Advocacy Leadership Institute 2017



ALI LogoApril 24-26, 2017.  Fourteen fellows joined NALAC team members in Washington D.C. to learn about and conduct advocacy efforts as part of our 2017 Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI). We learned from a diverse group of professionals from Americans for the Arts, Dance/USA, Performing Arts Alliance, LULAC, the National Portrait Gallery, the Archives of American Art, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Library of Congress, and the NEA. Our fellows and team members also met with their Senators and Representatives to express their views on the arts, immigration, healthcare and more. We celebrated the ALI with a joint event at the Library of Congress honoring Juan Felipe Herrera, poet laureate. 


This was a rewarding experience for all of us. Take a look at Michel Hausmann’s reflection of his experience advocating on the Hill to get a taste for what our fellows learned.

Hausmann MichelIn April, thanks to the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (#NALAC) Leadership Institute, I had the extraordinary opportunity of spending time on Capitol Hill talking to members of congress about two issues dear to my heart; The continuing support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a vital federal agency that President Trumps proposed eliminating in his latest budget, and of the humanitarian crisis currently undergoing in my home country of Venezuela.

I return home at awe with the beauty of American democracy. My representatives took the time to talk to me, a constituent, because I asked them to. I met with many people who have profoundly different views and position than myself, and I always felt free to express them and was always met with respect. Our democracy is not perfect, but “we the people” grossly underuse our power. It is our right to call our representatives and senators, it is our right to make appointments and talk to them."

~ Michel Hausmann, ALI Fellow, 2017


Herrera juan headshot


We had the honor of closing the ALI in joint celebration with the Library of Congress, honoring poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. We heard from Juan Felipe, Martha González, Hugo Morales, Louie Pérez and the Grammy-winning band, Quetzal. At the reception, our COO, Adriana Gallego offered a toast to the field of Latinx arts and to Juan Felipe. Take a look below!


"…he preferido hablar de cosas imposibles, porque de lo posible se sabe demasiado"
-canción ‘Resumen de Noticias’ by Silvio Rodríguez, trobador errantre, Cubano

NALAC 20170426 ALI Day3 0094...Today marks a very special occasion not only in the life of Latinx arts & cultures, but in the very fabric of our interconnected American stories, heritages, and futures. Through poetry, song, dance, theater, and visual expressions we produce new forms of understanding and knowledge-building that propel us, compel us, to imagine a new future of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Indeed, it is a poetic gesture for all of us to be here this evening. As we celebrate in community, we channel hope, change, and our highest aspirations through the language of creativity, improvisation, and rhythm. Tonight, the NEA Poetry Out Loud finals are taking place in DC, culminating with the participation of over 300,000 high school students from across the US that learned, rehearsed, and recited poems.

Tonight, as NALAC enters our 28th year of promoting, advancing, developing, and cultivating the Latinx arts field, we celebrate the culmination of the 7th Advocacy Leadership Institute, where fellows from 14 different parts of the country bridged relationships with their elected officials, bringing messages from home to the nation’s capital in the spirit of collaboration and consciousness-raising through the arts.

It brings me great pleasure to offer a toast honoring Juan Felipe Herrera, maestro, poeta, cultural worker, and community leader, for being precise in word, intentional in action, and light in spirit.

~ Adriana Gallego, NALAC Chief Operations Officer