Martha Gonzalez ’99

Martha Gonzalez is an associate professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicanxa/o Latinax/o Studies at Scripps/Claremont College, musician, and artivista (artist-activist). Through her Grammy-award–winning band Quetzal, Gonzalez has made a considerable impact in the Los Angeles Chicanx music scene. Her zapateado dance shoes and stomp box were recently acquired by the National Museum of American History. Their eighth album “Puentes Sonoros” will be released in the Spring of 2020 on the Smithsonian Folkways label. Gonzalez’s impact, however, has extended beyond the stage or the airwaves. Along with her partner, Quetzal Flores, Gonzalez has been instrumental in catalyzing the transnational dialogue between Chicanx and Latinx communities in the United States and Jarocho communities in Mexico. Developing the collective songwriting method she learned from Mayan communities in Chiapas Mexico she has shared it in prisons, detention centers, schools, and community centers throughout the United States. In addition Gonzalez is the cofounder of “Entre Mujeres”, a translocal music composition project between Chicanas/Latinas in the United States and Jarocho female musicians in Mexico. Entre Mujeres makes visible the presence of women in the son jarocho music movement, their struggles, motherhood, and how mechanical and social technologies facilitate healing through convivencia (the act of gathering). Gonzalez’s work is an ongoing commitment to bringing people together through the fabric of music and culture in order to deepen understanding and communal bonds. Gonzalez’s book; Chican@ Artivistas: Music, Community and Transborder Tactics in East Los Angeles is due out on UT Austin Press in the Spring of 2020.

"Artivistas are adding to the lexicon of the social justice movement."