NALAC receives $6 million gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett

NALAC Leadership Institute Fellows visit the murals at the NALAC campus in 2019. Photo Credit: Luis M Garza.

June 16, 2021 – The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the recipient of a $6 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.

“NALAC is thankful for the generous gift of $6 million from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. The unrestricted gift will bolster our capacity to promote and cultivate the Latinx arts field for generations to come. I want to thank the artists, for they are the inspiration for our work as well as the community of supporters and the NALAC team, past and present, for their many contributions that built this legacy organization,” said María López de León, President and CEO of NALAC.

Founded in 1989, NALAC provides critical advocacy, funding, leadership development and professional training for Latinx artists and arts organizations in the United States in Puerto Rico. Over 500 Latinx artists and arts administrators have participated in its intensive leadership training programs. NALAC has awarded over 893 grants to the field totaling an investment of $5.1 million. In addition to the flagship NALAC Fund for the Arts, NALAC has developed several new grantmaking initiatives focused on relief, racial justice, and artists and organizations at the US-Mexico border.

NALAC was one of 286 non-profit organizations selected who share a commitment to community-centered service, equity, and groups and categories that are underfunded by philanthropy. The official announcement and full list of grantees can be found in MacKenzie Scott’s blog post entitled “Seeding by Ceding.”

MacKenzie Scott writes that “Arts and cultural institutions can strengthen communities by transforming spaces, fostering empathy, reflecting community identity, advancing economic mobility, improving academic outcomes, lowering crime rates, and improving mental health, so we evaluated smaller arts organizations creating these benefits with artists and audiences from culturally rich regions and identity groups that donors often overlook.”

NALAC congratulates the selected grantees with a focus on Latinx art and culture and recognizes their immense artistic contributions and advocacy for equitable and transformational change. Grantees include Ballet Hispanico, El Museo del Barrio, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Flamboyan Arts Fund, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, Fondo Semillas, Hyde Square Task Force, Mexic-Arte Museum, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, National Museum of Mexican Art, Self Help Graphics & Art and Southwest Folklife Alliance.

“We are grateful for the transformational gifts to NALAC and the BIPOC arts sector and hope it will accelerate a collective will for intentional investment in our work” said María López de León, President and CEO of NALAC. Scott and Jewett also made major gifts to NALAC’s partners in the Intercultural Leadership InstituteAlternate ROOTS, First Peoples Fund, Sipp Culture and PA’I Foundation. In response to the pandemic, NALAC and the ILI partners collaborated with the Mellon Foundation and other funders to build a $5.2 million fund for artists and smaller arts organizations in communities of color that are overlooked and particularly vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.



Alberto Mejia, NALAC Deputy Director [email protected]