President & CEO of NALAC, Maria Lopez De Leon


María López De León is the president, CEO and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). De León has been with NALAC for 19 years, serving as executive director for 16 years. Under her leadership, NALAC developed and launched grant programs for Latino artists and organizations in the United States, Mexico and Central America. De León directed the continued development of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and the Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C.; cofounded the Intercultural Leadership Institute; and directed NALAC national conferences and regional arts training workshops across the country. Under De León’s leadership, NALAC completed production of Visiones, a six-part documentary series on Latino art and culture for PBS, and development of an accompanying education curriculum distributed to more than 35,000 schools. A noted speaker and advocate for the arts, cultural equity and social and economic justice, De León serves on the National Council on the Arts and on the boards of the First People’s Fund, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the Performing Arts Alliance, and the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. She is an advisory council member of Women of Color in the Arts, Intuit Hispanic Advisory Council, Pixar Studios Coco Cultural Advisors and Kennedy Center Latino Advisory Council. She studied journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2012 and 2013, De León was named among the nation’s Fifty Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts.


NASAA’s mission is to strengthen state arts agencies.

We are the professional association of the nation’s 56 state and jurisdictional arts agencies. NASAA is a national, not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that champions public support for the arts in America.

Together, NASAA and the state arts agencies advance the arts as an essential ingredient in the well-being and prosperity of our nation’s individuals, communities and families.

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