Somos Arte: The Creative Movement of El Salvador is a documentary currently in production highlighting a contemporary wave of art in El Salvador. The series will shine a light on the stories behind the artists who have pushed various art forms to national prominence. The documentary takes you into the heart of this movement with exciting interviews, behind the scenes footage, and an exclusive look into the lives of these artists.
Our team is made up of folks who work in the TV and film industry, folks who run their own small record labels, event producers, podcasters, radio show hosts, and small-scale food entrepreneurs, so we have years of experience problem solving and working independently behind the scenes in various creative industries. As Salvadoran Americans, we’re excited to be developing a project that will help build ties between incredible cultural producers in the country in which we live and the country we have such strong generational ties to. We know that learning about arts and culture in El Salvador sparks something for younger generations in the US— the same spark that made us want to know more about what was happening in the country. Our team wants folks in the US to hear a different story about El Salvador, one that allows the diaspora to re/connect with a vibrant, contemporary arts scene. Concretely, we want this project to generate interest in Salvadoran creatives. The opportunities to connect and collaborate are there. Somos Arte wants to be one of the ways to make them happen.
Erick Sanchez is Salvadoran American and a Los Angeles native. He is the founder of the independent record company, Normandie Records. He is an Alumnus of the California State University, Northridge Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications Music Industry Administration graduate program. In 2018, Normandie Records began working with artists from El Salvador and Central America. Some releases to date include, Centro America Volume 1, Polifacetik – La Fresa (Single), Camelo – Ya No Juegues Con Mi Amor (Single), and AR Ferdinand – I
Jonathan Barrera was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and at age 5 moved to Los Angeles, California. He attended University of California, Riverside to study Sociology – Law and Society. He spent numerous years in the restaurant business helping expand a chain of family-owned Salvadoran Pupuserias in Los Angeles, Conchitas and Molcajetes (both chains that have been around since the 1980s). Barrera has dedicated the latter years of his professional career to Entertainment TV and Film as an Associate Producer and Assistant Editor for STUN and most recently as an Art Department Coordinator and Production Coordinator for EQTV.
Gloria Figueroa is a Salvadoran-American born and raised in Los Angeles. She is currently studying Communications and is the founder and host of the Salvadoran American culture podcast, Radio No Jodas, where she and her guests tackle topics such as Salvadoran representation, entrepreneurship, obstacles in the community and the advancement of the Salvadoran culture in this new generation. Figueroa is one of the leading advocates for Central American representation; she moderated Isthmus Roots: A Celebration of Central American Creativity and Storytelling, a panel which featured artists currently utilizing their platforms to amplify the stories of their respective communities.
Ricardo Alberto Santos Arbizu, more commonly known by his peers as “Chicky,” is the bassist and manager for the band, Cartas A Felice. In 2013 he joined Indie Collective, a creative group working together to elevate the music of El Salvador. While initially joining in search of opportunities for Cartas A Felice, he recognized his desire to involve himself on a larger scale, and took on the role of Producer for Indie Collective. During his time working with musicians in El Salvador he has developed initiatives such as Febrero Sin Covers, and Indiependencia, has helped bring Mexican artists to El Salvador such as Carla Morrison, Odisseo, Caloncho, and has been part of an effort to strengthen relations with Guatemalan bands such as Easy Easy, Kontra, Los Tiros, and Filoxera. During his tenure as manager for Cartas A Felice they have produced some of the most memorable music videos in the region, they’ve been featured in movie soundtracks, toured the United States and Mexico, and have solidified their own musical brand as Necrorumba. Currently, Ricardo continues managing Indie Collective alongside a new team with hopes to guide the organization as it faces new challenges in the music industry in El Salvador.
Marcela Vega studied Graphic Design at Universidad Doctor José Matías Delgado in Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, El Salvador. She then earned her Masters in Music Business Management at the University of Westminster in London. Upon finishing her studies in London, she worked in the entertainment industry there for a year and a half, and then decided to move back to El Salvador. She currently worked alongside KUI in El Salvador with the objective to professionalize the music industry throughout the country. She also manages Salvadoran acts Camelo, and AR Ferdinand.