Winning hearts and minds through cultural strategies

Political shifts around immigration won’t happen until cultural shifts happen. This track will showcase the power of arts and culture strategies to help people see that art is more than just aesthetically pleasing—it is powerful and requires attention. We will showcase three case studies of artists and activists working on immigrant themes. Moderator: 

  • Maria Hinojosa, President and CEO, Futuro Media Group -- Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter who covers America’s untold stories and highlights today’s critical issues. In 2010, Hinojosa created the Futuro Media Group, an independent nonprofit organization producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience. As the anchor and Executive Producer of NPR’s only Latino news and culture show Latino USA, and host and Executive Producer for the upcoming PBS show America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, both produced by Futuro Media, she has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.


  • Favianna Rodriguez, CultureStrike -- Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer on a mission to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Her art and collaborative projects address migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence. Favianna lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. Favianna is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights, and in 2009, she, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.
  • Andrea Cristina Mercado, Campaign Director, National Domestic Worker Alliance; Co-Chair of We Belong Together: Women for Commonsense Immigration Reform -- Andrea Cristina Mercado is the daughter of South American immigrants, the mother of two young girls, and the Campaign Director at the National Domestic Worker Alliance.  She is the Co-Chair of We Belong Together: Women for Commonsense Immigration Reform. Andrea was an organizer at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a grassroots Latina immigrant women’s organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, for eight years. At MUA she led the California Domestic Worker Coalition, which successfully passed a statewide Domestic Worker Bill of Rights into law and co-founded the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
  • Alex Rivera, Digital media artist + filmmaker -- Alex Rivera is a filmmaker who, for the past fifteen years, has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, a science-fiction feature set on the U.S./Mexico border, won multiple awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, was screened as part of ‘New Directors / New Films’ at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center, and had a commercial release in the U.S, France, Japan, and other countries around the world. Alex is a Sundance Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, USA Artist Fellow, Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Variety Magazine’s “10 Directors to Watch.” His recent collaborations have included work with Manu Chao, Maria Hinojosa and La Santa Cecilia. Alex studied at Hampshire College and lives in Los Angeles.
  • Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, NDLON