Funding in Latinx Communities: When data leads to impactful policy change
In data, "many untold stories and futures are nestled between rows, columns, formulas, and colors on a spreadsheet," writes in a recent post Adriana Gallego, chief operating officer of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In this piece she says how patterns remind her of how impactful Latinx communities are.
On the potential of data to better understand communities or grantees, Gallego says:
For starters, the numbers reveal that in just 12 years of funding and $2.5 million dollars later, our grantees excel at matching NALAC investments at an average rate of 16:1. That means that for every dollar awarded through NALAC Grants, $16 more dollars on average, are channeled by artists into their economies through Latinx culture.
Gallego points out that the Latinx data matrix also affirms that NALAC's constituents not only produce exceptional artistry, but also do so in deeply civically minded ways. "In their work, our fellows and members address concerns over U.S. exclusionary practices aimed at immigrants, Muslims, ethnic studies and LGBTQAI communities; women’s rights; displacement; racial profiling; mass incarceration; and an impoverished educational and healthcare system."
My work at NALAC and the beauty revealed by the data shows me how the production of arts, the practice of cultures, and the forming of our communities are in ceaseless conversation with our evolving social policies. I dare believe that cultural change can lead to more impactful policy change.
Image: NALAC Facebook: Encoded Textiles, Guillermo Bert (NFA Grantee '11)