BIOGRAPHY:

María López De León

María López De León

Cultural Arts

María López De León is the Executive Director and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In January 2013, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to serve on the National Council on the Arts. In 2012, Ms. De León was named among the nation’s 2012 Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts.

Ms. De León has over twenty years of multifaceted experience working with community based organizations across the country. She serves on multiple arts and culture policy panels and is a noted speaker and advocate for arts and cultural equity. She serves on the board of the First People's Fund, the Performing Arts Alliance and is an advisory council member of San Anto Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts.  She is a fellow of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She studied Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Ms. De León has been with NALAC for sixteen years and has served as Executive Director for thirteen years.  Ms. De León has been involved in all aspects of development and implementation of the NALAC programs and strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, NALAC developed and launched three grant programs, the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), a grant program for Latino artists and organizations; the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR), a grant program for artists and organizations in the U.S., Mexico and Central America; the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces program, a grant program that supports organizations that are part of the Ford Foundation’s Diverse Art Spaces to expand their Latino programming to diverse audiences and outreach to diverse communities. She has directed the continued development of twelve editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and the Latino Arts Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC; directed the convening of five national arts and cultural conferences and dozens of regional arts training workshops across the country. Under Ms. De León’s leadership, NALAC completed production of Visiones, a six part documentary series on Latino art and culture for PBS and development of accompanying education curriculum distributed to over 35,000 schools. She is leading the efforts to renovate a historic site in San Antonio to serve as NALAC’s national offices and home to a national arts leadership training institute.

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