NALAC CEO and President María López De León and Luis Garza, NALAC Director of Technology and Innovation, present U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro with the NALAC Lifetime Achievement award in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy of NALAC. 

Congressman Joaquin Castro Presented with the NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award

SAN ANTONIO, TX, May 9, 2023  — Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas was presented with the NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award for his longtime commitment to supporting the arts. The award was presented on behalf of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) on April 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

“It is our honor to present Congressman Joaquin Castro with the NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to advocating for art and preserving the history and storytelling of Latinos and Mexican Americans. His commitment to service has increased access to arts and culture and provided pathways and resources that uplift and empower all communities,” said María López De León, NALAC CEO and president.

The NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Congressman Castro’s generosity of spirit and actions to ensure that all Americans have access to the arts. The award also recognizes Congressman Castro’s advocacy of arts and culture and promoting democracy and well-being for the nation. The Congressman has strongly supported expanding the narrative of diversity and inclusion for Latinos in film, media, and education, advocating for all communities to be celebrated and more accurately reflected therein.

“For decades, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures has played a vital role in supporting and promoting Latino artists and the communities that inspire them. I’m honored to receive this award, and I look forward to continuing my work with NALAC to advance Latino inclusion in the arts and highlight Latino contributions to culture and history across the Americas,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro.

Earlier this year, Congressman Castro, a San Antonio native, announced $102,250 in federal funding for San Antonio-based Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Latino Bookstore Education and Outreach Literacy Program, providing a valuable space to offer bilingual literacy and education for children through expanded, expert-designed, and culturally relevant programs that underscore literacy as a social practice and support the educational advancement of local children and other Texas constituents. Additionally, Congressman Castro secured $95,000 for Centro Cultural Aztlan, Inc., which will offer support for the center’s work with artists, educators, historians, and cultural experts to develop a series of lesson plans with audio-visual resources and age-appropriate arts activities to engage K-12 students in learning about Chicano art, culture, and history.

In December of 2022, Congressman Castro and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the fiscal year federal funding legislation for 2023, which secured more than $15.6 million for community projects in San Antonio. The bill includes billions of dollars in funding for programs focused on health care, nutrition, arts and culture, and workforce development that will directly benefit working people and seniors in San Antonio.

The award reception was held at the Rayburn House in Washington, D.C., with support from Congressman Greg Casar (TX-35), who delivered opening remarks honoring Congressman Castro. Special guest Huascar Medina, Seventh Poet Laureate of Kansas, was in attendance and performed a reading of his poem, New American, for Congressman Castro and guests.


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

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Featured Image: NALAC CEO and President María López De León and Luis Garza, NALAC Director of Technology and Innovation, present U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro with the NALAC Lifetime Achievement award in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy of NALAC.