Houston Equity Report Press Conference at Houston City Hall September 2018

Study Reveals Major Funding Gaps for Houston Latino Arts Organizations

Houston Leaders at Equity Report and Inugural “Latino Arts Day In Houston” Press Conference at Houston City Hall, September 2018

Initial findings in the NALAC Report attest to continued inequity for culturally specific arts organizations.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) will release a report on Friday, September 14 with key findings highlighting dramatic funding disparities for Latino arts and cultural organizations in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. The report’s launch offers an opportunity for public and private stakeholders to collaborate and find solutions to equity issues.

The press conference and public launch of the report is being hosted by NALAC in conjunction with Houston arts leaders and takes place Friday, September 14 at 2:00pm at Houston City Hall in the Legacy Room. Tony Díaz, Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board Arts Committee will open the press conference. City Council Member Robert Gallegos will attend and announce a City of Houston proclamation declaring September 14th as “Latino Arts Day In Houston.”

Click here to access the report: “A Call to Collaborate: Continued Inequity in Funding Houston Latinx Arts Organizations (2010 – 2015)”

“NALAC was asked by Houston Latinx arts leaders to research funding patterns and use the data to inspire a thought-provoking analysis of issues impacting the city’s Latinx arts sector,” said NALAC President and CEO María López de León. “Potential solutions to bridging the gap of inequitable distribution of resources lie within the entire ecosystem of philanthropy, organizations and policymakers.”

The research itself primarily looks at the state of arts funding in Houston from 2010 to 2015, analyzing disbursements of the Houston Hotel Occupancy Tax and four prominent Houston foundations. While Houston’s Latino communities represent 44% of the population, current support for Latino arts and culture is not proportional by any measure.

NALAC was approached by Houston Latino arts and culture stakeholders in 2016 with a request to undertake this project. Houston-based author and NALAC Board Member Adán Medrano played a key role in shaping the project.

“We know that in order to serve as stronger arts advocates for all our diverse communities, data about our arts ecosystem is crucial,” said Medrano. “Houston is a ‘can do’ city and this research can inform how all stakeholders can work together for a more vibrant and equitable arts and culture sector in Houston.”

This September Latino cultural workers launched the Houston Alliance of Latinx Arts (HALA). Benito Vasquez is a HALA member and also serves as artistic and managing director of Latinx theatre company TEATRX.

“Latinx artists and organizations have not yet received an equitable share of the arts funding in relation to the city’s population,” said Vasquez. “HALA is interested in finding solutions by creating a strong and healthy coalition of Latinx artists and arts administrators to work toward changing the status quo.”  Vasquez and other members of HALA will also attend the conference.

National studies such as the Helicon Collaborative report “Not Just Money: Equity Issues in Cultural Philanthropy” show consistent and growing trends of inequity in every major US city when it comes to philanthropic giving. Given Houston’s demographics as one of the most diverse cities in the country, the need to understand and measure issues of cultural and racial equity are particularly acute.

“A concerned Latinx population has rightfully raised concerns not as a judgment but as citizens with a desire to effect change now and for future generations,” said López de León.


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.


Friday, September 14th, 2018
2:00 PM
Houston City Hall, Legacy Room
901 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002


Media Contact:

Gabriel Magraner, gmagraner@nalac.org


Office Contact:

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC)

1208 Buena Vista, San Antonio, TX 78207

210.432.3982 | NALAC.org

Twitter and Instagram: @nalac_arts

Facebook: @nalac.arts