The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Announces ‘Catalyst for Change’ Grant

by Christopher Blay November 26, 2020

Catalyst for Change artist Anel I. Flores.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) has announced its Catalyst for Change grant. The multi-discipline award to artists from seven different states is in keeping with the nonprofit’s mission, which is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of Latino artists. Eleven artists are part of the 2020, round one cohort, and NALAC has partnered with the Surdna Foundation for the grant, which will award $1.2 million to Latinx artists over three years. Round two of the Catalyst for Change Award is expected to launch in late summer 2021. 

paul_flores“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,”  says NALAC president and CEO María López de León. “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.”

Ebony Noelle Golden, principal consultant of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, will design the Year One program curriculum, with a focus on cultural strategy. Lisa Yancey of Yancey Consulting, Joel Garcia with Meztli Projects, and Lauren Ruffin of Fractured Atlas & Crux were coaching partners to the artists.

“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,” says 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.”

The Catalyst for Change projects include Anel I. Flores’ $25,000 grant for La Otra Taller Nepantla, and Jesus CIMI Alvarado’s $25,00 grant for Appropriated Boundaries, among others.

For a complete list of artists and projects, please go here.


The NALAC Fund for the Arts is the only national grant program intentionally investing in Latinx artists and nonprofit arts organizations in the United States. (Latinx is a gender-neutral term increasingly used in lieu of Latino or Latina).

As of February 2020, NALAC has awarded over 634 grants to the Latino arts and cultures field, reflecting an investment of $3.2 million across 36 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and México.

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