MEET OUR STAFF
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
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.
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.
For over 40 years, Mr. Jorge Piña’s career as a Chicano Theatre Artist include working as an artistic director, managing producer, street-theatre actor, curator and grants writer. Employed by several arts organizations including the Guadalupe Cultural arts Center (San Antonio, TX), Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho (Nampa, ID), El Teatro de la Esperanza (Santa Barbara, CA) and El Centro Su Teatro (Denver, CO). From 1984 – 2000, he was the Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theatre Arts program, where he produced over 60 productions and two TENAZ International Chicano/Latino Theatre Festivals in 1988 and 1992.
In 1992, he created Grupo Animo, the teen resident theatre company of GCAC, where teens working with professional artists created their own productions that address the complex issues that youth face. Mr. Piña has served as a grant panelist for the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs, Houston Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts. Early in his career, he toured extensively throughout USA, Mexico and Cuba; from prisons and labor camps to Universities and International Theatre Festivals. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Piña was the Artistic Director of Talento Bilingüe de Houston and was the founding member in 1977 when it was called Teatro Bilingüe de Houston (TBH). Currently, Mr. Piña has returned to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts as the Director of Programs.
EUGENIO DEL BOSQUE
TRADITIONAL MUSIC DIRECTOR
CINEFESTIVAL DIRECTOR & GRANTS MANAGER
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.
Born June 3, 1981 in San Antonio, Texas, Gino Rivera descends from three generations of Mariachi musicians. He began playing at the age of ten, has performed professionally since the age of fifteen, and has been teaching Mariachi music since the age of nineteen.
Rivera has been a part of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center since 2005 and in 2019 became the traditional music program director. In 2006, Rivera founded Mariachi Azteca de America (MADA), an elite group of musicians representing San Antonio!
Rivera and MADA are the producers of the Guadalupe’s annual Noche de Romance. A must-see, two-night, sold-out event of youth, local and international musical performances. He is dedicated to traditional elements of Mariachi music and the creation of original compositions. Rivera is also committed to giving back to the community by teaching students of all ages the beautiful music of our culture.
Eugenio del Bosque Gómez is a filmmaker, photographer and film programmer working both in the United States and Mexico. For the past 15 years, del Bosque Gómez has collaborated on documentary and narrative features and short films, award-winning multimedia journalism projects, and has worked with institutional and corporate clients on nonprofit and commercial audiovisual projects.
From 2006 to 2014, del Bosque Gómez served as executive director of the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, creating theatrical exhibition opportunities for more than 1,600 independent Latino and indigenous films, and promoting international film distribution and production, while also supporting regional talent, and overseeing youth education programs.
Del Bosque Gómez is currently working on his first documentary feature as director and producer.
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.
Rene Benavidez is a certified bookkeeper and administration manager with experience in building culturally specific businesses.
For over 20 years he co-built and managed a family owned business in San Antonio, Mariachi Connection, which became one of the largest distributors of Mexican folk costumes and instruments in the U.S. generating millions in revenues. There, Benavidez operated all accounting, inventory, policies, human resources, and compliance aspects of the business.
He studied business management at Del Mar College and music at Our Lady of the Lake University. Benavidez is also a mariachi musician, educator and scholar who has been performing and teaching for almost 42 years. He is a former active member of business advisory boards UTSA SBDC, Frost Business, San Antonio Charro Association, and Music Educators National Conference (MENC)
Consuelo “Connie” Espinoza started dancing folk and flamenco at the age of 3. At the age of 11 she began her journey with the Guadalupe Dance Academy. Throughout here time here she has given many opportunities to work with amazing artist from Mexico and Spain.
After much dedication and hard work she is a flamenco instructor for the Guadalupe Dance Academy and full time company member for the Guadalupe Dance Company.
In August of 2017 she became the education assistant. She is very honored to be working with children who are passionate about the arts and learning about the culture.
THEATER PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
EVENTS & FESTIVALS MANAGER
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
Bio in works
MayaLuna Piña is an experienced customer service and events management professional in arts and entertainment with a particular focus on Latino arts and culture. For over a decade she has worked in the restaurant industry as shift leader and media manager. Her experience in community theater arts includes touring as a production manager for live plays and costuming and design.
MayaLuna has served as a volunteer and contractor at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio managing theater front of house and concessions and has managed event production for major programs such as Celebrando Tradiciones folklorico dance show, opening of the Guadalupe Latino Bookstore, CineFestival receptions, and the Tejano Conjunto Festival. Piña has a certificate in cosmetology and is completing a B.A. in Business Management at the University of Texas in San Antonio.
Daniel Margolies is a multidisciplinary humanities and arts professional with a varied career as a historian, nonprofit director, and grants consultant. He believes that interdisciplinary and immersive experiences in the arts and playing music are the basis for cross-cultural understanding and a fulfilling life. Dan was a college professor for 22 years, founded the Festival of Texas Fiddling, a non-profit based in San Antonio, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, a Faculty Fellow at the American Center for Mongolian Studies in Ulaanbaatar, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California-Berkeley. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. from Hampshire College.
Dan has published widely in books and articles on a wide variety of subjects from extraterritoriality to tacos. Margolies’ expertise in history focuses on Texas and borderlands politics, law, and cultures and on U.S. foreign relations. He has published widely in academic and popular media on Conjunto music, migrant music, and on other forms of traditional vernacular music in the Americas, and produced several conjunto and fiddle albums. He is currently completing a book on música del coronavirus across Latin America.
Working at the Guadalupe on the Tejano Conjunto Festival and many other projects is a longstanding dream for him.