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2011: Heroes, Pioneers & Trailblazers
Larry Baza
Al Best
Bill Beck
Stewart Bornhoft
Sara Beth Brooks
Doug Case
Max Disposti
Gloria Johnson
Jennifer LeSar
George Murphy
Carol Pierce
Judith Schaim
Jeff Wynne

Larry Baza

Larry 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 organizations.

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.