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NALAC Catalyst For Change Grants Foster Radical Imagination And Racially Just Systems

NALAC will award $1.2 million to Latinx artists over three years.

NALAC Catalyst For Change Grants Foster Radical Imagination And Racially Just Systems

In partnership with the Surdna Foundation, NALAC embarks on a new grantmaking initiative to support Latinx artists working to radically imagine more racially just systems.

For its first iteration of the grant, NALAC is working with past grantees and alumni with experience in community arts practice to build out and model the new Catalyst for Change grant program. Eleven artists, representing seven different states and seven artistic disciplines, are working with NALAC in this model year with projects addressing systems of injustice within their own communities.

The second cycle of NALAC's Catalyst for Change Award is anticipated to launch in late summer 2021 for Latinx artists.

"This partnership with the Surdna Foundation offers an opportunity for NALAC to support artists who can approach the concept of 'radical imagination for racial justice' in a variety of ways. Artists are focusing on an array of different structural issues in their communities, including the school-to-prison pipeline, food access and sustainability, and healthcare inequities affecting Black and Brown communities. Others are seeking to create spaces of shared healing and resourcing for underinvested groups, such as queer artists and undocumented writers, or to organize and mobilize intercultural collaborations to affect local policy." said NALAC president and CEO María López de León.

This model year has allowed time for NALAC to design and test additional mechanisms to support its grantees, as well as evaluate its grantmaking processes from top to bottom with the goal of strengthening resourcing for the Latinx arts field.

NALAC has partnered with Ebony Noelle Golden, principal consultant of Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative to design a program curriculum focused on cultural strategy as well as an evaluation methodology that will capture the story and learnings of the Year 1 program and individual artist projects.

Long-time collaborators Lisa Yancey (Yancey Consulting), Joel Garcia (Meztli Projects) and Lauren Ruffin (Fractured Atlas & Crux) served as coaching partners for artists as they developed their projects.

"The inaugural Catalyst for Change grantees demonstrate the power of artists to challenge the status quo and reimagine a more just world in which everyone can thrive," said Robert Smith III, program officer of the Surdna Foundation's Thriving Cultures program. "As communities across the nation work together to dismantle systemic racism, we are proud to partner with NALAC to support this powerful cohort of artists to work within their communities to use their collective experience, strategies, and creativity to realize lasting change."

NALAC's work with Surdna is part of a larger $13 million commitment that the Surdna Foundation has made with ten other organizations including Alternate Roots, Creative Capital, and NDN Collective. Details for the second cycle of NALAC's Catalyst for Change Award will be shared on the NALAC website in summer 2021.

NALAC Catalyst for Change Award
Year 1 Model Year Artists

Anel I. Flores / San Antonio, TX
Bobby LeFebre / Denver, CO
ChristinaMaria Xochtlzihualtl Patiño Houle | Las Imaginistas / Rio Grande Delta
Emilio Rodriguez & Black and Brown Theatre / Ypsilanti, MI
Jesus CIMI Alvarado / El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, MX
Michelle Angela Ortiz / Philadelphia, PA
Milteri Tucker Concepción | Bombazo Dance Co, Inc. / Bronx, NY
Sanchez/Muñoz y DouglaPrieta Trabaja / Douglas, AZ and Sonora, MX
Paul S. Flores / San Francisco, CA
Yosimar Reyes / Los Angeles, CA
4 Ollin / San Antonio, TX

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