Advisory Council

LACLA Advisory Council:  As of October 2012

Betto Arcos

A native of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, Betto Arcos is an independent radio producer and host of KPFK’s world music show “Global Village”, a daily program he created as music director in 1997. Betto is a freelance reporter for PRI-BBC’s The World and NPR. Since November 2009, he’s a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered reviewing Latin and world music.

In addition to his public radio work, Betto co-produced three award-winning experimental radio art collaborations with performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña. He has collaborated as music supervisor in the documentary films “Calavera Highway” by Renee Tajima-Peña and “2501 Migrants: A Journey” by Yolanda Cruz. From 2002-2007, Betto worked as co-manager of singer Lila Downs. In 2002 and 2011, he developed the music portion of Prof. David Carrasco’s course “Religions of Latin America” at Harvard University. Betto graduated with honors in journalism from the University of Colorado in 1993.


Maria Elena de las Carreras, Ph.D.

A Fullbright scholar from Argentina, María Elena de las Carreras has a Ph.D. in Film Studies from UCLA, with a dissertation of Argentine cinema and politics. She is a regular collaborator of the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles and the CSUN Cinematheque. Since 2008, she is a screener of international documentaries for the Sundance Film Festival. She is an accredited journalist at the Berlin Film Festival since 1986. She has published many journalistic articles and scholarly essays, in English and Spanish. She is a visiting professor at UCLA, Cal State Northridge and Los Angeles City College.


Verónica Cortínez
Professor – UCLA Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Veronica Cortinez, associate professor, joined the UCLA department of Spanish and Portuguese in 1989, after earning her Ph.D. from Harvard. Since then, she has compiled a superb record teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Specializing in colonial and contemporary Spanish American literature, Cortinez consistently receives high scores while maintaining a reputation as an innovative, challenging instructor.

Bernardo Feldman, Ph.D.
Chair of the Music Department at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California

Born and raised n Mexico City, Dr. Feldman attended the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica. In 1985 he earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. He later earned his Ph.D. from UCLA.

His catalog of work includes music for chamber and symphonic groups as well as compositions involving the use of computers to combine and process electronic and acoustic sounds. He has been commissioned to write pieces for music festivals in the United States, Mexico and Europe.

In addition to his participation in events for the stage, Feldman has worked in film and video endeavors. In 2009 he created a musical score/soundtrack for the 1927 Mexican silent film, El tren fantasma. This project was commissioned by the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles for presentation at the Grand Performances at California Plaza summer festival held in downtown Los Angeles.

Dr. Feldman currently resides in Santa Monica, California.

Randal Johnson, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost – International Studies, UCLA

Distinguished film scholar and Brazil expert Randal Johnson has been named interim Vice Provost for International Studies at UCLA starting July 1, 2010. Professor Johnson served previously, since 2005, as director of the UCLA Latin American Institute. An experienced administrator, he has also been chair of both the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Program on Brazil at UCLA, as well as Faculty Director of the UC-wide Education Abroad Program Study Center in Brazil. Before coming to UCLA in 1994, Professor Johnson served on the faculties of Rutgers University and the University of Florida, where he was Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Johnson’s scholarly expertise focuses primarily on the study of Brazilian film and literature. He is the author or editor of eight books and dozens of research articles. Among his publications are Brazilian Cinema (with Robert Stam), The Film Industry in Brazil: Culture and the State, Black Brazil: Culture, Identity and Social Mobilization (with Larry Crook) and The Field of Cultural Production, an edited collection of essays by Pierre Bourdieu. He has recently completed a book on Portuguese film director Manoel de Oliveira. Johnson’s research has been supported by the Tinker Foundation, the Joint Council on Latin America of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was decorated in 1999 with the Order of the Southern Cross by the Brazilian government. Johnson’s PhD is from the University of Texas at Austin.


Josh Kun, Ph.D.

Is Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. His work focuses on the arts and politics of cultural connection, the cultures of globalization and the US-Mexico border. He holds a PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and is a former fellow of the Ucross Foundation and the Mesa Refuge. His book, Audiotopia: Music, Race and America (UC Press) won a 2006 American Book Award. As a critic and journalist, Kun is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Magazine.


Rose Portillo

Rose Portillo is an actress, writer and visual artist.  She is the Associate Director of About Productions, the L.A.-based theater company which creates original interdisciplinary programs that provoke new perspectives on history and humanity.  She has co-authored several critically acclaimed plays and written her solo piece, Know Your Place.  Her numerous TV credits and films include “…and the earth did not swallow him” and “Zoot Suit”.  Her role in Carlos Avila’s Fotonovelas for PBS earned her an Alma awared from the National Council of La Raza.

Patricia Murray
Senior Vice President – Regional Loan Originations Manager
Wells Fargo Capital Finance

Since 1997, Patricia Murray has led Business Credit’s loan originations team in California. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, she spent 15 years with FINOVA in several positions, including managing director of its Mexican subsidiary, portfolio manager covering Latin America. and national credit manager for several lines of business. Murray is actively involved in the Commercial Finance Association, the Turnaround Management Association, and the Association for Corporate Growth. A native of Mexico City, Murray received her bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. She has also completed the Executive Management Program at the University of Arizona.

Luis Valdez

From the migrant labor fields to Broadway, Luis Valdez remains true to his original vision – performance that addresses the Chicano experience in America in a context meaningful to all Americans.

Valdez’s credits include, founder & artistic director of the internationally renowned El Teatro Campesino, council member of the National Endowment of the Arts, and founding member of the California Arts Council.
His awards include, Presidential Medal of the Arts, the prestigious Aguila Azteca Award, Governors Award of the California Arts Council. His best known works include the stage and film versions of Zoot Suit, the film La Bamba, and Corridos, winner of the George Peabody Award.

He continues to work and mentor a new generation of theatre artists at El Teatro Campesino Playhouse in San Juan Bautista, California.