Lights...Camera...Latino Arts, Culture, & Yes...Advocacy Hits DC!

Posted: Apr 20 2014

Yep, that’s right…advocacy! While we don’t normally associate “advocacy” with the arts, we found out policy actually plays a big part in the arts, as we found out from the folks at NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures).

Recently, we visited with NALAC as well as some of the participants in an intensive D.C. program called the NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute selects community arts leaders who’ve previously participated in a NALAC Leadership program focusing on state and local level initiatives, to come to D.C. and learn about federal advocacy with regards to the arts.

We spoke with Armando Huipe, a participant in the 2013 NALAC Advocacy Leadership Institute program from USA Projects, an artist crowd-funding website based in Los Angeles, California. Huipe says: “I applied to the Advocacy Leadership Institute because I wanted to take my career to the next level. I wanted to take on more leadership roles within my company and lead projects”. In addition to his day job, Huipe along with several community partners have just launched the Latino Theater Alliance/Los Angeles. Huipe and the Latino Theater Alliance are working to engage Los Angeles Latino theater companies and individual artists, and empower them in both the local community and on the national stage with this new venture. Huipe says participation in the program this year helped, “demystify the advocacy process. I really learned how accessible my State’s representatives and delegation are”.

Hispanic.com also spoke with NALAC’s Executive Director, María López De León, about NALAC’s programs. De León" informed us “NALAC is the only multidisciplinary arts organization in the nation supporting Latino artists and Latino organizations. NALAC does extensive work in the advocacy region to raise the visibility of Latino arts in the U.S. and promote cultural equity particularly the equitable distribution of resources to the Latino arts sector.” NALAC works on behalf of thousands of Latino artists and organizations throughout the U.S. working across all artistic disciplines. De León says a major goal of the Advocacy Leadership Institute is to “provide Latino arts leaders with the confidence to advocate for support of Latino arts and exercise their options to speak directly with policy makers.”  We want to demonstrate best practices and inspire artists to be effective arts advocates on the Hill or in their own communities. “  And from our earlier chat with Huipe, who says “I’ll definitely come back to D.C., as I learned my State’s delegation is very engaged in hearing what we have to say”… showing step-by-step, NALAC is succeeding in its goals.

-Hispanic.com staff
Visit NALAC at their website: www.NALAC.org
For more information about Armando Huipe and USA Projects visit:www.usaprojects.org

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