Latino Theater Company Receives $5 Million Grant to Lead National Latinx Theater Initiative

Boosting Latinx theater companies across the U.S. & Puerto Rico.

By: Oct. 02, 2023

Latino Theater Company Receives $5 Million Grant to Lead National Latinx Theater Initiative Los Angeles-based Latino Theater Company has been awarded a three-year, five-million-dollar award from the Mellon Foundation to spearhead the National Latinx Theater Initiative, a new re-granting program that will boost the national profile of Latinx theater companies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, disperse funds needed to pursue greater financial stability and nurture artistic voices in a post-pandemic landscape. In addition to the grant from Mellon, the initiative has received funding support from the Ford Foundation ($2 million over two years), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund ($750,000 over three years), the Joyce Foundation ($600,000 over three years), the California Community Foundation ($500,000 over two years) and an anonymous donor ($150,000 over two years).

Latino Theater Company artistic director José Luis Valenzuela and internationally recognized arts administrator Olga Garay-English will serve as directors of the initiative during the initial three-year period of a ten-year effort. A national steering committee, created in 2021 with the help of a $150,000 planning grant from Mellon, provided guidance on the structure. Comprised of diverse Latinx theater professionals from across the country and Puerto Rico, the 11-member committee included, in addition to Valenzuela and Garay-English, Pedro Adorno of Puerto Rico's Agua, Sol y Sereno theater company; Jacqueline Flores of Latinx Theatre Commons in Boston, MA; Tony García of Su Teatro in Denver, CO; Miranda González of Urban Theater Company in Chicago, IL; Abel Lopez of Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington D.C.; David Lozano of Cara Mia Theatre in Houston, TX; Rosalba Rolón of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York, NY; Mario Ernesto Sánchez of Teatro Avante and the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami in Miami, FL; and José Torres Tama, a theater artist from New Orleans, LA.

“This new re-granting initiative was inspired by ‘The Black Seed,'” explains Olga Garay-English, referring to a first-ever national strategic plan to create impact and thrivability for Black theater institutions. “The funders' collaborative, which includes both national and local foundations, will allow us to make a minimum of 40 to 60 grants throughout the country and Puerto Rico from 2023 to 2025. Meanwhile, we are working to procure additional monies and have set a three-year fundraising goal of $15 million. At the $15 million level, the initiative will be able to award significant grants to 60 or more Latinx theaters. If all the commitments we have currently come through, we will have about $10 million in 2023 for regranting, other programming efforts, and administration of the initiative. As with The Black Seed, this is the first time major donors are systemically addressing the perennial under-funding and under-capitalization of Latinx theater companies. Most of the money raised is being re-granted through competitive general operating support grants.”

The National Latinx Theater Initiative will provide general operating support to national Latinx anchor producing theaters with budgets over $250K and programming for 15 years or more with grants ranging from $75,000 to $150,000 a year for a minimum of two years; and to local Latinx anchor producing theaters with budgets under $250K and programming for at least 5 years with grants ranging from $25,000 to $60,000 annually for a minimum of two years.

In addition, the initiative will offer a robust professional development component that will include annual grantee convenings, meetings of the Latinx theater field more broadly, consultations with the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and other opportunities for growth. The current, nine-member national steering committee will continue to help guide the effort.

The U.S. Latinx community has been hit disproportionately hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many Latinx theater companies have evolved to create work on virtual platforms so they can continue sharing stories that reflect the field's diverse communities. The National Latinx Theater Initiative will provide financial robustness so grantees can emerge in a post-pandemic landscape stronger than they were in the past, allowing these multifaceted theaters and ensembles to continue to serve and represent their audiences, provide respectable and meaningful work for countless artists, designers, and technical and production professionals, and remain significant to the U.S. national culture.

