Mexican American Art and Culture Institute – Elects Friar to Board

Southern Dominican Friar, Armando P. Ibanez, was nominated and elected to the Board of the Mexican American Art and Culture Institute, which was founded in 2019 with a goal to create a vast industry of film production in San Antonio

“I am honored, excited and looking forward to working with the board of the MAACI, as movies teach us so much, especially about our humanity,” said Ibanez, who teaches filmmaking at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His films have won 27 film awards. Armando also serves as the Founding Festival Director of Blazing Sun Independent Film Shorts Festival, which was successfully inaugurated March 4-5, 2020, with the participation of 49 films from across the country and from abroad, including from New Zealand, Ireland, Iran, Iraq and the Russian Federation. 

MAACI’s goal is centered around civil rights leaders and their stories, and Mexican American history-telling of their struggles to obtain equality and freedom from oppression while recognizing Mexican American Art and Culture associated to the historical era of the Mexican American Civil Rights movement. The MAACI intends to reach this goal through film production and displaying the art and literature of that time. 

“By solidifying San Antonio as the Mecca of the Mexican American film industry,” said Peter Vallecillo, MAACI board member and Legislative Liaison, “we will have the ability to honor Mexican art and culture, provide talented locals with jobs, enhance the economy and tell incredible stories about Mexican American Civil Rights history. Arguably the best part, young Mexican American kids will have more heroes to look up to,” he said. 

“According to the Motion Picture Association of America, Latino audiences have the highest rate of moviegoers among ethnic groups in the US, followed by Asians,” said Vallecillo. “With Latino’s giving such strong support to the film industry, it would make sense for Latino characters to evolve from the stereotypical drug dealer to more respected roles. Fortunately, history has given us many strong Latino Civil Rights heroes whose stories need to be shared.” 

Founders of MAACI are Vallecillo and fellow board members, Crystal Holmes, business owner, President, and Roger Guevara, Legal Advisor and General Counsel.