María López De León, President and CEO of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), recently announced that she will be stepping down from her position this fall.
Ms. De León has worked for NALAC for 24 years, serving as the Executive Director for 19 of those years. During her time at the organization, NALAC launched grant programs for Latino artists and organizations in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America. She also oversaw the annual Leadership Institute and the Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., a three-day professional development program for Latino art advocates; cofounded the Intercultural Leadership Institute, a year-long leadership program with a cross-cultural approach developed for artists and art workers; and directed numerous NALAC national conferences and regional arts professional development opportunities across the U.S.
In a public message sent via the NALAC e-newsletter, Ms. De León stated, “It has been a great honor to serve the Latinx arts and culture community and support your work. Your creativity and vision drive NALAC’s mission, and there is still much more work to be done. It is time for me to make way for a new generation of leadership to propel NALAC into the future.”
In a separate statement issued by the NALAC Board of Directors, Board Member Anthony Garcia stated, “María López De León is a national game-changer and shaper. She united Latinx leaders and organizers in the cause of justice and transformation when we had limited game changing and shaping ability. She is one of the greatest leaders of our generation, and we are living in a different world because of what she has built.”
The NALAC Board is working with Arts Consulting Group to conduct a national search for the next president and CEO of the San Antonio-based organization.