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‘Artivista’ and MacArthur Winner Martha Gonzalez on Achieving Social Justice Through Music

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 (Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

2022 MacArthur fellow Martha Gonzalez describes herself as an ‘artivista’ – at once an artist and an activist. The frontwoman of the East Los Angeles band Quetzal, Gonzalez focuses on the ways communities of color use music and creative expression as political tools toward social justice. From community fandango workshops to recording projects between women in L.A. and Veracruz, Mexico, Gonzalez makes music a conduit for conversation centering communities and their challenges. We’ll talk with Gonzalez about how her music practice and her activism influence each other.


Martha Gonzalez, Associate Professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, Scripps/Claremont College; 2022 MacArthur ‘genius grant’ recipient; singer/songwriter/percussionist, the East Los Angeles band Quetzal.


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