Michigan Latino Arts Initiative


With generous support from the Kellogg Foundation, NALAC is making strategic investments in Michigan to bolster leadership development, grow networks and partnerships locally, regionally and nationally and provide financial resources for those front-line artists and organizations involved in effecting change through arts and culture.

The development and implementation of the 21-month Michigan Latino Arts Initiative is proceeding with great momentum. To date, NALAC has hosted 2 statewide conferences in Michigan, including the 2015 Regional Arts Training Workshop in Detroit, (90 attendees), 2016 Michigan Latinx Summit (150 attendees). We cohosted a Detroit Performance Exchange for youth and a Pre-Concert Community Reception with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán in Ann Arbor. During statewide tours, we conducted 18 site visits, workshops, and networking events in 8 cities. Seven grants were awarded to Michigan based arts organizations ($36,500), we developed 13 new partnerships, sponsored nine individual leadership development opportunities for Michigan artists, and added over 324 new contacts from throughout the state. Two arts professionals from Michigan were selected from among 325+ applicants to participate in the inaugural year of the Intercultural Leadership Institute 3-part program. Four artists and alumni from Michigan presented their work at the 30th and 31st Regional Arts Training Workshops in Texas and North Carolina; and one artist served on the advisory committee for a NALAC National Stakeholders Meeting.

Opportunities and Events

NALAC serves to build Latino communities and their connection to broader communities, particularly those most impacted by societal inequities. NALAC believes that if we are to achieve equity for all there must be opportunities for organizations and artists to strengthen their work, deepen their relationships, and develop and sustain cultural spaces from which to engage the public with diverse artistic expression. Furthermore, we believe that arts and culture are uniquely positioned to spark and sustain community change. While NALAC has had a presence nationally, we believe that building locally is paramount to the real, long-term and sustainable outcomes we seek alongside our communities, as such, we seek to build out capacity and encourage advocacy for and by Latino communities in Michigan through the following objectives: building a field and leadership conduit for Latinos in Michigan; strategic grantmaking; fostering connective tissue; amplifying advocacy and research.

NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI)

The NALAC Leadership Institute brings emerging and established artists and arts administrators from across the nation for intensive training in nonprofit arts management and leadership development. Four Michigan fellows in 2016-2017.

Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI)

The Intercultural Leadership Institute reflects an intercultural sector whose goal is to achieve cultural equity through heightened solidarity among artists, administrators, funders, and culture bearers. The Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) is a joint leadership initiative between NALAC, First Peoples Fund, Alternate Roots and PA’I Foundation.  Two Michigan fellows in 2017.

Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI)

The Advocacy Leadership Institute provides an immersion course on public policy and advocacy training. Participants train with Congressional Staff and experienced arts advocates in Washington DC. Deadline now closed.  Three Michigan artists were selected to attend.  Four Michigan fellows in 2016-2017.

Detroit Regional Arts Training Workshop, June 5-6, 2015

NALAC convenes Regional Arts Training Workshops nationally to assist in strengthening local networks of Latino artists, leaders and organizations, while fostering active engagement between NALAC and its constituents.  Over 90 participants, conferees, and performers from eleven states were in attendance (AZ, CA, DC, OH, IL, MA, MI, PA, RI, TX, WI) attended the Detroit Regional Arts Training Workshop. With additional support from Southwest Airlines and The Joyce Foundation, NALAC was able to provide registration and partial travel scholarships. NALAC fostered connections with local organizations in order to host the event. Day One was hosted at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Southwest Detroit. Day Two was hosted at The Carr Center, one of the premier centers for African and African American cultural arts programs in the nation. Our reception was held at Garage Cultural, a community arts education collective. Local outfits Tequila Cabresto and Mc. Clary Bros. Drinking Vinegars donated drinks for our reception.

NALAC Fund for the Arts

Open to US-based Latino artists, ensembles & Latino arts organizations that demonstrate artistic excellence in pursuit of social justice through art. To date, the NALAC Fund for the Arts has awarded over one million dollars to a diverse range of artists and organizations representing every discipline and region of the country. In the last 18 months, NALAC’s three grant programs have yielded investments to the tune of $36,500 in support of Michigan Latinx artistic cultural production.

Michigan Latino Arts Survey

Identify existing ecosystem of Latinx artistic communities and efforts throughout Michigan, conduct asset mapping, and consequently expand the Latina/o voice in the Region.  Through the Michigan Latino Arts Survey, we aim to discover what resources are benefiting Michigan arts practitioners, as well as what areas can benefit from further support. To this end, two surveys were customized to address Artists and Organizations, respectively. NALAC will analyze the results and use trends to inform advocacy efforts in support of Michigan Latinx arts communities. The participation of Latinx artists and arts organizations is key to ensure all communities are represented.

Michigan Latinx Artist Summit

The NALAC Michigan Latinx Arts Summit established a new space for more than 150 artists, arts professionals, educators, organizers, and community leaders to respond to questions of statewide collaboration, equity, advocacy, and interculturality. Taking place on October 7, 2016, at the Ford Resource Center in Southwest Detroit, the Summit brought together a diverse group hailing from Adrian, Ann Arbor, Bay City, Belleville, Beverly Hills, Bloomfield, Carrollton, Dearborn, Detroit, Dexter, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hamtramck, Hazel Park, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Lincoln Park, Pontiac, Romulus, Royal Oak, Saginaw, Sterling Heights, Troy, White Lake and Ypsilanti. The timely Keynote was delivered by Yosimar Reyes, a poet working to shift narratives surrounding undocumented Americans. Panel and session themes explored by the 25 presenters included: Intersections of Art and Society, Creating a Statewide Latinx Arts and Culture Movement, Interculturality to Advance Cultural Equity, Development, and Roundtable Conversations for youth, individual artists, and arts organizations. Arts advocacy was central, and the Summit included a Town Hall. NALAC multiplied the impact of the Summit by partnering with ArtChangeUS who hosted the REMAP: Detroit convening the day before; a reception was co-hosted at the Arab American National Museum to cross-pollinate the convenings. Registration to the Summit was free thanks to generous support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Detroit Performance Exchange- March 31, 2016- Detroit

NALAC, the University Musical Society and Grace in Action in Detroit, co-hosted a residency with young female Mariachi vocalists from Texas and Detroit multidisciplinary youth artists, where they had an opportunity to network, discuss their arts practices and perform with each other.

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Pre-Concert Community Reception – April 1, 2016- Ann Arbor
NALAC and the University Musical Society welcomed community artists, organizations and audience members to a Pre-Concert Reception at the Hill Auditorium, on the campus of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, MI.