A total of 52 Latinx local and national anchor producing theaters were chosen using a competitive peer review panel process. A total of six theaters from Chicago received funding support. Los Angeles had a total of five grantees, while Greater New York City had ten theaters in the final tally. Other places with multiple grantees include Greater California (six), Greater Miami (six), Puerto Rico (six) and Texas (four). One theater from each of the following locations throughout the United States received funding support: Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

The Latino Theater Company is dedicated to providing a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; and a place where the convergence of people, cultures and ideas contribute to the future. Now in its 38th year, LTC has operated The Los Angeles Theatre Center, a landmark building in Downtown's Historic Core, since 2006.

National Latinx Theater Initiative
Grantees and Locations:

  1. About Productions – Pasadena, CA
  2. Aguijón Theater Company – Chicago, IL
  3. Antiheroes Project, Inc. – Miami, FL
  4. Arca Images – Miami, FL
  5. Artefactus Cultural Project, Inc. – Coral Gables, FL
  6. Asociación ACirc Corp – San Juan, Puerto Rico
  7. A Todo Dar, Cedar Park, TX
  8. Borderlands Theater – Tucson, AZ
  9. Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble, Santa Ana, CA
  10. Caborca, Brooklyn, NY
  11. Cara Mía Theatre, Dallas, TX
  12. CARPA San Diego, San Diego, CA
  13. Casa 0101, Los Angeles, CA
  14. Cazateatro Bilingual Theater Group, Memphis, TN
  15. Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), Chicago, IL
  16. Combat Hippies/Teo Castellano, Miami, FL
  17. Company of Angels, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
  18. Culture Clash, Los Angeles, CA
  19. El Ingenio Teatro, Miami, FL
  20. El Teatro Campesino, San Juan de Bautista, CA
  21. GALA Inc., Washington, D.C.
  22. Group.BR Limited, New York, New York
  23. Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, TX
  24. International Arts Relations, Inc. (INTAR), NY, NY
  25. LatinUS Theater Experience Company, Inc., Cleveland, OH
  26. Latinx Playwrights Circle, Middletown, NY
  27. Miracle Center, Chicago, IL
  28. Miracle Theatre Group (Milagro), Portland, OR
  29. Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Bronx, NY
  30. Programa de Artes Escénicas, Teatros Francisco Arriví y Victoria Espinosa, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, PR
  31. SINERGIA Theatre Group-Grupo de Teatro SINERGIA, Los Angeles, CA
  32. Spanish Theatre Repertory Company, Ltd. (Repertorio Español), NY, NY
  33. Su Teatro, Denver, CO
  34. Tantai Teatro, San Juan, PR
  35. Teatro Alebrijes, San Jose, CA 
  36. Teatro Avante, Inc., Miami, FL
  37. Teatro Breve, San Juan, PR
  38. Teatro Circulo, NY, NY 
  39. Teatro Dallas, Dallas, TX
  40. Teatro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
  41. Teatro del Pueblo, Saint Paul, MN
  42. Teatro ECAS, Providence, RI
  43. Teatro Nagual, Sacramento, CA
  44. Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe, NM
  45. Teatro Público, San Juan, PR
  46. Teatro Sea, NY, NY
  47. Teatro Visión, San José, CA
  48. Teatro Vista, Chicago, IL
  49. Thalia Theater, Sunnyside, NY
  50. The Sol Project, NY, NY
  51. Urban Theater Chicago DBA Urban Theater Company, Chicago, IL
  52. Water People Theater, Chicago, IL

National Latinx Theater Initiative

About the Funders:

The California Community Foundation has served as a public, charitable organization for Los Angeles County since 1915. Its mission is to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities. CCF is committed to making a difference through meaningful advocacy, outreach and community investments. For more information, please visit

Across eight decades, the Ford Foundation has invested in innovative ideas, visionary individuals, and frontline institutions advancing human dignity around the world with a mission to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

The Joyce Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Chicago that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. We support research, development, and advocacy in six areas: Culture, Democracy, Education & Economic Mobility, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform, and Journalism. To learn more, visit

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation's largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

A private family foundation rooted in the Rockefeller tradition of philanthropy, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund advances social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable and peaceful world through grantmaking, convening, mission-aligned investing and leadership.


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