What We're Reading: A Message from María López De León

From NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures) President and CEO, María López De León:

"Dear NALAC Familia,

I am transitioning out of my leadership role in the fall of 2022. I have worked at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) for twenty-four years. The experience of working with you to support and illuminate the creativity and cultural expressions of our communities has impacted my life.

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.

I want to thank the innumerable NALAC colleagues and the many supporters I have worked with who make NALAC’s work possible, as none of this could have been done without them.

I have been fortunate to work with many powerful and committed NALAC colleagues to promote leadership development, establish a national grant fund, advocate, organize, and build a national network. I remember working alongside one of NALAC’s founders, Pedro Rodriguez, dreaming up the NALAC Leadership Institute (NLI) and sitting with Rosalba Rolón to create the NALAC Advocacy Institute (ALI). I also value my time with Abel López, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Judy Baca, Tony Garcia, Tomás Ybarra Frausto, Alice Valdez, Clyde Valentine, Jesse Bermudez, Maribel Álvarez, Roberta Uno and others imagining the NALAC Fund for the Arts. I am grateful for also being a founding partner of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) with Lori Pourier, Vicky Takamine, and Carlton Turner.

I appreciate the trust and support many of you have shown me as I helped guide and expand NALAC’s impact. I am excited for a new era of leadership to take NALAC to new heights.

I will miss all of you and am confident you will continue making a difference for the national Latinx arts community. Move forward into the future with integrity and dignity, optimistic about the ancestral knowledge you carry. I look forward to witnessing the great strides you all will make and continuing our friendship and camaraderie.

Thank you all for making the last twenty-four years at NALAC an absolute pleasure. Always remember that you have a home here at NALAC.

With love and gratitude,
María López De León
President and CEO"