Mitch Teplitsky (Director/Producer)
Mitch Teplitsky is a documentary filmmaker and communications consultant. As a filmmaker, he’s best known as the director of two documentaries about Peru: his first film Soy Andina (2008), and Return to the Andes. In between the Andina films, he produced New American Girls, a web series about undocumented immigrants for Latino Public Broadcasting, and worked in Peru as a Fulbright Specialist. Mitch also has an extensive background in non-profit communications. Before producing, he was the marketing director for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. More recently, he worked as PR Director for The Language Conservancy, which works to revitalize endangered languages.
Nelida Silva (Film Subject)
Nelida Silva’s story as a dancer and advocate for Peruvian culture and women has been documented in two movies. She moved to New York City in the late 1980s, where she co-founded the folk dance group Ballet Folklorico Peru. By day, she worked as an accountant. In 2000, she returned to her hometown to host the traditional fiesta, which inspired Soy Andina. Ten years later, she moved back to Peru, this time to help rural women start small businesses — and ended up running for mayor, which inspired Return to the Andes. In 2018, she earned a Masters in sustainable business from Católica University, and now consults with women’s groups throughout Peru, from the Andes to the Amazon. And she continues to dance.
Ana María Quispe
Born in Peru, Ana María Quispe Piscoya graduated from Montclair State University, Upper Montclair NJ USA in 1998 with a BS in Human Ecology Dietetics and a minor on Health Studies. Has enhanced her career with Agroecology and Integrative Medicine courses in Cuba. Promotes plant based diets, for physical, mental, spiritual health, as well as fighting global warming, poverty, exploitation, preserving the rich biodiversity of indigenous communities. Ana María has obtained distinctions from the ADA (American Dietetic Association): Outstanding Student of the Year Award 1998 / Outstanding Diet Practitioner, 2000. Has been giving lectures in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, USA and Venezuela. She is the Director of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment of Latin America, honorary member of APEHCOCA (Peruvian Association in Defense of the Sacred Coca Plant). Currently participates in the Musical Seeds Project in NY.
Ana María Quispe Piscoya nació en Perú, se graduó con un Bachillerato en Ciencias de los programas de Ecología Humana – Dietética y Estudios de Salud de la Universidad Estatal de Montclair NJ, EUA en 1998. Ha realizado cursos de agroecologia y Medicina Alternativa en Cuba. Promueve dietas a base de plantas para la salud física, mental, espiritual, que combatan el calentamiento global, la pobreza, la explotación, preservando la rica biodiversidad y tradiciones de pueblos originarios. Ha obtenido distinciones de la ADA (Asociación Americana de Dietética): Estudiante del Año, 1998 / Practicante de Dietética, 2000. Ha sido reconocida por sus conferencias en Ecuador, México, Perú, USA y Venezuela. Dirige Justicia Global por Animales y Medio Ambiente de América Latina, miembro honorario de APEHCOCA (Asociación Peruana en Defensa de la Hoja de Coca) y actualmente participa en el Proyecto “Semillas Musicales”, Tejido de EcologÍa Música y Danza en Nueva York.
Layqa Nuna Yawar
Layqa Nuna Yawar migrated to the USA from Cuenca, Ecuador during one of the country’s most severe economic and political periods of instability in the late 1990’s. This experience framed the artist’s understanding of global migration as a necessity more than a privilege. His art developed from a combination of this fracture and a gained cross cultural identity developed in the USA. Through this experience, or because of it, visual art became his outlet and chosen language moving forward to higher education in New Jersey.
Having first received international attention as a street artist, his practice of illegal public interventions grew into one of painting large scale murals along an international circuit of mural festivals and projects that developed after 2010. His work now involves public art making in collaboration with, and reflective of, underrepresented communities of color. These projects are developed independently or in collaboration with students, non-for-profits, private entities, citizens and institutions. The level of commitment and engagement involved in this process extends to workshop education, curation, mentorship, public speaking and lectures for conferences and institutions like: El Museo del Barrio, The Newark Museum, Rutgers University, New Paltz SUNY, New York University and Rutgers University and as well as projects like Working Classroom in New Mexico, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in New York, Creative Art Works in New York City, City Without Walls in Newark and Conect Arte in El Salvador. He is also a founding member, teaching artists and former curator of Young New Yorkers, an art based alternative to incarceration program starter in 2012 that serves underaged youth tried as adults by the criminal justice system in Brooklyn, NY.
Layqa Nuna Yawar has mentored youth for both NYFA and City Without Walls in Newark and has been granted participation in a Creative Capital Blending Learning Program offered by Aferro Gallery as well as being named an illustrious honorary citizen of Asuncion, Paraguay for his work during the 2016 Latido Americano festival. He has been recipient of residencies in Argentina, the USA and South Korea, including keyholder residencies at the Lower Eastside Printshop, the Newark Printshop, the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University and Working Classroom in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work has been shown in various galleries nationally and internationally as well as art fairs and museum including the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ, El Museo del Barrio in New York, NY, and the Lancaster Museum in Lancaster, CA.
