Monday, 04 July 2016 12:25

Tipping the scales: The NALAC Leadership Institute Surpasses 300

For Immediate Release: July 6, 2016
Contact: Adriana Gallego,,210.432.3982

Tipping the scales: The NALAC Leadership Institute Surpasses 300

San Antonio, TX –What do we know about the incoming Class of the 2016 NALAC Leadership Institute fellows? We know that their talents stretch beyond the expressive arts and resonate within community building.  They are makers, artists, thinkers, culture bearers, leaders, changemakers and organizers. They will join us from well-defined points of departure, with destinations that are a work in progress, and for a moment this summer, San Antonio gets to be a part of this springboard of infinite possibility. And so the journey begins.


This year marks the 16th anniversary of the NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI). We march into this new chapter of leadership development by tipping the scales with an alumni network that is now over 300 strong. Collectively, alumni have come to the NLI from 34 unique U.S. States and Puerto Rico, and many have since moved through and to additional states, amplifying the spheres of influence in pursuit of equity, artistic excellence, evolving aesthetics, advocating, organizing and affecting policy in board rooms and in civic society.


Next week, we will welcome Abigail G., Abigail V., Adam, Amada, Baruch, Beatriz, Betty, Bianca, Damian, Emilio, Francis, Gabrielle, Henry, Illya, Jake, Juanita, Lisa, Lizette, Maria Alicia, Mia, Michael, Nicolas, Sergio, Stephen, Yaremis and Yosimar to San Antonio for a six-day endurance exercise in arts management, networking, stewardship, research, policy, artistic practice and leadership through the lenses of Latinx arts and cultural production. The national Core Faculty comprised of Rosalba Rolon (NY), Maribel Alvarez (AZ), and Abel Lopez (DC) will steward the 26 Fellows through the newly revamped curriculum from July 11-16, 2016. The Class of 2016 will debut a modified edition of the NLI curriculum, which was recalibrated this past Spring during a curriculum assessment retreat at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.


“The 2016 edition of the NALAC Leadership Institute responds to growing expectations in our field for high profile leadership and deepened knowledge of management and artistic competencies. The re-designed Institute curriculum will gear participants towards assessing the current state of the Latino arts field in relationship to the arts field in general and their role within it. It will explore individual and collective actions to ensure equitable participation in local and national conversations concerning arts and culture, as well as in the distribution of material resources that enable the viability of diverse careers within our field.” Rosalba Rolon, NLI Core Faculty


In step with our goals and aspirations for the NLI, our Sweet Sixteen will be commemorated with a public keynote address delivered by Judith F. Baca, renown California visual artist, educator, scholar/activist and community arts pioneer founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). “Baca has stood for art in the service of equity for all people and the integration of one’s ethics with creative expression. Baca’s work channels the creative process of monument design to develop models for the transformation of both physical and social environments in public spaces. And they are monumental, both in space and time: The Great Wall of Los Angeles is ‘tattooed’ along a flood control channel in the San Fernando Valley and employed over 400 youth and their families from diverse social and economic backgrounds working with artists, oral historians, ethnologists, scholars, and hundreds of community members. The Great Wall depicts a half-mile long multi-cultural history of California from pre-history through the 1950’s. It was begun in 1976 and plans are underway for its next four decades of evolution.” To learn more about Judy and read her full bio, visit


The San Antonio community is cordially invited to attend Judy Baca’s Keynote Address, a free public event, on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. UTSA Downtown Campus, Buena Vista Bldg., Aula Canaria Auditorium. Escape the summer heat with ice cold paletas and Latino art. To RSVP visit:


The NALAC Leadership Institute is one of the many strategies NALAC uses to build the capacity of Latino artists and arts organizations across the country, who give voice, define and share what it means to be Latino in America today. The programs under NALAC’s Leadership umbrella benefit the entire field of Latino arts and culture and create unique opportunities for collaborations and alliances across ethnic, geographic, and generational lines.


Thanks to strong partnerships and funder relationships we continue to see growth in reaching, engaging and supporting an increased number of established and emerging Latino artists and organizations in diverse regions of the country and expanded opportunities for development of skills, leadership and professional development of the Latino arts field. The 2016 NALAC Leadership Institute is made possible with generous funding support from Southwest Airlines, National Endowment for the Arts, Surdna Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, The City of San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development, Chipotle, individual donors, NALAC members and volunteers. Numerous local partners have opened their doors for Leadership Fellows throughout the years. This summer, the Institute will be hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Fellows will have opportunities to visit San Antonio vibrant sights and sounds, among them SAY Sí and San Anto Cultural Arts.


Through this work NALAC advocates for improved access to resources, provides opportunities for transformational leadership, helps build a national network that supports the creative process, and helps drive the national dialogue to affect and transform policies impacting the Latino arts and culture field and the communities they serve.


About NALAC- The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation’s only multidisciplinary Latino arts service organization. For 27 years, NALAC has delivered programs that stabilize and revitalize the US Latino arts and cultural sector by providing critical advocacy, funding, networking opportunities, leadership development and professional training for Latino artists and arts organizations in every region of the country. The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. For more info, visit


NALAC Leadership Institute Class of 2016

Betty Avila | Self Help Graphics & Art | Associate Director | Los Angeles, CA

Henry Brun | Award-winning Percussionist | San Antonio, TX 

Bianca de la Rocha | Brava! For Women in the Arts | Rentals Associate | San Francisco, CA 

Yaremis Felix Colon | Pregones Theater + Puerto Rican Traveling Theater | Ensemble Member and Associate | South Richmond Hill, NY 

Lizette Garza | ElevArte Community Studio | Youth and Events Manager | Chicago, IL

Maria Alicia Garza | College of Arts and Sciences Boise State University | Associate Professor |  Boise, ID

Beatriz Gil | Hibridos Collective | Co-founder | Jackson Heights, NY 

Abigail Gomez | Pretty Girl Painting | Owner, Artist, Educator | Winchester, VA 

Stephen GuzmanSAY Sí | Communications Manager | San Antonio, TX 

Illya Haro | Casa Familiar / The Front | Gallery Manager | National City, CA

Damian Kelly | MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana | Program Assistant | San Jose, CA 

Juanita Lara | ID Studio Theater | Grant Writer | Sunnyside, NY 

Mia Lopez | Independent Curator, Writer, and Educator | Minneapolis, MN 

Lisa Luevanos | CLAVE Detroit | Detroit, MI 

Francis Parra | ECAS Theater, Inc. | Artistic Executive Director | Cranston, RI 

Baruch Porras-Hernandez | Strut / San Francisco AIDS Foundation | Writer, Performer, and Arts Organizer | San Francisco, CA 

Jake Prendez | Artist and Arts Advocate | Seatac, WA

Michael A. Reyes | Poet / NALAC | Michigan Latino Arts Program Associate | Detroit, MI

Yosimar Reyes | Define American Arts Fellow | Los Angeles, CA 

Adam Rocha | SAFILM - San Antonio Film Festival | Executive Director | San Antonio, TX

Emilio Rodriguez | Theater Artist | Hamtramck, MI

Sergio Rubio | Aurora Theater | Program Manager | Lawrenceville, GA 

Amada Torruella | Columbia Film Society (d.b.a The Nickelodeon Theatre) | Development Assistant | Columbia, SC 

Gabrielle Uballez | Working Classroom | Executive Director | Albuquerque, NM 

Nicolas Valdez | Interdisciplinary Artist | San Antonio, TX 

Abigail Vega | Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) | Producer | San Antonio, TX 


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