Liz Salinas - Associate Director of Programs
Liz Salinas has been a MECA employee, volunteer and parent for over 20 years. She has over 15 years of acting and directing experience, including performances at Houston’s diverse and respected theater sites, including Jones Hall, Stages Repertory Theater, Talento Bilingüe de Houston, Alley Theater, Miller Outdoor Theater and MECA. As MECA’s programs director, she has overseen the expansion of MECA’s In-School, After-School and Summer Arts Programs. Salinas has helped MECA students perform at such noteworthy events as the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the 2004 Houston Mayoral Inauguration, and has organized international MECA performances in Mexico, Northern Ireland, Norway and most recently Vietnam.
Estevan Azcona, Ph.D. – Music Director and Performance Series Director
Estevan Azcona joined MECA as Music Director, having previously served on its Board of Directors. He has directed the mariachi ensemble of the University of Texas at Austin, Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán, and is himself a guitarronero. He is also a member of the Austin-based Mexican son group, Mitote. Azcona studied ethnomusicology and Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2008. He has taught courses on Chicano cultural and musical history, and ethnomusicology at Indiana University, DePauw University, UT Austin, and University of Houston. In 2005, he co-produced the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings CD compilation, Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano Movement. Dr. Azcona is also currently Lecturer of Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston.
Julio López – Mexican Ballet Folklorico Director
Julio López is an award-winning performer and choreographer with decades of experience. He was formerly the Artistic Director of Ballet Folklórico Umalayapem of the Casa de Cultura in Tampico, Tamaulipas, and is a graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas. He continued his artistic studies at Instituto Regional de Bellas Artes de Tampico with Professor Manuel Vargas. His commitment to excellence resulted in his receiving first place awards in various competitions, as well as invitations to participate as a special guest artist in numerous ensembles throughout Mexico. López’ extensive experience and education has provided him with expertise in traditional dances, history and costumes from the different regions of Mexico, and he is a skilled and enthusiastic teacher.