2022 NALAC Leadership Institute Recap

August 12, 2022, San Antonio, TX — The 2022 NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI) took place from July 11-16, in San Antonio, Texas. The annual Institute brings together emerging and established artists and arts administrators from across the nation for intensive training in nonprofit arts management and leadership. The Institute traditionally held in-person, transitioned to a virtual format for 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, NALAC returned to an in-person Institute with the 22nd edition of the NLI hosted onsite at the historic  St. Mary’s University, in partnership with the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The 2022 NLI cohort represents a diverse group of artists, cultural workers, and arts administrators from various Latinx identities. This year’s participants are from around the U.S., representing 10 states and 9 different artistic disciplines including media arts, visual arts, dance, opera, and humanities. Throughout the weeklong Institute, participants attended learning sessions led by esteemed NALAC faculty members and special guests including noted Chicano Studies Scholar Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto. Curricular topics included development, strategic planning, advocacy, equity and inclusion, demographic trends and social movements.

In addition to meeting each other, a welcome reception was held at the Guadalupe Theatre for the NLI fellows and faculty and featured a catered dinner by Veronica Castillo of Galería E.V.A and music by NLI alum Rambo Salinas. The reception also provided an opportunity to meet artists, arts organizers, and arts professionals from NALAC’s hometown of San Antonio, Texas. The NLI experience was further enhanced with visits throughout the week to cultural spaces and organizations such as Say Sí, San Anto Cultural Arts, and Jaime’s Place.

NALAC was honored to welcome award-winning poet, author, storyteller, and scholar
Dr. Carmen Tafolla as the keynote speaker for the 2022 NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI). In addition to providing the keynote address, Dr. Tafolla performed three monologues from her internationally acclaimed one-woman theatrical show, My Heart Speaks a Different Language for the 2022 NLI graduates, faculty, and guests.

The graduating class presented the NALAC staff and faculty with a customized website sharing personal reflections, stories, and photos and created a fund to offer support to selected 2023 NLI fellows.

The 2022 graduates now join the community of NALAC Institute alumni, which to date has over 650 members. Meet the 2022 NLI alumni. Applications for the 2023 NALAC Leadership Institute will open in the fall of this year.

The NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI) is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, San Antonio Area Foundation, San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, and the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. For more information about NALAC and its programs please visit www.nalac.org. 

About Dr. Carmen Tafolla
Author of more than 30 books and a dozen screenplays, Dr. Carmen Tafolla was the State Poet Laureate of Texas from 2015-2016, and also the first City Poet Laureate of San Antonio from 2012 to 2014. Tafolla has performed her one-woman show to more than a thousand audiences in 12 countries.

The first Chicana woman to direct a Mexican-American Studies Program in the nation, Tafolla is the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the Américas Award, awarded to her in 2010 at the Library of Congress, five International Latino Book Awards, two Tomas Rivera Book Awards, and the Art of Peace Award, for works which promote peace and social justice.

A Professor Emeritus in Bicultural Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she was elected in 2018 as the first Latina President of the Texas Institute of Letters.

A cultural activist and advocate for bilingual and decolonized children’s literature, she was recognized by the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”   Her newest book Arte del Pueblo:The Outdoor Public Art of San Antonio will be released in September, and in summer 2023 Penguin will release her new novel-in-verse Warrior Girl. Visit Dr. Carmen Tafolla’s official website to learn more.