National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Awards $1.13 Million to Latinx Artists and Arts Organizations

by Jessica Fuentes May 20, 2023

The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) has granted 102 awards, totaling $1.13 million, through its 2023 NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA).

For over 15 years, the NFA has awarded project-based grants to Latinx artists and arts organizations. In 2020 and 2021, NALAC used these funds to assist artists and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year marks the return to the grant’s original purpose and the largest number of awards granted in a single year in the NFA program’s history.

In a press release, José Castillo Rocha, NALAC’s Interim Grants Manager, remarked, “The NFA is awarding more than double the number of grants in a single year of the NFA’s history. This is close to scale with the growing influence of Latinx cultural producers and attends to the need we observed in the field after providing emergency relief grants at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our latest cohort is just one step closer to representing today’s Latinx demographic growth and spotlights the resilience and intrinsic merit of Latinx art.”

The NFA grants are awarded in the following categories: Catalyst for Change, for projects that use art and community-based cultural organizing to address racial justice; the Adán Medrano Legacy Award in Film, awarded to emerging filmmakers deepening the understanding of Latinx expression and identity; and the Flamboyan Artist Fellowship, which supports the production of work created and presented by artists living and working in Puerto Rico, and more broadly, supports the restoration and sustainability of artistic and cultural practices by artists based on the island.

María López De León, CEO and President of NALAC, stated, “The NALAC Fund for the Arts program is experiencing an unparalleled year, and we are privileged to oversee the distribution of these grants in partnership with our allies. Our goal is to support Latinx artists, cultural organizations, and community leaders with the necessary resources and investment to advance their invaluable contributions.”

A photograph of playwright and interdisciplinary artist Virginia Grise sitting at a wooden picnic table with fruit on it and in baskets hanging from the ceiling.

Virginia Grise of a todo dar productions. Image courtesy of NALAC.

Of the more than 100 awards, four Texas-based artists and organizations have received funding. Dr. Ivan Valbuena, a clarinetist based in Cedar Park, has received a grant in support of his A Dos Music Project, which combines traditional music with contemporary elements of Latin rhythms. Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, Inc., an Austin-based nonprofit founded in 1997, received funding to support its educational programs and cultural events. Playwright and interdisciplinary artist Virginia Grise, based in Cedar Park, was awarded a grant in support of her company, a todo dar productions. And ENTRE, a community film center founded by artists C. Díaz and Andres Sanchez, located in the Rio Grande Valley, has received a grant in support of its efforts to support emerging filmmakers to document and share the narratives of communities along the U.S./Mexico border. 

A photograph of Andres Sanchez and C. Díaz of ENTRE.

Andres Sanchez and C. Díaz of ENTRE. Image courtesy of NALAC.

C. Díaz told Glasstire, “One of ENTRE’s core values is knowledge democracy—expanding and exploring the ways we share and learn information within our community. Through workshops and screenings, we commission local artists, organizers and technicians to share their perspectives and encourage others in the region to experiment using these ideas and skills. Receiving the NALAC Fund for the Arts award will allow for ENTRE to continue commissioning individuals in our community and beyond to share their unique skill sets with others. ENTRE is committed to the (r)evolution of our creative economy, and this award will provide us with the financial support necessary to properly compensate programmers, artists and facilitators for their time and energy.”

Learn more about ENTRE via its website.

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