What We’re Up To
We grabbed coffee with our Senior Account Executive Maria Huiza to chat about the importance of Latinx Heritage month, her Venezuelan roots, Bad Bunny, Rosalia, and the best spot for Hallaca in NYC.
How do you like your coffee?
This is the silliest thing because I don’t drink coffee. Never been a coffee drinker. But I drink a lot of tea. So lately, mostly Earl Grey with oat milk.
Why is Latinx Heritage Month important?
I think it’s important to think about how this country has and continues to change demographically and what that means from a cultural, economic or social standpoint. And I think it helps people, whether or not they identify as Latinx, to really understand different backgrounds, cultures and heritage in a more meaningful way.
How did your culture shape you growing up?
I think that my interest in public affairs, in arts and culture stemmed from growing up in a country that incrementally got more and more unstable. I was very aware of politics growing up in a way that maybe wouldn’t have happened had I grown up in a more stable country. So it definitely has shaped my interests and my career path and the way I see life in general. I was always interested in the arts. I made my career in the arts and now I’m here at BerlinRosen looking at arts and culture from a different vantage point. But thinking about what it means to be a citizen, for example, in Venezuela, the right to vote is extremely important. It’s something that we don’t take for granted because right now the country is going through a process where we hold elections, but we know the results before the election concludes. There are a lot of inconsistencies, gray areas, corruption and things like that. When I was growing up and when I see my cousins raise their children, it’s the type of country that when people go to vote, they bring their babies and toddlers. They want to teach you the importance of exercising your right to vote because it’s something that is not taken for granted, because it’s something that can be taken away from you. So that when you realize that those things are not a given, you treat them differently. When I was in high school, we would miss class so we could go to protests. And there was no aspect of my life that wasn’t defined by the political situation in the country. I left the country because of the political situation. So yeah, even though my focus was always on the arts, I was also very interested in how arts and culture shape political discourse and society in general. So I’ve always been interested in how those two things intersect.
Tell us about what you do at BerlinRosen.
I’m a social account executive in the Arts team. Part of our job is to work with the current cultural clients that we have, such as Queens Museum, Princeton University art museum, 92NY and Brooklyn Public Library, and also expand the work with new clients and business opportunities. I support the team with pitching, and client and project management. We approach arts and culture as a way to talk about other social issues, especially here at BerlinRosen. It gives us the opportunity to work with other teams such as advocacy and public affairs and really bring an added value to our clients.
What have been the highlights of your work at BerlinRosen so far?
Coming to BerlinRosen was a career change for me. So there’s been a lot of learning and I feel very fortunate that the culture of the company is very collaborative, very kind and generous. I have felt very supported by everyone on the team. A recent highlight has been the opportunity to work with the Center for Urban Community Services to facilitate broadcast interviews and highlight the work they did this summer with the homeless population. It was my first time doing this type of work. It felt really great to highlight parts of the work that the client does that people don’t see.
Why did you join BerlinRosen?
I joined BerlinRosen because I was excited about the opportunity to be part of this team and grow this vertical within the company. Also, I wanted to open up my scope of work beyond culture. The art sector can be very insular. And I love that at BerlinRosen you can work in so many different areas, clients, sizes and interests. It’s really exciting to be in a place where you can explore all your interests, even when you may not come from those backgrounds.
Tell me a life-changing moment that helped shape who you are today.
I think moving to New York definitely changed my life. I came here at 18 and it was such an important moment in my life. I came here alone; I came here for college. I always say that the city taught me how to be a citizen in the sense that I’m almost like a free agent. And I was not yet an adult, but I was treated like an adult. And I felt like that, even though I was new; I was young; I was in college. I didn’t go into a campus kind of college or a bubble. I really felt like coming to New York has opened up so many opportunities and experiences for me and has really made me feel like a contributing member of society.
⚡️ Fast Facts
Last TV show I binge-watched:
The Bear on Hulu
Restaurant (delivery) I’d recommend to close friends:
There’s this place in Bushwick called Casa Ora. I love it because it’s Venezuelan food, but a lot of the time Venezuelan food is reduced to just arepas, which, don’t get me wrong, I love. But there’s a little more beyond that. And this is the only place in the city where you can actually go to dinner, sit down at a nice place while eating Venezuelan food. I think that’s very important.
A concert that you loved:
I saw Rosalia at Radio City Music Hall. It was incredible.
Best album ever:
My dream dinner guests are:
I would choose dinner guests just for the sake of conversation: Bad Bunny coupled with the current President of Chile, Gabriel Boric.
Book that changed me:
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. It’s really cool. She is a writer, artist and professor. She talks about labor and how it has shaped society.
Movie I’d pay to see again and again:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a classic.
Advice I’d tell my young self:
Do not be too tough on yourself. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transferred and transformed.