Producer and Director: Linda Garcia Merchant
Born and raised on Chicago's West Side, Linda Garcia Merchant's experience growing up during the 1960s and 70s with a mother active in both the Feminist and Chicano movements was pivotal in shaping her views today. Influential activists that included many of her mother’s friends surrounded her and, absorbing all the discussions on politics, history and world events and standing by her mother's side at protests or political conventions, she began to cultivate her own voice at quite a young age. She developed a strong conviction for activism and civic responsibility. And, having experienced some of the most exciting social and political events, Linda was inspired to capture on camera the Latino influence of those times.
In June 2006, Linda created Voces Primeras, LLC, a production company dedicated to creating and distributing documentary-style features of pioneering Latinas to the educational, political and retail markets. Her goal is to provide resources that expand the understanding of the 60s and 70s in our collective American history—research not available through traditional channels and in danger of becoming extinct because of the lack of documentation.
While working on her directorial debut, Linda also works full-time in the graphic and Web site design field, during which she provided her design services for Chicago community organizations such as the Partnership to End Homelessness, Latino Council on the Media and Spanish Coalition for Jobs.
Linda received a Bachelor of Science, with honors, in advertising/design/photography at Western Illinois University. She was voted Volunteer of the Year by the Partnership to End Homelessness in 2005. She is a current member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Amigas Latinas, and the National Women’s Studies Association.