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Luis Valdez

Luis Valdez

Keynote Speaker: Filmmaker, Founder and Artistic Director of El Teatro Campesino & National Endowment for the Arts Council Member

Luis Valdez Biography

Luis Valdez is regarded as one of the most important and influential American playwrights and filmmakers living today. His internationally renowned, and Obie award winning theater company, El Teatro Campesino (The Farm Workers’ Theater) was founded by Valdez in 1965 – in the heat of the United Farm Workers (UFW) struggle and the Great Delano Grape Strike in California’s Central Valley. His involvement with Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the early Chicano Movement left an indelible mark that remained embodied in all his work even after he left the UFW in 1967: his early actos Las Dos Caras del Patroncito and Quinta Temporada, (short plays written to encourage campesinos to leave the fields and join the UFW), his mitos (mythic plays) Bernabe and La Carpa de los Rasquachis that gave Chicanos their own contemporary mythology, his examinations of Chicano urban life in I Don’t Have To Show You No Stinkin’ Badges, his Chicano re- visioning of classic Mexican folktales Corridos, his exploration of his Indigenous Yaqui roots in Mummified Deer, and – of course – the play that re-exams the “Sleepy Lagoon Trial of 1942” and the “Zoot Suit Riots of 1943”, two of the darkest moments in LA urban history – Zoot Suit – considered a masterpiece of the American Theater as well as the first Chicano play on Broadway and the first Chicano major feature film.

Valdez’s numerous feature film and television credits include, among others, the box office hit film La Bamba starring Lou Diamonds Phillips, Cisco Kid starring Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin and Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution starring Linda Ronstadt. Valdez has never strayed far from his own farm worker roots. His company, El Teatro Campesino, is located 60 miles south of San Jose in the rural community of San Juan Bautista, CA. This theater, tucked away in San Benito County, is the most important and longest running Chicano Theater in the United States.

Valdez’s hard work and long creative career have won him countless awards including numerous LA Drama Critic Awards, Dramalogue Awards, Bay Area Critics Awards, the prestigious George Peabody Award for excellence in television, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, the Governor’s Award for the California Arts Council, and Mexico’s prestigious Aguila Azteca Award given to individuals whose work promotes cultural excellence and exchange between US and Mexico. In September, 2016, he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Obama at the White House. In May, 2017, he was awarded the Tower Award by San Jose State University, the university's highest award given to San Jose State exemplars.

Mr. Valdez has written numerous plays, authored numerous articles and books. His third anthology "Mummified Deer and Other Plays" was recently published by Arte Publico Press. In July 2021, his theatre theory book “Theatre of the Sphere: the Vibrant Being” was published by Routledge Press in London.

As an educator, he has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Fresno State University and was one of the founding professors of CSU Monterey Bay. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from, among others, the University of Rhode Island, the University of South Florida, Cal Arts, the University of Santa Clara, and his alma mater, San Jose State University. Mr. Valdez was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. In 2007 he was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship as one of fifty US Artists so honored across the United States.

The world premiere of his latest play Valley of the Heart opened to rave revues and sold-out audiences at the Mark Taper Forum/Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles in 2018. Mr. Valdez new play Adios Mama Carlota premiered at San Jose Stage Company in 2019. He was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award for directing at the Sedona International Film Festival in 2021.

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Luis Valdez Videos

Land & People: A Conversation with Dolores Huerta & Luis Valdez ...

How do I book Luis Valdez to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Luis Valdez for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Luis Valdez, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Luis Valdez or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Luis Valdez for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Luis Valdez, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Luis Valdez are Below $10,000 for live events and Below $10,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Luis Valdez, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Luis Valdez speak about?

Luis Valdez is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Entertainers, Television & Film, Celebrity, Performing Arts, Literary, Entertainment, Hispanic Heritage, Diversity and Authors.

Where does Luis Valdez travel from?

Luis Valdez generally travels from San Juan Bautista, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Luis Valdez?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Luis Valdez for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Luis Valdez for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Luis Valdez or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


Luis Valdez is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Entertainers, Television & Film and Celebrity. The estimated speaking fee range to book Luis Valdez for live events is Below $10,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Luis Valdez generally travels from San Juan Bautista, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Joe Pantoliano, Sophie Santos and Richard Cabral. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Luis Valdez for an upcoming event.

Luis Valdez Videos

Land & People: A Conversation with Dolores Huerta & Luis Valdez ...

Luis Valdez Reviews

  • Everything was great!
    Cesar Chavez Elementary School - Apr 02 2024

  • The community was very impressed with Luis as our speaker. He is one of the most charismatic people we know. He inspired the community and the feedback is excellent!
    Corazon Heladsburg - Feb 28 2022

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