Meet the Cultural Workers Visiting Capitol Hill to Advocate for Latinx Arts and Cultures
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) announces the 17 Fellows who will travel to Capitol Hill to advocate for cultural equity and increased funding for the arts. Virtual training sessions are underway for the ninth edition of the NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute taking place on April 8-10, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Participants will meet with leaders from Americans for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and various Smithsonian Institutions before meeting with congressional leaders.
On the Hill, Fellows will advocate on behalf of their own communities and tell the stories of the contributions of Latinx arts to the fabric of our nation's cultural legacy. The ALI Fellows will amplify the leadership role of artists and organizations in promoting policies for cultural equity and social justice; advocating for a range of issues such as research funding for creative arts therapies within health agencies, maintaining and increasing deferred action programs, and increasing access to equitable arts education with culturally-relevant pedagogy.
NALAC President and CEO María De León, expressed, "Latinx arts and culture plays a significant role in the development of a new framework in the equitable support of the arts and the promotion of social justice. The voices of Latinx artists will be heard in the halls of Congress illuminating the power of their work."
The institute will close with the ninth NALAC Arts Leadership Reception taking place at the Library of Congress in Madison Hall on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 6:00pm. Supporters are invited to RSVP and attend.
Notably, this year's class is majority Latina and millennial. They represent districts across California, Arkansas, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. The full list of participants and their biographies are below.
"Participating in the Advocacy Leadership Institute is important because it provides practical strategies for creating meaningful change that is motivated by personal agency and relationship-building," said Jenna Gonzales, NALAC Programs Manager.
Complementing other national arts advocacy efforts, NALAC's training offers a unique lens through Latinx arts and cultures as well as a vision of cultural equity that is possible through intercultural solidarity. The faculty team composed of Abel López (Teatro GALA), Rosalba Rolón (Pregones/PRTT) and María López de León (NALAC) nurture a deeper understanding of the frameworks involved in shaping cultural policy.
The ninth NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute is made possible thanks to Southwest Airlines, the Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Americans for the Arts, and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
The 2019 ALI Fellows are:
Valeria Alderete, Conjunto Heritage Taller (San Antonio, TX)
Celestina Cardona-Billington, Independent Artist (Westport & New Bedford, MA)
Jesus Mario Contreras, Filmmaker (Elgin, IL)
Eva Davis, Curator (Brooklyn, NY)
Avalon Fajardo-Anstine, Su Teatro (Denver, CO)
Leticia Gomez Franco, City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture (San Diego, CA)
Erika Guadalupe Núñez, Juntos (Philadelphia, PA)
Laura Guerrero Nieto, Los Angeles County Arts Commission (Los Angeles, CA)
Nadia Guevara (San Diego, CA)
Dalila Huerta, La Casa de Amistad (South Bend, IN)
Roxana Leiva, Novato High School (Rohnert Park, CA)
Marianna Lucero, Educator (Denver, CO)
Laura Molinar, Sueños Sin Fronteras de Tejas (San Antonio, TX)
Annette Ramos, Rochester Latino Theatre Company (Rochester, NY)
Alejandro Quintanilla, El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil (Flint, MI)
Shayna Schlosberg, The Catastrophic Theatre (Houston, TX)
Lia Uribe, University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)