Mobius Conference Engages Local Students With Diverse Programming

Site Staff Current Digital, Social Scene

Tizoc De Aztlan, Emilio Rivera, and Steven Hernandez speak at the Mobius Conference.

The inaugural Mobius Conference, held this year on April 18, gave local college and high school students an opportunity to engage with practitioners in the areas of art, culture, and politics through a variety of events at four locations in the Coachella Valley.

The event captures the energy, influence, and innovation of those visiting the Coachella Valley during its high-profile festival season.

The activities began at Lake Cahuilla in La Quinta with a hike through the Santa Rosa Mountains led by the expedition leaders of Mission Veteran. Participants discussed the virtues of music as therapy.

The next stop was the Indio Performing Arts Center, which was transformed into the Youth Empowerment Hub, where students heard from a diverse group of speakers including actors Emilio Rivera and Olga Aguilar, artist Veline Mojarro, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin, and health enthusiast Mark Payan. The speakers shared their life experiences and decisions that have impacted their careers. They also took questions from students.

The afternoon programming included panel discussions at the Palm Desert studio of artist Phillip K. Smith III, who participated on the first panel, “Art in Public Spaces,” with Berlin–based architect Francis Kéré, who created a large-scale art installation at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. A second panel entitled, “Arts and Activism,” included musicians Meghan Remy and Rain Phoenix, dancer/choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews, and poet Sonia Guiñansaca.

Finally, a salon talk at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage featured civil and labor rights icon Dolores Huerta, physician/scientist Zach Bush, and actor/playwright Richard Montoya discussing the responsibility of using one’s own platform for social change. Sunnylands also hosted the closing reception.

To learn more about The Mobius Conference, visit