Maria López De León
President, CEO and NALAC Board Member

María López De León is the President, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In 2013, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to the National Council on the Arts. In 2012 and 2013, she was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. She serves on multiple arts and culture policy panels and is an advocate for arts and cultural equity. She serves on the board of the First People’s Fund, the Performing Arts Alliance and on the advisory councils of San Anto Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts. Continue biography

Adriana Gallego
Chief Operating Officer

Adriana Gallego is the first Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. As an artist at the service of other artists, Gallego is motivated by social justice, and seeks to connect people with meaningful resources that grow personal and organizational capacity, build community, foster collaboration and bridge cultural understanding. Previously she was Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Educational Assistant at the Norton Simon Museum, and Arts Educator. She is on the board of The Association of American Cultures. Adriana graduated magna cum laude from the University Of Arizona College Of Fine Arts.

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Gabriel Magraner
Director of Programs

Gabriel Magraner is the Director of Programs of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). Most recently he was awarded two Fulbright ETA grants to Brazil where he served as a program mentor and taught English at the Federal University of Goiás and the University of Brasília. Gabriel first joined NALAC as part of the team responsible for the 2012 National Conference in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he studied Latin American Studies and Spanish; his research interests include cultural studies, music, race, and transnational identities.

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Lucha Lopez
Operations Manager

Lucha Lopéz is the Operations Manger of NALAC. As a multi-ethnic native Texan, Lucha is guided by social, political, and economic equity. She brings over 16 years of diverse, grassroots non-profit experience. Lucha studied liberal arts locally and joined NALAC in 2017. Lucha retains her culture by practicing many forms of native ceremonial traditions including Aztec and Chichimeca song and dance along with American Indian singing and drumming. She also maintains an active lifestyle which includes yoga, pilates, meditation, and lifting weights.

Frances Guajardo
Accounting Manager

Frances Guajardo has over eighteen years of nonprofit experience working with community based organizations across the state. As Accounting Manager at NALAC, Ms. Guajardo is primarily responsible for daily management and bookkeeping of financial processes and human resources. In her previous five year term as NALAC’s Operations Manager, Ms. Guajardo, worked in close collaboration with the CPA doing bookkeeping and accounting, coordinated and improved day to day operations, property and equipment maintenance, record keeping and administration processes, including assistance to the CEO, COO and Board. Guajardo joined NALAC in 2009 and worked closely on the implementation of upgrades to the Buena Vista Gardens building. She studied Nonprofit Management at University of Texas San Antonio. She actively volunteers in the San Antonio community.

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Luis M Garza
Database and Digital Media Specialist

Luis Garza is the Database and Digital Media Specialist for NALAC.  He is an artist and owner of LMG Photography and Art. For eight years Luis worked with Jowdy Photography, contracting with associations, conventions and corporate events throughout the U.S. and abroad. Through his own entrepreneurial ventures, his experiences have encompassed many facets of the photography business. His freelance work ranges from fine art photography, documentary video, large format print and digital photography. His core competencies include computer networking and administration to digital content management as well as graphic design, web design and print output. Luis is an alumnus of the NALAC Leadership and Advocacy Institutes. He continues to produce and exhibit work in San Antonio, where his photographs recently formed part of the University of Texas San Antonio art collection.

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Laura Guzmán
Communications Associate

Laura Guzmán is a communications professional based in New Orleans, LA. She works with nonprofits and social enterprises to craft communications & identities, and build relationships. Previously, Laura worked in the field of international development in New York City, Kolkata, India, and Kampala, Uganda. She received her MA in International Development from The New School in New York, and her BA in Latin American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include exploring the power of democracy, the arts, and grassroots movements to foment positive change, especially in Latin America.

Claudio Dicochea
Contributing Writer

A visual artist and university educator, Dicochea has also served as coordinator and guest faculty for the NALAC Leadership Institute Programs since 2012. Raised on the Mexican–United States border in southern Arizona, Dicochea studied at the University of Arizona, San Francisco Art Institute, and Arizona State University.  Drawing from his own experience at the geographic intersection of Mexican and American culture, Dicochea’s work is a contemporary re-examination of mestizaje, or mixed-race identity. His layered and visually dense paintings host a motley cast of figures and motifs dealing with the legacy of colonial representation, hybrid identity and contemporary media stereotypes.

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Hadia Mawlawi
Houston Latino Arts Research Associate

Hadia Mawlawi is an Arts Administrator in Houston with a special interest in intercultural & community projects. She spent the past 2 ½ years working for the Texan French Arts alliance, building bridges between Houston’s diverse cultural communities through participant-driven public art projects. She is a board member of the Arab American Cultural & Community Center (ACC) where she initiated the annual Arab Heritage Month. She curates exhibitions aimed at elevating the visibility of local emerging Arab artists and is deeply involved with projects related to refugees, including a panel discussion she moderated in 2016 as part of Houston’s Citizenship Month. She was born in Beirut and grew up in London, went to a French school and loves meeting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

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Marco Seiferle-Valencia
Michigan Research Associate

Marco Seiferle-Valencia is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at Michigan State University and the Technical Director of Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective. He earned his IMLS degree at University of Michigan in 2013. He is also digital archivist of El Museo del Norte, the South-Western Detroit Latinx history organization.

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Jody Sarkozy-Banoczy
Development Associate

Jody Sarkozy-Banoczy is an independent grant-writing consultant based in the Washington D.C. area. Her expertise lies in the arts and Native community development field. She has 15 years of experience and success writing grants to several foundations and federal agencies including the CDFI Fund, Administration for Native Americans, USDA, HUD and others. She is the former director of development for First Nations Oweesta Corporation and her work supports organizations focused on Native artist entrepreneurship, small business development, youth, leadership and affordable housing.

Richard J. Garcia

Richard is a 1985 graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Computer Information Systems. He received his license as a CPA in 1994. Richard has experience in accounting, tax, payroll and management services and he enjoys working with clients in a wide range of industries and sizes (start ups to medium sized). He works with numerous clients in tax planning and tax return preparation. Richard is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.  He is also a member of the San Antonio Society of Certified Public Accountants and has served on a select number of their committees. He has been an instructor with the Becker CPA Review Program as well as a Quickbooks Pro Advisor.

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Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
NALAC Archives Volunteer / NALAC Advisory Council Member

Dr. Ybarra-Frausto was the Associate Director of Creativity and Culture at the Rockefeller Foundation and served as Chairman of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and the Smithsonian Council. He is the recipient of Mexico’s Order of the Aztec Eagle, the Henry Medal by the Smithsonian Institution, and the NALAC Lifetime Achievement Award. He currently serves on NALAC's Advisory Council.

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Dudley Brooks
NALAC Archives Volunteer

Dudley Brooks is a retired project manager for Recreational Equipment Inc. He is a long-time supporter of the arts and a community activist.