Director of the Media Management Graduate Program & Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Media Management
Neyda Martinez is Director of the Media Management Graduate Program and Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Media Managment in the School of Media Studies and Co-Director of the university-wide Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative. This academic year, 2022-23, she is a TNS Faculty Fellow of The Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School for Social Research and a Sundance Documentary Producing Lab Fellow.
Martinez is a producer and a strategic communications and cultural consultant with over 20 years experience. She is currently producing three documentary feature films "Bartolo" (dir. L. Fabrizi-Rios, a 2020-21 Firelight Media Fellow); "A Chasm in Chinatown" (dir. K. Eng, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow) and "The People vs. Austerity" (dirs. G. Hildebran and V. Vazquez-Irizarry) as well as consulting and advising on several others including Kelly Anderson's "Emergent City." Previous titles for which she has served as producer include "Decade of Fire" (2018, co-dir. G. Hildebran and V. Vazquez-Irizarry) which won PBS’ Independent Lens 2020 Audience Award; and "Lucky" (2013, dir. L. Checkoway, EP Steve James). Martinez is also Co-Executive Producer of the acclaimed LGBTQ narrative short film "Acuitzeramo" (dir. M.A. Caballero) acquired by HBO and associate producer of HBO's "Habla Now" and "Habla Loud" (2020 and 2022, dir. A. Ferreras).
For over 14 seasons, Martinez’s efforts helped build national recognition of American Documentary's (AmDoc) award-winning PBS nonfiction series' POV and America ReFramed. She spearheaded the communications efforts, and brokered strategic partnerships with WNYC and The Atlantic, for example, while consistently garnering press coverage in outlets such as CNN, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, NPR, the New York Times, Associated Press as well as having served as project manager for the organization’s rebranding campaign. In addition, Martinez served for nearly a decade as co-producer and co-curator of "Creatively Speaking," a trailblazing series championing the work by filmmakers who identify as women, especially Black women, founded by late TNS beloved professor, Michelle Materre.
Martinez is the founding producer of Habana/Harlem® a music and humanities initiative to aid in community bridge-building, while co-producing the 30th and 35th anniversary releases of Michele Rosewoman’s "New Yor-Uba: A Celebration of Cuba in America," winner of a Chamber Music America grant for the composer and jazz pianist and "Hallowed". Martinez is the recipient of a Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund Award for The New Audience Project™, a curriculum and program she created with A.J. Muhammad to engage marginalized women as cultural ambassadors, and to train them as micro-entrepreneurs in the cultural economy.
She is recognized for her pivotal role as Director of Public Relations and Marketing for El Museo del Barrio-- a foundational New York City cultural institution birthed by the Puerto Rican community, specializing in Latinx, Latin American and Caribbean art. She also held key positions and managed departments or initiatives at The Public Theater, The Vidal Partnership, and Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup. As an independent consultant, she served as Director of National Engagement for PBS’ Peabody award-winning series, "Latino Americans," and was a consultant for "The Takeaway" (co-created and co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC) where she served as an executive coach, diverse audience engagement and community sourcing editorial consultant in five markets, as well as Fundación Cuba Avant-Garde; the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Hachette Book Group USA/Grand Central Publishing (Time Warner Books), NYC’s Mayor’s Office of Adult Education; Pernod Ricard, a major sponsor of the Latin Grammys®, and most recently, WNYC and Futuro Media Group’s podcast, “La Brega," among others.
Her career in the arts began with the The Lakeside Group, producer of the Chicago International Art Expo at Navy Pier among other fairs, where she assisted in various aspects of production, served as special assistant to the president, and managed international media partnerships and international artist and cultural exchange programs with the Soviet Union (in the late '80s/early '90s before the country became Russia), India, China, Italy, and more. Working closely with the executive director, Tom Blackman, she conducted primary research contributing to the company's first economic impact report, delivered to the City of Chicago, which helped pave the way for the landmark's redevelopment.
A contributing editor and advisor to NYU’s Latinx Project, "Intervenxions," Martinez sits on advisory committees for the Creative Justice Initiative, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago’s Puerto Rican Agenda, and serves on the boards of Women Make Movies the world’s leading distributor of independent films by and about women; climate justice organization, UPROSE, founded by the Puerto Rican community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the organization is an intergenerational, multi-racial, nationally-recognized, women of color led, grassroots organization that promotes sustainability and resiliency through community organizing, education, and leadership development; and PEPATIÁN: Bronx Arts ColLABorative, an organization dedicated to creating, producing and supporting contemporary multi-disciplinary art by Latinx and Bronx-based artists. Prior board service includes Third World Newsreel, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Association of Hispanic Arts, the Association of American Arts and Culture, and Chicago's Latino Arts Coalition. An active cultural advocate and leader, Martinez nurtures the next generation with hands-on mentoring. She earned a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.