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Photo: NALAC
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How to start a Latino art project U.S. without failing

The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture has announced the 11th edition of the Advocacy Leadership Institute, a virtual shuttle that bridges art,…

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At a time when the United States is undergoing change and historically invisible communities are finding ways to make room and highlight their culture, navigating the complex worlds of funding and cultural promotion has become imperative. 

To lead a cultural project from justice, empowerment and equity and make it possible, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) has announced the 11th edition of the Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI), which will take place next March and April 2021.

It's a two-month virtual study program that will take artists, promoters, and cultural managers to build bridges with Latino congressional representatives and Washington arts leaders in a true immersion into the ins and outs of a difficult industry, but with a great need to give voice to non-white communities that make up the reality of the country. 

Led by Professors Rosalba Rolón (Pregones PRTT), Abel López (Teatro Hispano GALA) and María López de León (NALAC), the Advocacy Leadership Institute addresses the governmental frameworks that participate in the shaping of the country's cultural policy, as well as cultural promotion, planning strategies, and provides grantees with tools to carry out successful and meaningful artistic projects that bring the community together. 

"As the arts and culture sector responds to the financial and public health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, new leadership in the executive and legislative branches can provide a key opportunity for artists and cultural workers to continue to affirm the importance of direct financial support to artists, cultural workers and arts organizations focused on equity and justice," said NALAC President and CEO Maria Lopez de Leon.

Any artist or cultural worker from the United States or Puerto Rico can apply to participate in the program until Feb. 4. Prior to that, a webinar will be held on Jan. 13. Access guidelines can be found on the NALAC website. 

Previous ALI grantees represent a wide variety of artistic disciplines and communities, and also include organizers such as the Flamboyan Arts Fund of the Flamboyan Foundation in San Juan, PR; Mezcla Media Collective in Chicago, IL; People for Mobility Justice and Chulita Vinyl Club in Los Angeles, CA.

According to NALAC Program Manager Monica Sosa "the ALI offers unique opportunities for Latinx arts and cultural workers in the United States and Puerto Rico to engage with arts and cultural leaders and policy makers in DC."

Sosa also noted that "while it is not possible to travel in person to Washington D.C. in the spring, we are committed to creating a digital experience where arts advocates can still connect with each other to cultivate new relationships and learn creative strategies for engaging their representatives.”

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