Tomas J. Benitez has been an arts advocate and cultural worker for over forty years. He is the Development Director of Plaza de la Raza, as well as a planning and development consultant to several other organizations and municipalities. He is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art, and has worked with Carmen Zapata of the Bilingual Foundation for the Arts, as well as with C. Bernard Jackson at the Inner City Cultural Center. He was a member of El Teatro de la Esperanza with Jose Luis Valenzuela and Evalina Fernandez, and he founded his own teatro company, Teatro Café, in the 1980’s. Tomas graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts and Chicano Studies from California State University at Long Beach. He is a former chairman and board member of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Latino Arts Network of California. He is also a board member of The Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates.