|Known as a visionary and community leader, Alice Valdez has worked for over four decades to help disadvantaged youth and families create a brighter future for themselves and the community. Determination, commitment and a refusal to yield to the impossible are her trademarks, and her work has had a tremendous impact on hundreds of Houstonians. Valdez has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and is certified to teach instrumental music at all grade levels in Texas. She studied oboe with Raymond Weaver, first oboist of the Houston Symphony and Richard Henderson, first oboist of the El Paso Symphony and Dean of Fine Arts at UTEP. Valdez performed as an oboist for the El Paso Symphony from 1968 to 1970. She has worked as a freelance instrumentalist (oboe, guitar, and flute) and vocalist, and served as the Music Liturgy Director for Post Chapel (Ft. McPherson, Georgia) from 1970 to 1971, and for St. Joseph Parish (Houston, Texas) from 1980 to 1991. She has previously taught music at Teatro Bilingüe de Houston, Annunciation Catholic School, and at elementary and junior high schools in Georgia and Texas. Valdez continues to provide instruction as a private woodwind and Suzuki violin teacher.
Valdez is responsible for the administration of MECA, and also serves as liaison with representatives of community-based organizations, aids with social economic issues affecting the participants of MECA art and education programs, and advocates for arts organizations of color. Under her leadership, MECA has received numerous awards and recognitions. Valdez has directed several major public mural and sculpture projects across Houston. She also initiated the planning for and directed the construction of the Old Sixth Ward Art Park, an inner-city art park.
Valdez is a member of the American Leadership Forum and is the coordinator of the Arts and Culture Careers Panel for the Houston Hispanic Forum. She has received numerous honors throughout her illustrious career. Valdez has also served as a keynote speaker, presenter, panelist, board and advisory board member, and committee member for numerous social and arts organizations.