National Council on the Arts advises the chair of the National
Endowment for the Arts, who also chairs the council, on agency policies
14-member council reviews and makes recommendations to the chair on
applications for grants, funding guidelines and leadership initiatives.
Presidential appointments to the council, by law, are selected for their
widely recognized knowledge of the arts or their expertise or profound
interest in the arts. They have records of distinguished service or
achieved eminence in the arts and are appointed so as to represent
equitably all geographical areas of the country.
Pending confirmation by the Senate, De León will serve a six-year term on the council.
Board Chairperson, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, said of the nomination, "We
are overjoyed at this announcement which is a testament to the
powerful trailblazing that Maria López De León has done for the Latino
arts field and for NALAC. This proud moment for our community is an
achievement we can all celebrate and signals a significant shift
forward for Latino art and cultures."
De León has been affiliated with NALAC for thirteen years and has
served as Executive Director for ten years. Under Ms. De Leon's
leadership, NALAC launched the Fund for the Arts, a grant program for
Latino artists and organizations, completed production of a documentary
series on Latino art and culture for PBS, and developed a grant program
for cultural exchanges between the US, Mexico, and Central America.
Ms. De León is an advisory council member of San Anto Cultural Arts,
Women of Color in the Arts, and is a fellow of the Rockwood Leadership
She has directed the continued development of eleven editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute
and the Latino Arts Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC; directed the
convening of five national arts and cultural conferences and dozens of
regional arts training workshops across the country. Under Ms. De
Leon's leadership, NALAC completed production of Visiones, a six part
documentary series on Latino art and culture for PBS and development of
accompanying education curriculum distributed to over 35,000 schools.
She is leading the efforts to renovate a historic site in San Antonio to
serve as NALAC's national offices and home to a national arts
leadership training institute.
De León has over twenty years of multifaceted experience in grass roots
community and working with community based organizations across the
country. She has served on multiple arts and culture policy panels
across the country. Ms. De León is currently a fellow of the Rockwood
Leadership Institute and completed the Wallace Foundation Leadership in
Excellence and Arts Participation (LEAP) program. She studied Journalism
at the University of Texas at El Paso.