President, CEO and NALAC Board Member
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 Peoples Fund, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Performing Arts Alliance.
Alberto Mejia is the Deputy Director at NALAC. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington and a BA in American Cultural Studies and Political Science from Fairhaven College. Prior to joining NALAC in 2020, he served as manager of Cultural Funding & Investments with the City of Austin, a senior director of Community Programs at Creative Action, Manager of the Dougherty Arts Center, Executive Director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in Seattle, WA and Community Engagement Manager at MoPOP in Seattle, WA. Alberto is an alumnus of NALAC’s Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI) and has served as panelist for local to national grant making programs including ARTPLACE and NEA Our Town. Alberto is active in cultural policy issues & dialogue. Alberto is an artist in the in hip-hop genre and devotes time to the practice of indigenous cultural tradition, community building & dance.
Director of Programs
Adriana Rios is the Director of Programs at NALAC. Prior to her joining NALAC, Adriana worked in the programming departments for a variety of different organizations, including Geekdom, the Princess Grace Foundation and the Tribeca Film Institute. As an advocate for the arts and great stories, Adriana works to develop resources and visibility for underrepresented artists. Her work in arts administration is driven by a strong commitment to learning, equity, empowerment and access. She previously served as NALAC’s Grant Program Manager, where she led the development and launch of two new grant opportunities for artists in Puerto Rico and cultural organizers. Adriana has served on panels for the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fusion Film Festival. Most recently, Adriana was accepted as one of fourteen fellows of the Center for Justice and Renewal’s inaugural Cohort of Emerging Leaders of Color. She is also an alumni of Venture for America and the NALAC Leadership Institute.
Frances Guajardo is the Accounting Manager of NALAC and has over 24 years of nonprofit experience working with community based organizations across the state. Ms. 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.
Monica A. Sosa
Program Manager, Leadership Institutes
Monica A. Sosa is the Program Manager of Leadership Institutes at NALAC, an artist, community organizer, and fronterista who embodies the border wherever she goes. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communications Studies from the University of Texas at Brownsville and is an alumnus of the Exchange Program at Sorbonne Université IV, Paris, France. She is passionate about supporting folx in realizing their ideas and uplifting communities of color through organizing and cultural work. She uses art and body movement as a healing practice, expressive action, transformative process, and guide towards justice and equity.
Database and Digital Media Specialist
Luis M. Garza is the Database and Digital Media Specialist for NALAC. He is an artist and owner of LMG Photography and Art. Prior to joining NALAC Luis worked with Jowdy Photography for over eight years, contracting with associations, conventions and corporate events throughout the U.S. and abroad. His experiences have encompassed many facets of the photography business. ranging from fine art photography, video and photo documentation, studio photography, large format print, and digital photo editing. His core competencies include computer networking and administration to digital content management including 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.
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
Gabriel Magraner is the Communications Associate for NALAC. In this role he leads communications strategies on social media, the E-Boletín newsletter, and special projects. Gabriel has been active with NALAC since 2012, most recently serving as NALAC’s Director of Programs overseeing convenings in Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. as well as the management of NALAC grant programs. Currently Gabriel resides in New York and is pursuing a master’s degree at New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He is a recipient of two Fulbright ETA grants to Brazil.
Individual Gifts and Strategic Partnerships
Evonne Gallardo is an arts and culture management specialist dedicated to honoring and valuing artists and arts organizations as critical components to a successful society. Through her leadership positions in a wide range of arts organizations, Evonne has hands-on leadership experience in arts management, programming, public art projects, board development, fundraising, organization management, and approaches to cultural equity, inclusion and diversity in the arts and culture sector.
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.
Anna Laflin is an artist from Houston, Texas who recently graduated in May 2019 from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Studio Art and Business Administrative Marketing. Currently, Anna is the Development Associate at the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) and the Director of Attendee Experience for TEDx Trinity University; a student-run organization dedicated to fostering creation and change by giving students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity and forum to share their ideas and learn from others. Prior to working at NALAC, she worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As a multi-ethnic artist, Anna is passionate about breaking the glass ceiling in the business and art world for minorities and hopes to one day create a community for people of color to come together to discuss ideas and express themselves through the fine arts.
Programs and Technology Support Technician
Armani Villarreal is the Programs and Technology Support Technician at NALAC. She is a Graphic Designer, IT Technician and Creative from Brownsville, Texas. Armani is currently attending Southwest School of Art for Graphic Design. As an artist from La Frontera, she is driven to using art and expression as a tool for social justice and awareness. Her passion for social mindfulness grew as she became socially engaged while interning and volunteering with Las Imaginistas, Taller de Permiso, and Cartlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center in Brownsville, Texas.