worked at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center since 1992 in various capacities including Dance Program director, Programs Manager and PR/Marketing Director. She created the Guadalupe Dance Academy as a training ground for all ages and continues to teach Flamenco dance for children and adults. She now serves as Education Director overseeing all Academy classes, educational outreach programs, school tours and visits as well as workshops and summer camps. Over the years Menchaca has developed successful outreach programs, which provide educational lecture demonstrations for elementary, middle and high school students. A native of San Antonio, Belinda graduated from Trinity University in 1984 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Journalism.
Cine Festival Director
Jim Mendiola is an independent filmmaker, curator, and writer. A Rockefeller Intercultural Media Fellow, Mendiola’s films have screened in film festivals, museums, and colleges in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. His projects have been supported by ITVS, Film Independent, Mun2, and the Sundance Filmmakers Lab, among others. Mendiola created the film program at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and has programmed for multiple festivals and galleries. He sits on the board of the National Association of Independent Filmmakers. Mendiola is currently an artist-in-residence at CMAS where he is working on a project to create a digital archive on the history of U.S. Chicano/Latino independent filmmaking.
Pedro was hired as the Theatre Manager in 2002 and has worked at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center for over 13 years. He received a M.F.A. in Lighting Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his B.F.A. in Fine Art/Photography is from the University of Texas, San Antonio. Pedro has served as a Theatre Consultant in Sound, Lighting, and Stagecraft for the Edgewood ISD Theatre of Performing Arts. His lighting design credits include work at the Classis Theater, Our Lady of the Lake University, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, Illinois, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of Arizona Department of Theatre, and he has numerous credits as scenic designer and as a visual artist.
Carmen is a native of San Antonio and grew up on the South Side of town. She brings to our team 20 years of experience in Administration with Sony. She began working with the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in 2004 and has held roles such as: Administrative Assistant, Membership and Development Coordinator, and Operations Assistant. Today, Carmen is our Rental and Volunteer Manager and oversees all rental venues and coordinates the volunteers needed for our center and outside events. She enjoys her role because she is able to engage with community members and share the center’s mission of promoting the Arts.
Director of Program Management
Joel Celestino Settles is a San Antonio based multidisciplinary performer, educator, and cultural arts administrator. He is a founding member of the award winning sketch comedy group Comedia A Go-Go and co-founder of SALTA San Antonio Latino Theatre Alliance. He has performed in, written and/or directed works at the Guadalupe Theater, Jump-Start Performance Co., Teatro Campesino, Austin’s State Theater, Dallas’ Latino Cultural Center, MACLA in San Jose CA, and with SA’s Attic Rep among others. He is proud to have formerly served as the Theatre Program director for SAY Si, a nationally recognized youth arts education center where he had the privilege to mentor young artists and produce over 30 original theatrical productions. Most recently he was accepted to and attended the prestigious Directors Lab at the Lincoln Center in NYC where he worked with 70 directors representing 35 countries during a three week intensive professional development program. He holds a BA in Political Science from UTSA and currently serves as the Director of Performing Arts for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. You can learn more about his artistic work at www.joelsettles.com.
Tejano Conjunto Festival Director
Juan Tejeda is the Lead Faculty for the Palo Alto College Center for Mexican American Studies in San Antonio, Texas, and a full-time tenured Instructor of Mexican American Studies and Music. An accomplished musician, he is a songwriter and the button accordionist for the Conjunto Aztlan. A published author and editor, he, along with his wife, Anisa Onofre, are the owners and publishers of Aztlan Libre Press, an independent company based in San Antonio that is dedicated to the publishing, promotion and free expression of Indigenous/Xicana/o literature and art.
Numerous years of comprehensive experience in all facets of finance, office management in banking, pet food industry, health care and community service for nonprofit organizations. Extensive knowledge of federal, state, county and city contracts, reimbursements and disbursements, as well as third party billing. Since 2005 through 2013, Laura has served as Controller for the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center; change beginning October 1, 2013 to Comptroller/ Director of Operation. Controller/CFO – Mexican American Community Services Agency – San Jose, CA Financial Director/Comptroller – Gardner Health Center – San Jose, CA. Laura has a M.B.A. in accounting from Federico Villarreal’s University at Lima Peru.