María Elena Fernández was born and raised in Los Angeles. The daughter of immigrants from Mexico City, she holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and went on to get a M.A. in U.S. history at UCLA. Both her degrees focused on Chicana/o (Mexican American) Studies. After graduate school she began teaching Chicana/o Studies at Cal State Northridge, and she taught history, literature and art history courses. She also started taking community workshops in poetry and performance and became a freelance writer for the LA Weekly. She developed a solo show Confessions of a Cha Cha Feminist that she toured until 2010. She have also published first person essays in two anthologies. Currently, she’s developing a new solo show called La Profe’s Survival Guide in the Age of Trump.
She teaches about the history of Mexican peoples in the U.S. and fascinated with the diverse cultures of Spain that influenced Latin America. She visited St Paul de Vence for the first time last summer which is how she found out about La Maison Baldwin.