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María López De León


San Antonio, TX

President & CEO
National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC)

María López De León is the President, CEO, and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). In 2013, President Obama appointed Maria to serve on the National Council on the Arts. In 2012 and 2013, she was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. María has been with NALAC for seventeen years and has served as Executive Director for fourteen years. She directs all aspects of development of NALAC programs and national strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, NALAC developed three grant programs, the NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA), the Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR) and NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces grant program. She has directed the continued development of fifteen editions of the annual Leadership Institute and the Latino Arts Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC; directed the convening of six NALAC National Conferences and dozens of Regional Arts Training Workshops; and the production of Visiones, a six-part documentary series on Latino art and culture and development of accompanying education curriculum. María is a cultural organizer and practitioner and noted speaker and advocate for the arts and cultural equity. She is dedicated to strengthening communities through the arts and has multiple years of experience working with Latino artists and arts organizations nationally and internationally. She serves on many arts and culture policy panels. She is a member of the National Council on the Arts and board member of the First Peoples Fund, the Performing Arts Alliance and serves on the advisory boards of San Antonio Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts. She studied Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso.