About Us

 

 

 

 NALAC STAFF

 

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Maria López De León
President, CEO and NALAC Board Member

maria@nalac.org

María López De León is the President, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In 2013, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to the National Council on the Arts. In 2012 and 2013, she was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. She serves on multiple arts and culture policy panels and is an advocate for arts and cultural equity. She serves on the board of the First People’s Fund, the Performing Arts Alliance and on the advisory councils of San Anto Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts. Continue biography

   
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Adriana Gallego
Chief Operating Officer 

agallego@nalac.org

Adriana Gallego is the first Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. As an artist at the service of other artists, Gallego is motivated by social justice, and seeks to connect people with meaningful resources that grow personal and organizational capacity, build community, foster collaboration and bridge cultural understanding. Previously she was Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Educational Assistant at the Norton Simon Museum, and Arts Educator. She is on the board of The Association of American Cultures. Adriana graduated magna cum laude from the University Of Arizona College Of Fine Arts.

   
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Gabriel Magraner
Director of Programs

gmagraner@nalac.org

Gabriel Magraner is the Director of Programs of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). Most recently he was awarded two Fulbright ETA grants to Brazil where he served as a program mentor and taught English at the Federal University of Goiás and the University of Brasília. Gabriel first joined NALAC as part of the team responsible for the 2012 National Conference in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he studied Latin American Studies and Spanish; his research interests include cultural studies, music, race, and transnational identities.

   
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Lucha Lopez
Operations Manager

llopez@nalac.org

Lucha Lopéz is the Operations Manger of NALAC. As a multi-ethnic native Texan, Lucha is guided by social, political, and economic equity. She brings over 16 years of diverse, grassroots non-profit experience. Lucha studied liberal arts locally and joined NALAC in 2017. Lucha retains her culture by practicing many forms of native ceremonial traditions including Aztec and Chichimeca song and dance along with American Indian singing and drumming. She also maintains an active lifestyle which includes yoga, pilates, meditation, and lifting weights.

   
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Frances Guajardo
Accounting Manager

fguajardo@nalac.org

Frances Guajardo has over eighteen years of nonprofit experience working with community based organizations across the state. As Accounting Manager at NALAC, Ms. Guajardo is primarily responsible for daily management and bookkeeping of financial processes and human resources. In her previous five year term as NALAC’s Operations Manager, Ms. Guajardo, worked in close collaboration with the CPA doing bookkeeping and accounting, coordinated and improved day to day operations, property and equipment maintenance, record keeping and administration processes, including assistance to the CEO, COO and Board. Guajardo joined NALAC in 2009 and worked closely on the implementation of upgrades to the Buena Vista Gardens building. She studied Nonprofit Management at University of Texas San Antonio. She actively volunteers in the San Antonio community.

   
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Luis M Garza
Database and Digital Media Specialist

lgarza@nalac.org

Luis Garza is the Database and Digital Media Specialist for NALAC.  He is an artist and owner of LMG Photography and Art. For eight years Luis worked with Jowdy Photography, contracting with associations, conventions and corporate events throughout the U.S. and abroad. Through his own entrepreneurial ventures, his experiences have encompassed many facets of the photography business. His freelance work ranges from fine art photography, documentary video, large format print and digital photography. His core competencies include computer networking and administration to digital content management as well as graphic design, web design and print output. Luis is an alumnus of the NALAC Leadership and Advocacy Institutes. He continues to produce and exhibit work in San Antonio, where his photographs recently formed part of the University of Texas San Antonio art collection.

   
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Hadia Mawlawi
Houston Latino Arts Research Associate

hmawlawi@nalac.org

Hadia Mawlawi is an Arts Administrator in Houston with a special interest in intercultural & community projects. She spent the past 2 ½ years working for the Texan French Arts alliance, building bridges between Houston’s diverse cultural communities through participant-driven public art projects. She is a board member of the Arab American Cultural & Community Center (ACC) where she initiated the annual Arab Heritage Month. She curates exhibitions aimed at elevating the visibility of local emerging Arab artists and is deeply involved with projects related to refugees, including a panel discussion she moderated in 2016 as part of Houston’s Citizenship Month. She was born in Beirut and grew up in London, went to a French school and loves meeting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

   
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Marco Seiferle-Valencia
Michigan Research Associate

Marco Seiferle-Valencia is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Michigan State University and the Technical Director of Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective. He earned his IMLS degree at University of Michigan in 2013. He is also digital archivist of El Museo del Norte, the South-Western Detroit Latinx history organization.

   
JodySarkozy Banoczy
Jody Sarkozy-Banoczy
Development Associate

Jody Sarkozy-Banoczy is an independent grant-writing consultant based in the Washington D.C. area. Her expertise lies in the arts and Native community development field. She has 15 years of experience and success writing grants to several foundations and federal agencies including the CDFI Fund, Administration for Native Americans, USDA, HUD and others. She is the former director of development for First Nations Oweesta Corporation and her work supports organizations focused on Native artist entrepreneurship, small business development, youth, leadership and affordable housing.

   
 RICHARD J GARCIA CPA
Richard J. Garcia
Accountant

Richard is a 1985 graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems. He received his license as a CPA in 1994. Richard has experience in accounting, tax, payroll and management services and he enjoys working with clients in a wide range of industries and sizes (start ups to medium sized). He works with numerous clients in tax planning and tax return preparation. Richard is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.  He is also a member of the San Antonio Society of Certified Public Accountants and has served on a select number of their committees. He has been an instructor with the Becker CPA Review Program as well as a Quickbooks Pro Advisor.

   
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Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
NALAC Archives Volunteer / NALAC Advisory Council Member

Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was the Associate Director of Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation and served as Chairman of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and the Smithsonian Council. He is the recipient of Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle, the Henry Medal by the Smithsonian Institution, and the NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award. He currently serves on NALAC's Advisory Council.

   
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Dudley Brooks
NALAC Archives Volunteer

Dudley Brooks is a retired project manager for Recreational Equipment Inc. He is a long-time supporter of the arts and a community activist.

 

 

 

 GENERAL INQUIRIES

 

info@nalac.org

 

 ADDRESS

 

1208 Buena Vista
San Antonio, TX 78207
p. 210.432.3982
f. 210.432.3934

 

NALAC Video:"Latino Arts and Cultures: A Survey of the Nation"

 

The 2012 NALAC National Conference opened with a video highlighting a dynamic cross-section of contemporary artists working in multiple disciplines, from different backgrounds and geographies. The video, "Latino Arts and Cultures: A Survey of the Nation," served as a platform for contemplation during the opening panel session of the same title. To view the video, click play below.

 

Credits:

 

Director/Producer/Videographer/Editor Ray Santisteban,  Nantes Films

Video Narrated by Rosalba Rolón, Teatro Pregones Artistic Director and NALAC Board member.

Video Script by Charles Rice- González, BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance Executive Director and NALAC Board Chairperson.

 

Artists Featured:

(In Order of Appearance left to right)

John Jota Leaños

Social Art Practioner

Santa Cruz, California

Xicano

Ana Teresa Fernández

Visual Artist

San Francisco, CA

Mexican

 

Merían Soto

Choreographer and Performance Artist

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican

 

Juan Rivera

Musician

Chicago, IL

Mexican

 

Junot Diaz

Writer, Editor, Professor

Boston, MA

Dominican

Natalia Almada

Photographer and Documentary Filmmaker

Mexico City, Mexico and New York City, NY

Mexican and American

 

Lourdes Portillo

Screenwriter and Filmmaker

San Francisco, CA

Mexican- American

Javier Bardem

Actor

Los Angeles, CA and Spain

Spanish

 

María Hinojosa

Journalist

New York, NY

Mexican

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Composer, Lyricist, Actor

Manhattan, New York

Puerto Rican descent

 

Adriana M. Garcia

Visual Artist

San Antonio, Texas

Chicana/Tejana

 

Carlos Sandoval

Freelance Composer and Multimedia Artist

Southern California

Mexican-American/Puerto Rican

 

Thalia Spanish Theatre

Theater

Sunnyside (Queens), NY

Agnes Chavez

Multi-Disciplinary Artist

Taos, New Mexico

Cuban American

 

Margarita Cabrera

Multi-Media Artist, Activist and Organizer

El Paso, TX

Mexican

 

John Santos

Percussionist, Educator and Cultural Activist

San Francisco, CA

Puerto Rican/Cape Verdean descent

 

Daniel Fetecua

Dancer

New York, NY

Colombian

Guillermo Bert

Visual Artist

Los Angeles, CA

Chilean

 

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Visual Artist

Philadelphia, PA

Colombian/Puerto Rican

Denice Frohman

Poet, Lyricist, Educator

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican descent

 

Tina Ramirez

Dancer, Founder and Artistic

Director of Ballet Hispanico

New York, NY

Puerto Rican/Mexican born in Venezuela

 

Rene Buch

Artistic Director and Founder of Repertorio Español

New York, NY

Cuban

 

Jesse Bermudez

Founder of (AMLA) Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican

Magdalena Gomez

Performance Artist, Arts Educator, Columnist

Springfield, MA

Puerto Rican

 

Hector Morales

Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Recording Artist, and Educator

New York, NY

Peruvian

 

Robert Farid Karimi

Performance Artist

Minneapolis, MN

Iranian/Guatemalan

 

Seme Jatib

Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor

San Antonio, Texas

Mexican/Lebanese

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Electronic Artist

Montreal, Canada

Mexican

 

Quiara Alegria Hudes

Playwright

New York, NY

Philadelphia-raised of Puerto Rican

descent

 

Rodrigo Toscano

Poet and Labor Activitst

Brooklyn, NY

Mexican-American

 

Cuba Caribe

Caribbean Dance, Music, and Visual Arts Organization

San Francisco, CA

Caribbean and its Diaspora

 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Writer/Novelist

San Francisco, CA

Colombian

 

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Flamenco and Spanish Dance Companies

New York, NY and Bahama, NC

 

Kristen Foote

Dancer

New York, NY

Canadian 

Alejandro Escuer

Multidisciplinary Artist and Scholar

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican

 

Cara Mia Theatre

Theater 

Dallas, Texas

Mexican-American

 

Dignidad Rebelde

Graphic Arts Collaboration and Community Activists

Oakland, CA

Xicanos

 

Dafnis Prieto

Drummer, Composer, Educator

New York, New York

Cuban

 

Artist Bios

  

John Jota Leaños

Social Art Practioner

Santa Cruz, California

Xicano

John Jota Leaños is a social art practitioner who utilizes all and any media to engage in diverse cultural arenas through strategic revealing, tactical disruption, and symbolic wagon burning, His practice includes a range of new media, public art, installation, and performance focusing on the convergence of memory, social space and decolonization. Leaños is a Creative Capital Foundation Grantee and has been an artist in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Center for Chicano Studies (2006), Carnegie Mellon University in the Center for Arts in Society (2003), and the Headlands Center for the Arts (2007). Most recently, Leaños, received a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship. Leaños is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Practices and Community Arts at the California College of the Arts.

 

Ana Teresa Fernández

Visual Artist

San Francisco, CA

Mexican

Ana Teresa Fernández was born and raised in Tampico, Mexico. She received her BFA in 2004 and her MFA in 2006, both from the San Francisco Art Institute. She also holds an Alliance Française II Diplome from Ècole Brillantmont in Laussane, Switzerland, which she received in 2001. Ana Teresa Fernandez explores the double standards imposed on women and their sexuality through performance-based paintings. 

 

Fernandez has been invited to work in South Africa, Haiti, Spain, Mexico and the US, with different residencies. Fernandez has exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally. She has exhibited internationally with galleries including Nan Mitan-an, Fondation d'Art Jacmel, Haiti; Los Ninos Unidos Jamas seran Vencidos, Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, Juarez, Mexico; the Second City Council Gallery Juried Show, Long Beach, CA; and Tijuana, the Third Nation, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico. She is the recipient of various awards including the Tournesol Award, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; Fondation D’Art Jakmel Residency, Jakmel, Haiti; the Third Annual National Juried Exhibition, Second Place Award, Novato, CA; and the Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA.

 

Merían Soto

Choreographer and Performance Artist

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican 

Artistic Director Merián Soto is the creator of Branch Dancing and Modal Practice. Her work has been presented across the US and internationally since the mid '80s. Soto is one of the Founding Artistic Directors, along with Patti Bradshaw and Pepón Osorio, of Pepatián, the Bronx-based, multi-disciplinary Latino arts organization. In that capacity, she developed, curated and produced numerous projects featuring new works by emerging Latino dance and performance artists. Since 2005 Soto has created an extensive series of dances with branches including two award winning works: SoMoS (2012) and the One Year Wissahickon Park Project (2007-08). 

 

Soto is the recipient of numerous awards including a New York Dance and Performance Award "BESSIE" for sustained choreographic achievement in 2000, a Greater Philadelphia Dance and Physical Theater Award “ROCKY” for her One-Year Wissahickon Park Project in 2008, and in 2012 a Next Generation Award from the Philadelphia City Paper for SoMoS. 

 

A renowned educator, Soto is Professor of Dance at the Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. She is  a PennPAT Roster Artist.

 

Juan Rivera

Musician

Chicago, IL

Mexican

Juan Rivera studied the huasteco style of violin with Rolando “Quecho” Hernández and soon began recording with the group Son del Plueblo including two European tours with the dance troupe Compañia Nacional de Danza Folclórica de México. In 2001, Juan relocated to Chicago where he played with mariachi and son jarocho groups for several years. After a year-long stint in California, Juan returned to Chicago in the spring of 2005 to join Sones de México Ensemble and to continue his formal musical training at Wright College. 

 

Junot Diaz

Writer, Editor, Professor

Boston, MA

Dominican 

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award.  A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Natalia Almada

Photographer and Documentary Filmmaker

Mexico City, Mexico and New York City, NY

Mexican and American

Recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for her film “El General,” Almada’s most recent film “El Velador” premiered at New Directors/New Films and the Cannes' Directors' Fortnight. Her previous credits include “All Water Has a Perfect Memory,” an experimental short film that received international recognition; “Al Otro Lado,” her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at Documenta13, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The 2008 Whitney Biennial. All three feature documentaries have broadcast on the award-winning series POV. Almada has received the MacArthur, Guggenheim, USA Artists, Alpert and MacDowell fellowships. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in Mexico City.

 

Lourdes Portillo

Screenwriter and Filmmaker

San Francisco, CA

Mexican- American

Mexico-born and Chicana identified, Lourdes Portillo is a writer / director / producer of films focused on the search for Latino identity. She has worked in a richly varied range of forms, from television documentary to satirical video-film collage.

While the majority of her work is in the documentary film genre, she has also created video installations and written for the stage. Her films have been much studied and analyzed, particularly by scholars in the field of Chicano studies.

Lourdes has received numerous awards. Most recently, she was honored with a retrospective at MoMA in New York.

 

Javier Bardem

Actor

Los Angeles, CA and Spain

Spanish

Javier Bardem is a Spanish actor. In 2007, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. He has also garnered critical acclaim for roles in films such as Jamón, jamón, Carne trémula, Boca a boca, Los Lunes al sol and Mar adentro. He portrayed the main antagonist Raoul Silva in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall, for which he received both a BAFTA and a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Credits: Bio from IMDB-http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000849/

 

María Hinojosa

Journalist

New York, NY

Mexican

For 25 years, María Hinojosa has helped tell America’s untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad.  In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that respects and celebrates the cultural richness of the American Experience. She is the first Latina to anchor a Frontline report, and this project, “Lost in Detention” aired in October 2011, sparking public engagement and conversation on issues of immigration and detention on Capitol Hill and in the mainstream and Spanish language media. Hinojosa interviewed dozens of notable Latinos for Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ "The Latino List" which premiered on HBO in September 2011. Her latest project “America by the Numbers” premiered in September on PBS. She is the recipient of the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Radio Award.

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Composer, Lyricist, Actor

Manhattan, New York

Puerto Rican descent

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Broadway’s In the Heights. In the Heights received four 2008 Tony Awards (including Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Musical), with Lin-Manuel receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Off-Broadway, In the Heights received 9 Drama Desk Nominations (including Best Music, Best Lyrics) and an award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. In the Heights also won the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Musical.

 

Additionally, Lin-Manuel received an Obie Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for the show. In the Heights also took home a 2009 Grammy Award for its Original Broadway Cast Album. In the Heights was also recognized as a Finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. As an actor, Lin-Manuel received a 2007 Theater World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance, and the 2007 Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Male Performance courtesy of Actor’s Equity Foundation. Lin-Manuel also received the ASCAP Foundation’s Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and is a National Arts Club Medal of Honor recipient. In May of 2009, Lin-Manuel received the degree of Doctor of Human letters, honoris causa, from Yeshiva University, the youngest recipient of such an honor in the University’s 123-year history.

 

Adriana MJ Garcia

Visual Artist

San Antonio, Texas

Chicana/Tejana

Adriana M Garcia, artist, muralist, scenic designer was born and raised in the Westside of San Antonio. She received her BFA From Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.She recently won the Jose Cuervo Tradicional Mural Project, nationwide artistic contest representing Texas. Adriana received the Grand Prize award of $15,000 for the design and creation of a mural, as well as a $15,000 grant to Centro Aztlan, a non-profit arts organization that supports the Latino community in San Antonio.

 

Carlos Sandoval

Freelance Composer and Multimedia Artist

Southern California

Mexican-American/Puerto Rican descent

Carlos Sandoval is the co-producer/director of the highly acclaimed documentaries, A Class Apart(American Experience 2009, Imagen Award) and Farmingville (P.O.V. 2004, Sundance Special Jury Prize).

 

A lawyer and writer, Sandoval's work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and has been included in anthologies.  His experience as a lawyer includes complex litigation and telecommunications law.  Prior to attending law school, Sandoval worked on immigration and refugee affairs as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations, and as a program officer for The Century Foundation. Of Mexican American and Puerto Rican descent, Sandoval grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Harvard College and of the University of Chicago School of Law.

 

Thalia Spanish Theatre

Theater

Sunnyside (Queens), NY

Thalia Spanish Theatre is the first and only BILINGUAL Hispanic theatre in Queens, serving one of the most diverse communities in the United States, including more than one million Hispanics from every Spanish-speaking nation in the world.

 

Agnes Chavez

Multi-Disciplinary Artist

Taos, New Mexico

Cuban American

Agnes Chavez is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator and edupreneur. She creates art and designs educational tools with a holistic approach. Her works include creative projects, from business ventures to art works, exploring the intersection of art, science, technology, language and culture. As a Cuban American artist and mother raised in a bilingual home, she was inspired in 1996 to create a multisensory teaching system called Sube Learning Language thru Art, Music & Games , to help teachers teach Spanish and English as a second language. Her latest educational project called STEMArts explores innovative ways to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the arts to help ignite students passion for learning. 

 

Margarita Cabrera

Multi-Media Artist, Activist and Organizer

El Paso, TX

Mexican 

Born in Monterrey, Mexico. Margarita Cabrera is a Mexican-American artist, activist and organizer whose objects and activities address timely issues related to border relations, labor practices and immigration. Her work explores the relationship between the United States and Mexico.

 

John Santos

Percussionist, Educator and Cultural Activist

San Francisco, CA

Puerto Rican/Cape Verdean descent

Five-time Grammy-nominated percussionist and US Artists Fontanals Fellow, John Santos, is one of the foremost exponents of Afro-Latin music in the world today. Born in San Francisco, California, November l, l955, he was raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean traditions of his family, surrounded by music. The fertile musical environment of the San Francisco Bay Area shaped his career in a unique way. His studies of Afro-Latin music have included several trips to New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil and Colombia.He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music, and has earned much respect and recognition as an educator, composer, and record and event producer.  

 

Daniel Fetecua

Dancer

New York, NY

Colombian

Daniel Fetecua Soto, a native of Bogotà, Colombia holds a BFA from Folkwang-Hochschule, Germany. He is founder and artistic director of Pajarillo Pintao and is currently guest choreographer with ID Studios, a not-for profit organization led by Colombian actor and director German Jaramillo and with the collaboration of composer and musician Pablo Mayor.  In spring 2008 he was commissioned to create a new piece by Dancing in the Streets with funding from Harlem Stage and in 2010 Daniel was awarded again by the Fund for New Work of Harlem Stage with funding from the Jerome Foundation.  Daniel is a member of the Limon Dance Company since 2006.

 

Guillermo Bert

Visual Artist

Los Angeles, CA

Chilean

The work of Guillermo Bert has been exhibited in the United States and South America and is included in the collections of numerous museums. He is the recipient of many awards and grants and has been commissioned to create a number of public art works.

Recently he participated in several important exhibitions at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach CA, the San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego CA, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the Museum of Tolerance and the Architectural Design Museum both in Los Angeles.

 

Michelle Angela Ortiz

Visual Artist

Philadelphia, PA

Colombian/Puerto Rican

Michelle Angela Ortiz is a visual artist/ skilled muralist/ community arts educator who uses her art as a vehicle to represent people and communities whose histories are often lost or co-opted. Through painting, printmaking, and community arts practices, she creates a safe space for dialogue around some of the most profound issues communities and individuals may face. Her work tells stories using richly crafted and emotive imagery to claim and transform “blighted” spaces into a visual affirmation that reveals the strength and spirit of the community.

 

For over ten years, Ortiz continues to be an active educator in using the arts as a tool for communication to bridge communities. As a highly skilled muralist, Ortiz has designed and created over 30 large-scale public works nationally (PA, NJ, MS, NY) and internationally.

 
Denice Frohman

Poet, Lyricist, Educator

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican descent

Denice Frohman is a poet, lyricist, and educator. She ranked in the Top 15 at the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and has been a featured speaker at the TedxPhilly Conference and Drexel University on how young people are using spoken word to transform themselves and their communities. She is the Program Director at the Philly Youth Poetry Movement.

 

Tina Ramirez

Dancer, Founder and Artistic Director Ballet Hispanico

New York, NY

Puerto Rican/Mexican born in Venezuel 

Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispanico in 1970 and served as Artistic Director until 2009. Under her direction, over 45 choreographers created works for the Company, many of international stature and others in the early stages of their career.

 

Ms. Ramirez was born in Venezuela, the daughter of a Mexican bullfighter and grandniece to a Puerto Rican educator who founded the island’s first secular school for girls. Her performing career included international touring with the Federico Rey Dance Company, the Broadway productions of Kismet and Lute Song and the television adaptation of Man of La Mancha.

 

In addition to the 2005 National Medal of Arts, Ms. Ramirez has received countless awards and honors in recognition of her work, including the Dance Magazine Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education, Capezio Dance Award, NYS Governor's Arts Award, and the NYC Mayor’s Award of Honor for Arts & Culture.

 

Rene Buch

Artistic Director and Founder of Repertorio Español

New York, NY

Cuban

René Buch holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama and a Law Degree from Havana University. In 1968 he founded Repertorio Español along with Gilberto Zaldívar directing “La dama duende” (The Phantom Lady). As Repertorio’s Artistic Director, Mr. Buch has directed many plays – among them: “La Celestina,” “Las Pericas,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Life is a Dream,” “ the New York premiere of Lorca’s “El Público,” the complete trilogy of Lorca’s rural tragedies (4 productions of “Blood Wedding,” 3 productions of “Yerma,” 3 productions of “The House of Bernarda Alba”) plus 3 different productions of “Doña Rosita the Spinster” and Calderon’s “Absalom’s Tresses.”

 

Buch has earned respect from critics, peers and audiences alike for his innovative stagings of Spanish classics and contemporary plays. He was recently awarded the Theater Communications Group’s Theater Practitioner Award and the Arts & Business Council’s ENCORE Award as well as numerous HOLA and ACE Awards.

 

Jesse Bermudez

Founder of (AMLA) Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos

Philadelphia, PA

Puerto Rican

Jesse Bermudez was founder and execuive director of the Asociación de Músicos Latino Americanos (AMLA), a non-profit multicultural organization that promted the development and dissemination of Latin music, with an emphasis on educationg and empowering youth and community. Since 1982, AMLA has become a presence via television and radio performances, concerts, festivals, school and museum workshops, band bookings and large client productions in the East coast.  Photo credits: Sandra Andino

 

Magdalena Gomez

Performance Artist, Arts Educator, Columnist

Springfield, MA

Puerto Rican 

Magdalena Gómez, a Bronx native and Springfield, Massachusetts, resident, is an award-winning poet, playwright, performer, and arts educator. Gómez is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the first Latino theater in Springfield, MA, Teatro V!da. Gómez was named an Unsung Heroine of 2007 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Gómez has received awards from the Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts and from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture in support of her writing for the theater. Other awards include the Master Artist Award from National Endowment for the Arts presenters,Pregones Theater in New York City; the Massachusetts Cultural Council Playwriting Award and the 2008 Black Women Playwrights Group Whisper Laugh Shout Award, among others.

 

Gómez is a columnist for An African American Point of View newspaper, and a regular commentator for New England Public Radio.

 

Hector Morales

Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Recording Artist, and Educator

New York, NY

Peruvian

Hector Morales is a Peruvian drummer/percussionist, composer, recording artist and educator. Hector's credits include performances with some of the masters of the Afro-Peruvian tradition including "Maestro" Carlos Hayre, Julio "Chocolate" Algendones as well as, from the Jazz and Latin Jazz world, the legendary saxophonist Oliver Lake and Grammy Award winning bassist Oscar Stagnaro. Hector has performed at international venues such as the National Museum of Peru, the Society of Musicians and Composers of Chile Auditorium, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Jerusalem Music Festival, and Festival du Monde Arabe de Montreal, among others, and has been featured in different videos produced by the Latin Percussion Company (LP) and Congahead.

 

Hector has been Pachamama Peruvian Arts' cajon and Afro-Peruvian percussion instructor since it's inception on 2004 and has conducted master classes, residencies and interactive workshops on styles of percussion from around the world at public and private schools, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York University, The New Jersey Music Educators Conference and the Face to Face conference.

 

Robert Farid Karimi

Performance Artist

Minneapolis, MN

Iranian/Guatemalan

Robert Farid Karimi is an interdisciplinary playwright, multimedia humorist, activist, and poet and the artistic director of kaotic good productions. Hisworks include self (the remix), The Cooking Show con Karimi y Comrades, Shaving time, and the Approximate Value of a Foot Bubbler. Karimi has collaborated with artists such as Guillermo Gomez Peña and Laurie Carlos; performances include the Edge of The World, Reverend of the DiscoChurch, and McMuertos. His awards include a National Poetry Slam Championship, an Alliance of Artists’ Communities Midwestern Voices & Visions Award, a Verve Spoken Word Grant, NPN Creation Grant, a Kohler Arts/Industry residency.

 

A San Francisco Bay Area native, son of Iranian and Guatemalan parents and a UCLA graduate, Karimi’s work has been featured from Alaska to Australia. A National Poetry Slam Champion, and Def Poetry Jam performer, Karimi’s writings have been published in Callaloo, Latino Literature Today, and Total Chaos: The Art and the Aesthetics of Hip Hop by Jeff Chang. A 2009 Creative Capital grantee, he is currently developing The Cooking Show: Diabetes of Democracy, Farid Mercury, an exploration of Persian politics, masculinity and pop divination, and editing Punto!, a new Latina/o spoken word anthology.

 

Seme Jatib

Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor

San Antonio, Texas

Mexican/Lebanese

Dancer, choreographer and dance educator creates live and cyber performances incorporating different arts such as music, film and media. Her work has been a pioneer in dance for the Internet. She attended The Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey in Nuevo León, Mexico. In 2006 she founded Proyectos en Movimiento, which has performed throughout Texas, Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador. Her project for Intenet danza-digital has been presented in numerous festivals in Mexico, Spain and South America.

 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Electronic Artist

Montreal, Canada

Mexican

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1989 he received a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada.

 

Electronic artist, develops interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. His main interest is in creating platforms for public participation, by perverting technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnival and animatronics, his light and shadow works are “antimonuments for alien agency”.Rafael Lozano-Hemmer explores the intersection of architecture, media, performance, and the politics of public space.

 

Most recently, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer created the "Voice Tunnel" in New York's Park Avenue.

 

Quiara Alegria Hudes

Playwright

New York, NY

Philadelphia raised of Puerto Rican descent 

Quiara Alegría Hudes received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful . Previously, her play Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue was a Pulitzer Finalist, and her most recent work, The Happiest Song Plays Last will premiere next season at The Goodman Theatre. Hudes wrote the book to the Broadway musical In the Heights, which premiered off-Broadway and earned the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. On Broadway, In the Heights received the Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony Nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and was named a Pulitzer Finalist. Hudes was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she recently returned to receive a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia. Her first play was produced in the tenth grade by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where she now serves as a board member and mentor to other young writers.

 

Rodrigo Toscano

Poet and Labor Activitst

Brooklyn, NY

Mexican-American descent

 

Rodrigo Toscano's newest book is Deck of Deeds (Counterpath Press 2012). His previous book, Collapsible Poetics Theater, was a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection. He was the recipient of a 2005 New York State Fellowship in Poetry. His poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Catalan. Toscano works as a social worker and for New York City’s Labor Institute. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Cuba Caribe

Caribbean Dance, Music, and Visual Arts Organization

San Francisco, CA

Caribbean and its Diaspora

 

Cuba Caribe's mission is to preserve, promote and present the vibrant cultural and artistic traditions of the Caribbean and its Diaspora. Founded on the principle that dance, music, and visual art have the power to unite people of diverse perspectives, CubaCaribe fosters greater understanding and appreciation of Caribbean arts and culture.

 

Cuba Caribe was co-founded in 2003 by visual artist/dancer Jamaica Itule and dancer/choreographer Ramón Ramos Alayo in order to tap into the large talent pool represented by the significant community of Cuban and Caribbean artists who live and practice in the Bay Area. Since its inception, the organization has become widely known for the diversity and quality of its programming, and its deep roots in the Diasporic community under Artistic Director Ramos's leadership.

 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Writer/Novelist

San Francisco, CA

Colombian

Ingrid Rojas Contreras grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, the daughter of a psychic and an ex-political leader. She immigrated to the United States in 2001 and it was during those first turbulent years of hunger for home that she began writing her debut novel, Niebla.

 

Her work is forthcoming or has been published in American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans; F Magazine; Make: a Chicago Literary Magazine; Wet: a Journal for Bathing; and Hair Trigger, among others. Her forthcoming novel, Niebla, was a semi-finalist in the Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award. She is a member of Sandra Cisnero’s Macondo Writer’s Workshop. A critic and journalist, her essays and book reviews are published in Bookslut and Library Journal’s Críticas. Currently, she is working on a non-fiction novel about her grandfather, a medicine man who could move clouds.

 

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana

Flamenco and Spanish Dance Companies

New York, NY and Bahama, NC

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana is one of the nation's premier flamenco and Spanish dance companies celebrating our 30th Anniversary Season. We believe that the universal spirit of flamenco, a multicultural art form, has the power to build bridges between cultures and inspire audiences from diverse backgrounds. Artistic Director Carlota Santana leads this company of energetic dancers and musicians in powerful performances, extensive community outreach, and innovative arts education programs.

 

Founded in 1983 as Spanish Dance Arts Company, Carlota Santana and Roberto Lorca had a mission to bring flamenco to mainstream audiences. Mr. Lorca passed away in 1987, an untimely casualty of the AIDS epidemic, but Ms. Santana was determined to carry on his work. Since then Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana has grown into one of the leading flamenco companies in the United States.

 

Kristen Foote

Dancer

New York, NY

Canadian

Kristen Foote hails from Toronto, Canada where she trained with CCDT. She joined the Limón Company in 2000 and was highlighted by Dance Magazine in 2005 as a “Top 25 to Watch” and one of 2010’s “Most Amazing Performers”. She was a Radio City Rockette, performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Pajarillo Pinta’o and Dance Heginbotham. Foote is proudly supported by The Bay & Paul Foundations and the Enoch Foundation.


Alejandro Escuer

Multidisciplinary artist and Scholar

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican

Alejandro Escuer is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist who has developed his own artistic and visual foundations on music interpretation and music composition, which have had an impact on his concerts and recordings with acclaimed reviews. He is at ease performing as a soloist with symphony orchestra or solo recitals with piano, guitar, electronics, percussion, multimedia or ensemble.

 

He has captivated audiences with his commitment to and delight in performing a unique selection of works, ranging from the master pieces of all times to Latin American works and his own compositions.Alejandro Escuer has been a driving force in for the consolidation of new music in Mexico. He has been the artistic director and producer of more than one hundred concerts with more than 50 premieres from México, Japan, The U.S., Canada, Portugal, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Corea, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Australia, Denmark, among many others. Alejandro Escuer has received numerous prizes and awards. He is also an active scholar, full time tenure faculty at the Escuela Nacional de Música of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and is a visiting Fulbright professor at Indiana University.


Cara Mia Theatre

Theater

Dallas, Texas

Mexican-American

Founded in 1996, Cara Mía Theatre Co. filled a void in the Dallas arts community by becoming the first Dallas theater to focus on the Mexican-American experience. Cara Mía assured Mexican-American audiences that their bilingual and bicultural experiences were represented regularly on Dallas stages.

 

Cara Mía has become a cultural resource in Dallas and North Texas, producing world premieres of major Mexican-American writers such as Sandra Cisneros, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Cherrie Morraga. Cara Mía has also produced original plays written collectively by the artistic ensemble and by local Dallas writers that have received critical acclaim from Dallas-Fort Worth media.

 

Dignidad Rebelde

Graphic Arts Collaboration

Oakland, CA

Xicanos 

Dignidad Rebelde is a graphic arts collaboration between Oakland-based artist-activists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes.  Dignidad Rebelde believes that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions.  Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, Dignidad Rebelde create work that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.

 

Dafnis Prieto

Drummer, Composer, Educator

New York, New York

Cuban

From Cuba, a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award, his arrival in the U.S. has been compared by to that of an asteroid hitting New York. Indeed, within a short period of time Dafnis Prieto's revolutionary drumming techniques had a powerful impact on the Latin and Jazz music scene, locally and internationally.

 

2013-01-30-0001-mariaMARÍA LÓPEZ DE LEÓN

President and CEO

María López De León is the President, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In January 2013, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to serve on the National Council on the Arts. In 2012 and 2013, Ms. De León was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts.

 

Ms. De León has been with NALAC for eighteen years and has served as Executive Director for fourteen years. Ms. De León has been involved in all aspects of development and implementation of the NALAC programs and strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, NALAC developed and launched three grant programs, the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), a grant program for Latino artists and organizations; the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR), a grant program for artists and organizations in the U.S., Mexico and Central America; the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces program, a grant program that supports organizations that are part of the Ford Foundation’s Diverse Art Spaces to expand their Latino programming to diverse audiences and outreach to diverse communities. She has directed the continued development of fifteen editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and five convenings of the Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, DC; directed the convening of eight NALAC National Conferences and twenty-nine Regional Arts Training Workshops across the country. Under Ms. De León’s leadership, NALAC completed production of Visiones, a six part documentary series on Latino art and culture for PBS and development of accompanying education curriculum distributed to over 35,000 schools. She is leading the efforts to renovate a historic site in San Antonio to serve as NALAC’s national offices and home to a national arts leadership training institute.

 

Ms. De León is a cultural organizer and practitioner dedicated to strengthening communities through the arts and has multiple years of experience working with Latino artists and arts organizations. She serves on multiple arts and culture policy panels and is a noted speaker and advocate for the arts, cultural equity and social and economic justice.   Ms. De León serves on the board of the First People’s Fund and is an advisory council member of San Anto Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts. She studied Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso.

 

 

Advisory Council

 

advisory SayreQuevedo IMG 7329 Edit 1NFA Grantee, Sayre Quevedo, Re:Construction

 


William Aguado

Consultant, Former Executive Director,
Bronx Council for the Arts - Bronx, NY

 

Tomas Ybarra Frausto, PhD.

Arts Scholar and Consultant - San Antonio, TX

 

Alma Martinez, MFA, PhD.

Assistant Professor,
Pomona College - Claremont, CA

 

Richard Cheech Marin

Hollywood Actor and Arts Collector - Los Angeles, CA

 

Gilberto Cardenas, PhD.

Inter-University Program for Latino Research,
University of Notre-Dame - Notre Dame, IN

 

Jesse Borrego

Hollywood Actor - Venice, CA

 

Danny Rivera

Musician/Composer - Camuy, PR

 

Janet Rodriguez

Founding President and CEO,
SoHarlem - New York, NY

 

Kathleen Pavlick

Consultant - New York, NY

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