The Loisaida Center
Artistic Advisory Committee
Carolina Gonzalez is a journalist and a scholar who has often concentrated on cultural criticism, especially on the arts in Latino communities. As a writer, editor and radio producer she has worked in legacy and alternative media, including stints working for the San Francisco Weekly, the public radio show Latino USA, and the New York Daily News, where she was the first Latina named to the paper’s editorial board. She has produced pieces about Latinos and other artists of color for outlets such as Spin, the Village Voice, the Atlantic, WNYC radio, Ms. and many others. As a scholar, she has researched Caribbean and U.S. Latino cultural expression and racial formation, and taught at Rutgers, various CUNY campuses, Fordham University and the New School. With Seth Kugel, she co-authored a cultural guide in 2006, Nueva York: the Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs. She currently serves as a board member for Fifth Avenue Committee, a Brooklyn-based economic and social justice organization, and for Culture/Strike, a national arts organization looking to change how we think and talk about immigration. A native New Yorker, Carolina currently lives in Brooklyn and works as a Senior Communications Specialist at 32BJ SEIU.
Luis Guzmán is Puerto Rican actor known for his character work. For much of Guzmán’s career, he has played character roles. Guzman’s numerous movie credits include Carlito’s Way, Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power, Welcome to Collinwood, Stonewall, Waiting…, The Salton Sea, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. He has also appeared on the TV shows Homicide: Life on the Street, Frasier and Oz and had a role in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and its prequel Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. Guzmán starred in the short-lived 2003 television comedy Luis, and is a commentator on VH1’s I Love the ’80s, as well as I Love Toys and its sequels, including I Love the ’70s and I Love the ’90s. He co-starred on the canceled 2007 HBO series John from Cincinnati. In early 2008, Guzmán starred in “Naturally Aged Cheddar Hunks” TV ads for Cabot Creamery. He also appeared in the music video “Yes We Can.” He recently starred in HBO’sHow to Make It in America.
Rene Pérez Joglar aka Residente is a Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and founder of the alternative rap group Calle 13. He has won 24 Grammy awards in total; making him the Latin artist who has won the most gold-plated gramophones. He studied art for 8 years and has directed some of his own musical videos. His lyrics have earned him the respect of many music colleagues and critics and have even been studied as part of school and university courses. He has been recognized for his social contributions and serves as the face of campaigns for UNICEF and Amnesty International. He has consistently defended education in Latin America and the rights of the natives. At the beginning of June 2015, before starting a new European tour, Residente announced that he was working on a new project. After a successful European tour, René traveled to Russia, Siberia, and China to work on his new album and other projects. He currently lives in NYC and collaborates with the Loisaida Inc Center in the Lower East Side.
Yasmin Ramírez holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City of New York. Currently Adjunct Curator at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Dr. Ramírez’s prior institutional affiliations include: The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College; El Museo Del Barrio; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Caribbean Culture Center; and Taller Boricua. A scholar and curator, Dr. Ramírez has organized numerous exhibitions and panels, notably Presente! The Young Lords in New York at the Bronx Museum (2015), The Puerto Rican Art Workers and the Construction of the Nuyorican Art Movement (2014), Esto A Veces Tiene Nombre: Latin@ Art Collectives in a Post-Movement Millennium (2008). Dr. Ramírez’s published essays include: Snap Shots: A Short History of the Association of Hispanic Arts (2013), The Creative Class of Color in New York (2009), The Activist Legacy of Puerto Rican Artists in New York and the Art Heritage of Puerto Rico (2007), and more. Dr. Ramírez serves on the national steering committee of the biennial conference, Latino Art Now, and the advisory board of the book series Aver: Revisioning Art History. In her former position as a Research Associate at The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, Dr. Ramírez oversaw the digitization of works on paper and writings on Puerto Rican artists in New York through a partnership with The International Center for Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Yaraní del Valle Yaraní Del Valle Piñero (La Yara) is a Puerto Rican actress, singer, dancer, educator, cultural promoter and activist based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary approach to artistic creation has lead her to either train and/or collaborate with theater directors, choreographers, musicians, film makers, writers and educators, as a performer, in the creating process and as curriculum developer. Yaraní, also known as La Yara, was cofounder of the Puerto Rican theater troupe Baobabs, one of the first interdisciplinary artist collectives of her generation, with which she performed, wrote and produced numerous original plays. Yaraní has developed and taught theater, creative movement, creative writing and Theater of the Oppressed workshops in institutions such as Centro Médico Psychiatric Hospital, Puerto Rico Museum of Art, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) among others. Del Valle was a faculty member of Prometeo Theater at Miami Dade College, the only Spanish-language theater conservatory in the U.S. functioning under an academic institution. She was also a faculty member of Teatro en Movimiento por el Viejo San Juan, an itinerant theater school in PR founded by Maritza Pérez Otero. She developed education and arts residency programs for the Loisaida Inc. La Yara is a cast member of the hit web series show CHAMACAS, forms part of ChicaPReneurs; a collective of female creative entrepreneurs and cultural innovators. She is an ensemble member of PregonesPRTT where she works as an actress, as well as an educator in all their Life-Long Learning projects, but mainly focusing on the Seniors In Motion program.
Ed Morales is an author and journalist who has written for publications like The Nation, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, and City Limits, among many others. He is a former Village Voice staff writer and Newsday columnist. Morales is the author of two books, Living in Spanglish (St. Martins) and The Latin Beat (Da Capo Press), and the upcoming Raza Matters (Verso Press). He is currently a lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and John Jay College, and is a contributing editor to NACLA Report on the Americas.
T. Urayoán Noel is Assistant Professor of English and Spanish and Portuguese at New York University and was Assistant Professor of English at SUNY Albany from 2008 to 2014. He is the author of In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (Iowa, 2014) and of various books of poetry. He is currently working on two books, the first on U.S. Latino/a art, activism, and identity in the age of social media and the second on poets’ translations in a hemispheric modernist context. Also a translator and performer, Noel has been a fellow of CantoMundo and the Ford Foundation.