Luz Maria Utrera was born and raised in Argentina. She trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and has been featured on film and TV projects both in Argentina and the U.S. In addition to speaking fluent Spanish and English, Luz speaks basic Chinese and has knowledge of French and Italian. She is currently a New York based actress, model, and a proud US citizen.
Luz Maria’s passion for acting started early in life. In high school she was given the option to take a computer class or a theater class – naturally, she chose theater. Luz started modeling as a kid, as her mother owned a children’s clothing store. At seventeen, she starred in her first car commercial and won the Beauty Queen title at Miss Modelo pageant in her city of Santiago del Estero. Later that year Luz Maria moved to Buenos Aires where she obtained her law degree. While in law school, she continued modeling. It had to be kept secret from her conservative family of lawyers, who didn’t particularly want her in a creative field. Upon completing her law degree, she decided to move to Los Angeles to follow her dream of acting. In 2009 Luz was selected a judge for “Cinema City International Film Festival”. While following her dreams and studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, she became a victim of domestic violence. This experience changed her life and started a new professional chapter for Luz. As a way to cope with her trauma, she volunteered with a number of nonprofit organizations that address domestic violence issues.
Luz’s desire to make an impact goes way beyond the creative arts. In 2012 her foundation “Fundación Luz María” was launched in Argentina in order to help women who have experienced domestic violence.
She could have never imagined that this work would take her all the way to the United Nations. In 2015 The Foundation in Argentina received a Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Additionally, in 2015, the Department of Public Information (DPI) associated the Foundation as a partner organization in the area of communications and outreach. In 2015 she registered the Luz María Foundation in New York as a 501(c)(3) and continued her work on a global scale.
Luz was recently chosen from 5,000 applicants from around the world to serve as a UN Women Champion for Change. Fundación Luz Maria is also an official partner of the Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign My World Survey.