NALAC Pod Grant Awarded to MantecaHTX

by Brandon Zech March 28, 2019
Cuban hip-hop artist El Cepe MC at an AfroRazones workshop, NALAC Pod Grant

Cuban hip-hop artist El Cepe MC at an AfroRazones workshop. Photo: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), a San Antonio-based organization dedicated to promoting Latinx artists, groups, and organizations, has announced the recipients of its inaugural NALAC Pod Grant.

Given out to five North America-based projects, the $2,500 award is designed to support initiatives that build on NALAC’s mission of advocating for and developing all aspects of Latinx art. As the grant’s description reads, the organization promoted it as “an opportunity for arts administrators, cultural workers and artists to organize networks, mobilize advocacy, amplify visibility, refine leadership skills, or sharpen aesthetic and critical thinking in their local arts and culture communities.”

The five projects selected for the grant are: Cultural Worker Workshop (Indiana), Dance in the Desert 2019 (Arizona), MantecaHTX: Latinx Art Registry/Directory (Texas), AfroRazones Presents: El Puente ErreD (Dominican Republic) and Poch@ House: Transnational Art (Mexico City).

MantecaHTX, the only Texas-based grantee, is a Latinx artist registry for Houston-area creatives that officially premiered last month. Exhibitions culled from profiles submitted to the site are currently in the works, and will be on view concurrently with the Spring of Latino Art, which is a program of Latino Art Now!, a conference happening in Houston in April of 2019.

See below for more on the other NALAC Pod Grant-awarded projects, via NALAC.

AfroRazones Presents: El Puente ErreD
Site: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Liaison: Luna Olavarría Gallegos (based in Albuquerque, NM)
Project Summary: To support the creation of a week-long workshop series that will educate Caribbean, Black, and Latino artists in Santo Domingo about the global music industry. Building on past initiatives in Cuba and a framework of inter-Caribbean exchange, the AfroRazones workshops also stem from the concept of “broadband-based social classes,” the idea that the current wave of resource inequality is determined by access to the use and creation of digital technology. Even when artists do have access to these tools and systems, they don’t always use them to their fullest capacity.

Cultural Worker Workshop
Site: Gary, IN
Liaison: Lauren M. Pacheco
Project Summary: To support a one-day arts administration and management focused workshop led by NALAC alumnus working as cultural laborers across interdisciplinary and cross-institutional partnerships. Launching a call for participation in Indiana and Illinois, ten sector curious and emerging art managers, gallerists, curators, and creative producers will convene for a rigorous day of learning, sharing, reflecting, and career planning. A primary objective, to cultivate a pipeline of black and brown stakeholders working in arts and culture sectors.

Poch@ House: Transnational Art
Site: Mexico City, Mexico
Liaison: Magdalena Loredo Ventura
Project Summary: To support the deported and returned Mexican communities that grew up in the United States, the Poch@ House: Transnational project will explore the possibilities of transnational organizing between the Latinx deported and returned community in Mexico and Mexican-American Artists. The project will give visibility to the transnational artistic talent representing the migration journey through different artistic disciplines, amplify the realities of the aftermath of deportation and forced return and explore pathways to political action on both sides of the border.

Dance in the Desert 2019
Site: Tucson, AZ
Liaison: Yvonne Montoya
Project Summary: To support Dance in the Desert (DITD) 2019, a week-long choreography retreat and professional development series for Arizona-based Latinx dancers and choreographers. This project will occur the week of May 13, 2019, in Tucson, AZ. A professional development series will include: copyrights for choreographers; lighting design and tech skills; peer-to-peer culturally competent choreography feedback sessions, master classes, and choreography workshops and mentorship.

MantecaHTX: Latinx Art Registry/Directory
Site: Houston, TX
Liaison: Julia Barbosa Landois
Project Summary: To support the creation of MantecaHTX, an easily navigable and free to use online registry/directory of Latinx visual, literary, and performing artists in the Greater Houston area. The registry will showcase the high caliber of Latinx cultural production in our region and provide a resource for curators, institutions, scholars, collectors, the general public, and the artists themselves, in order to facilitate greater opportunity, build networks, and highlight an underrepresented wealth of talent.

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