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Mex I Am to Showcase Mexican Artists and Innovators

The festival celebrates the creativity and passion of Mexico right here in San Francisco

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San Francisco is known for its creative people and original thinkers. It’s also home to a large population of Mexican Americans. So what better place to hold the second Mex I Am festival, a celebration of the best art, dance, food, music and ideas from Mexican artists and innovators? The festival will take place July 19-26 at the Palace of Fine Arts, the SFJAZZ Center and other venues throughout the city. 

Mex I Am is open to the public - some 7,000 people are expected to attend this year. Though most events are free, some requiring tickets are already sold out.  

According to festival organizer Paula Linares Cruz, Consul of Cultural Affairs for the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco, Mex I Am will showcase the diverse talent and creative contributions of Mexicans. 

“We are very excited to have this festival in San Francisco, which is known for being an open city,” said Linares. “It’s an amazing place that really pushes everyone to be creative and start new things. It’s important to us to show that Mexico is part of that innovation and creativity. We are proud of being Mexican and of being world citizens.”  

Academy of Art University alumna Adriana Pulido Solares is both proud of her Mexican heritage and thrilled to have a role in planning this year’s Mex I Am festival. Two days after graduating from the Academy with an M.A. in advertising last spring, she landed a position as Linares’ assistant. She’s been immersed in festival activities ever since. 

“I had to jump right in and learn everything about our speakers, the films, the exhibition,” said Pulido. “I help my boss coordinate the event—everyone here loves Mex I Am and has a passion for it.”

At first, Pulido wasn’t sure if she’d use her advertising education much in her new job. But she soon found she was relying on it every day. “In this job, you have to know how to sell and reach the right audience,” she explained. “You have to know the right words for a Facebook or Twitter post. You have to know how to present something. I learned all of that from the Academy.”

Mex I Am’s lineup of 30 distinguished artists and speakers includes filmmaker Natalia Almada, whose picture El General won a Sundance award for Best Documentary Directing in 2009. Jorge Soto, a young internationally recognized technology entrepreneur, will also speak. His company, Miroculus, is developing molecular biology tools for early detection of cancer and other diseases. And acclaimed chef Elena Reygadas will share stories about how her passion for cooking helped her rise in her field and win the title of Best Female Chef in Latin America.

Thanks to a partnership with SFJAZZ, festival attendees can enjoy a wide range of Mexican music throughout the week. Mex I Am will also include a Gastronomic Route that will take diners to San Francisco’s best Mexican restaurants featuring fare from different regions of the country or from special menus. A screening of the movie Buen Día, Ramón, the story of a young man who travels from a small town in Mexico to Germany and befriends a lonely elderly woman, promises to be another highlight of the festival.

“We want to show the Bay Area that Mexico is full of great, creative people doing wonderful things for the world,” said Linares.  “This event is for everybody.”

For Mex I Am tickets or more information, go to Mexiam.net.

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