Baza is a native San Diegan of Mexican and Chamorro (Guamanian)
heritage. Baza became involved beginning in high school with the civil
rights, Chicano and anti Vietnam War movements. Those experiences would
influence him greatly when he came out of the closet. His experience in
the fledgling "Gay Liberation Movement," began with the fight over the
Briggs Initiative. He went on to produce Artists for Aids Assistance,
the first major AIDS fundraiser in the arts community, involving 20 arts
A board member of San Diego Pride for seven years,
Baza served as a co-chair of Pride with Vertez Burkes as the first
people of color to hold those positions. He has been honored by the San
Diego Democratic Club, Gay/Lesbian Latinos con Orgullo, and by Mayor
Dick Murphy’s LGBT Advisory Board.
An arts administrator for 31 years, Baza has served
as executive director or administrator of the County of San Diego’s
Public Arts Advisory Council, Community Arts of San Diego, California
Pacific Theater, Sushi Performance & Visual Art, and the Centro Cultural
de La Raza. He has also served on grant panels for the National
Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the San Diego
Commission for Arts & Culture, the San Diego Community Foundation and
the San Diego Foundation for Change.
Baza has served on the boards of The National
Performance Network, San Diego Performing Arts League, San Diego
Coalition for Arts & Culture, San Diego Youth and Community Services,
and San Diego LGBT Pride. He was appointed to the City of San Diego’s
Civic Events & Promotional Programs Allocation Board by then City
Council Member Christine Kehoe and was the first openly gay man to serve
on the Chicano Federation’s board of directors.
Currently, Baza serves as executive vice president of
the San Diego Democratic Club, a board member of Honor Pac (a Statewide
Latino LGBT Political Action Committee), an Advisory Committee member of
the Women’s History Museum, a member of The Center’s Latino Services
Advisory Council, and as a member of the grant making committee of the
San Diego Foundation for Change.
Baza and his life partner of 24 years, Tom Noel, own
Noel-Baza Fine Art in Little Italy and live in North Park.