2023 NLI Fellows at San Anto Cultural Arts’ "Lideres De La Comunidad" murals.

NALAC Selected for National Arts Research Initiative by The Wallace Foundation 

Joining Wallace’s multiyear arts initiative launched in 2021, NALAC will conduct research on the contributions of Latinx cultural organizations in the U.S. 

SAN ANTONIO, December 15, 2023 – The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), along with ten other selected organizations, have been awarded a total of $2.8 million to conduct research on issues relevant to the well-being of arts organizations of color and the communities they serve. Other partners included in this round of research awards include Camden FireWorks, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Critical Ecology Lab, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, Latinx Theatre Commons, Media and Data Equity Lab at Northwestern University, Mississippi Center for Cultural Production, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, Silk Road Rising, and Support Oakland Artists. 

Through the NALAC National Study of Latinx Arts and Culture Organizations, our goal is to quantify the historic disinvestment of Latinx arts organizations by gathering data and local stories that will be aggregated and analyzed to generate tools and resources that Latinx art leaders can use to strengthen the case for greater financial support in their local context. In partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago, NALAC will replicate and expand on its 2019 State of Latino Arts & Culture Organizations, a national assessment of the Latinx arts and culture field.

“Together with NORC, we will document how Latinx arts organizations define their organizational well-being, how they work toward it, and how it enables the contributions they make to their communities,” said NALAC Manager of Research, Lucila Lagace.

The contributions of thousands of Latinx artists and organizations in the U.S. remain unknown and underrepresented in the systems, structures, and research that support the U.S. cultural sector. This research will utilize field surveying and analysis to generate an interactive website and digital advocacy toolkit, allowing stakeholders to access the findings and effectively use the information to advance the important work of Latinx arts and cultural organizations in their local communities.

“We at NORC are honored to partner with NALAC on this important initiative to better understand how Latinx arts and culture organizations are serving communities across the nation. Collecting more comprehensive data on the Latinx arts and culture landscape will help ensure that NALAC can maximize the impacts of its vital work,” said NORC Senior Research Scientist, Gwendolyn Rugg.

NALAC was selected through a request for proposals (RFP) inviting organizations to lead the planning, implementation, or expansion of individual research projects of their own concept and design. The selected projects explore a range of topics, including challenging traditional metrics for thriving arts ecosystems and economies that reflect the aspirations of cultural communities.

These projects—in addition to the ongoing research studies led by the eight Field Studies program grantees announced in May of this year—are part of a body of nearly 50 research projects Wallace is funding over the five years of its ongoing arts initiative to answer questions pertinent to the field, and ultimately to advance practice, inform policy, and help build thriving communities.

These research projects are just one component of Wallace’s five-year, $104 million arts initiative, launched in 2021, through which the foundation is partnering with arts organizations founded by, for, and with communities of color to advance their well-being, enhance understanding of their contributions to community, and ultimately to help build a more equitable and sustainable arts ecosystem. In May of 2022, Wallace selected 18 organizations with budgets above $500,0000 for the first phase of the initiative. These organizations are carrying out individual projects designed to advance their organizational well-being and the gathering of insights along the way. In future phases, this initiative will support studies related to the goals and activities of a wide array of smaller arts organizations of color with budgets below $500,000, executed in partnership with regional arts organizations and arts service organizations across the country.

For more information on this initiative, please visit Wallace’s website.


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 www.nalac.org.

About NORC 
NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society. norc.org

About The Wallace Foundation 
The Wallace Foundation’s mission is to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. Wallace works nationally, with a focus on the arts, K-12 education leadership and youth development. In all of its work, Wallace seeks to benefit both its direct grantees as well as the fields in which it works by developing and broadly sharing relevant, useful knowledge that can improve practice and policy. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s Knowledge Center at wallacefoundation.org.

Program Contact 
Lucila Lagace, Research Manager, llagace@nalac.org

Media Contact 
Penny Rodriguez, Director of Communications, prodriguez@nalac.org

For inquiries about The Wallace Foundation
Caroline Farrell
Resnicow and Associates