He works in a range of mediums, including studio painting, public murals, installation, project curation, sculpture, public art interventions and collaborative and experimental work, most recently by participating in the Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive Immigration Co/Lab. His work has been written about in The New York Times, The Star Ledger, The Huffington Post, NBC Latino, Fusion, Brooklyn Street Art and other publications, books and online. He has appeared on various tv and online news outlets in the USA and abroad such as Telemundo, Huffington Post Live and MTV, talking about his art and projects and issues of migration and cross-cultural identity.
Daniela Carolina Velez
Venezuela native, undocumented, nonbinary, and a feminist, Daniela C. Velez is the Founder and Vice President of Marketing & Development of Innovated Lab Designs Inc. An all-female STEM company begun in September 2016. Innovated Lab Designs developed the Newton’s Bench Kit which allows students to take online physics lab course at Rowan College of Burlington County and the Galileo’s Kit which allows students to take astronomy courses online also with Rowan College at Burlington County.
Ms. Velez is currently also the Director of undocuJersey. Which is an organization created to provide educational resources to undocumented and documented students with undocumented parents yearning to pursue higher education. As Director she works with the rest of her team to create partnerships with high schools, school districts, institutions of higher education, and other NJ based organizations, we have hosted numerous college fairs, professional development workshops, and either facilitated or presented at conference. In the first year of undocuJersey formal existence, we have touched over 1,500 students, educators, and administrators in the state of New Jersey. As we move forward, this organization will continue to be the best support system to mixed status and undocumented students. Ms. Velez has been involved in NJ Immigrant Rights movement since 2011 and has been part of different panels and events regarding the work of social justice for the immigrant community. Prior to that she was involved in the outreach of college readiness program for the Burlington County region and homeless prevention program as well, with a non-profit organization called Servicios Latinos.
In 2016 Ms. Velez earned two associate degrees from Rowan College at Burlington County, one in Engineering and one in Business Administration. Ms. Velez is currently finishing up her bachelor’s as a student of Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy majoring in Public Policy and a minor in Women and Gender Studies both from Rutgers University New Brunswick.
Nedia Morsy is the lead organizer at Make the Road New Jersey. At MRNJ, Nedia is responsible for expanding educational opportunities for immigrant youth in greater Union County and youth leadership development. Nedia is an Amherst College and Coro Fellows alum and a 2018 New Leaders Council New Jersey Chapter Fellow.
Launched in November 2014, Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant and working class communities in New Jersey to achieve dignity and justice through community organizing, legal and support services, transformative education and policy innovation.
Carmen V. Carrillo
Carmen Veronica Carrillo was born in Guatemala City and emigrated to the United States at the tender age of 6. She grew up in the Bronx within a cornucopia of immigrants where she learned to love food and music from around the world. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she spent approximately six months living in Guatemala and returned to the United States to attend Rutgers University School of Law – Newark.
As soon as she decided to become an attorney, Ms. Carrillo knew that she wanted to represent immigrants. She interned for American Friends Service Committee and worked for private firms before becoming a solo practitioner in Newark, New Jersey in 2009. Ms. Carrillo was also an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School of Law teaching Spanish for Lawyers. Currently, she continues to practice immigration law with a focus on family based immigration and special immigrant juvenile cases.
Maria de Los Angeles
Maria de Los Angeles is a multidisciplinary artist who addresses issues of migration, displacement, identity, and otherness through her drawing, painting, printmaking, and fashion. She holds an MFA in Painting & Printmaking from Yale School of Art (2015), a BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute (2013), and an Associate Degree in Fine Arts from Santa Rosa Junior College (2010). She was awarded the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize by Yale University (2015) for her artwork and her role in the community.
She was born in Mexico and crossed the border into California with her family when she was a small girl in the late1990’s. The family settled in Santa Rosa, where Maria attended Lawrence Cook Middle School, Elsie Allen High School, Santa Rosa High School, and Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC).
De Los Angeles has been an Artist in Residence at several notable institutions such as the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), El Museo del Barrio in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The Lower Eastside Girls Club of NY, Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, and the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Oregon, where she had a solo exhibition in 2018.
Recent exhibitions include group shows with Every Woman Biennial, Self Help Graphics, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, St. Johnʼs University, Robert Mann Gallery, and E.TAY Gallery. She participated in a panel discussion on xenophobia and deportation in America at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, Press Democrat, NY Magazine, HelloGiggles, and The Observer.
Currently her work is on view in a solo exhibition “Tierra de Rosas” at the Museum of Sonoma County in Northern California, and in a group exhibition at the IPCNY in Chelsea.