Maruka is a queer, vegan, motorcycle-riding, California-based artist from Sinaloa, Mexico. She is also the daughter of Mexican farm workers and the oldest of eight children, who grew up helping her grandfather gather crops in the field. She began her career in lighting design in the Netherlands before moving to Chicago to work with fashionista June Blaker. While in Chicago, she created several performances for Gallery M5 and Casa Luna based on movement and sound. More recently she has taken her passion for storytelling to the airwaves, producing for Radio Bilingue and KPFA Pacifica in Berkeley. Committed to environmental sustainability, Maruka is currently pursuing her dream of creating a bio-fuel and solar-powered airstream trailer to bring her radio studio to the migrant farmers of the California Central Valley, whose stories she and her team of eco-feminist radio producers will collect, broadcast, and preserve, in an effort to take this invisible chapter of California’s past and present and make it visible once again.
Nicole has been a filmmaker and educator in New York for the past 10 years, and she’s thrilled to be back to her west coast roots. She directed and produced the Emmy‐nominated feature documentary “Off and Running” which premiered at Tribeca, won ten international festival awards, opened theatrically and aired on the national PBS series, P.O.V. She’s currently in post-production on her second feature documentary “Todos Son Mis Hermanos/They Are All My Brothers” which is supported by a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts, Chicken & Egg Pictures and The Independent Television Service. Nicole has produced documentaries for The Discovery Channel and Here TV, and in 2009 she was selected for Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film”.
Anjel Van Slyke is a multi-disciplinary designer who believes in the power of interactive storytelling. She is thrilled to be part of a project that will give presence and voice to California migrant farm workers, highlighting their rightful place in US landscape and history. Her mission is to think of ways to bring these stories alive through the power of online media. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she set roots in the Bay Area while studying at Stanford University. Charmed by the rich diversity and true cultural exchange that exists here, she travels far and away only to find her way back again. Through her design studio, Crux + Canopy, she enjoys approaching projects as a collaboration and creative partnership – whether working on brand development or designing an interactive children’s botanical garden. Anjel is an avid adventurer and loves trekking through remote landscapes and exploring foreign countries by motorcycle.
James Nighswonger hails from the deserts of Arizona, and currently resides in thriving San Francisco. His career focuses on the technical jobs behind creative fields, working behind the scenes of film and media. Though currently attending school for film sound production, his help on projects has spread a wide variety of skills and tasks. Thrilled to be part of such a promising project, he hopes to see the MOVOZ project fulfilled to its true potential.
Danny is a deep devotee and admirer of the Spanish language and the rich Mexican culture that runs through the veins of Monterey county. As his curiosities about social justice, cultural preservation and human rights are continuously ignited, he has become more intrigued with his own beginnings. The son of an English father and Mexican-American mother, Danny continues to reconnect with his Mexican origins, while attempting to understand the social dynamic that led to his mother losing parts of her own connection to those roots in her early years. Danny’s childhood memories are centered around the gripping tales told by his father, who used a combination of charisma and truth to teach him and his brother about his own childhood. Danny’s insatiable appetite for stories, new and old, and the process of empathy-building through the sharing of those stories drives him to explore the essential and unrecognized components of this community and others.