The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to fostering the advancement of the Latinx arts and cultural sector. Founded in 1989, the mission of NALAC is to promote, advance, develop, and cultivate the Latinx arts field. From its San Antonio headquarters, NALAC plays a vital national leadership role that builds the artistic and professional capacity of Latinx artists and organizations through funding initiatives, leadership training, and professional development opportunities. NALAC also facilitates intergenerational dialogues among disciplines, languages, and traditional and contemporary expressions.
NALAC’s core programs include the NALAC Fund for the Arts, the NALAC Leadership Institute, the NALAC Advocacy Institute, and the NALAC National Latinx Summit. The NALAC Fund for the Arts is the only national grant program intentionally investing in Latinx artists and nonprofit arts organizations in the United States. In 17 years, over 1,268 grants have been made, reflecting an investment of $6.4 million across 42 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The NALAC Leadership Institute brings emerging and established artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers for intensive leadership development with a comprehensive curriculum that addresses strategic planning, programming, budgeting, marketing, fundraising, governance, evaluation, and advocacy. NALAC hosts the NALAC National Latinx Summit, an intergenerational convening of artists, cultural workers, and organizations for peer networking and to advance a cultural policy agenda that supports the needs of the Latinx field. NALAC is a founding partner in the Intercultural Leadership Institute, a collaborative program of five national cultural organizations, that provide a year-long intensive leadership experience for artists, culture bearers, and other arts practitioners.
NALAC has a 15-member governing Board of Directors led by chair Charles Rice-González. The nine-member Advisory Council supports the organization. The 14-member staff has been led since 2002 by President and CEO María López de León, who will be transitioning to an advisory role upon her retirement in the fall of 2022. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, NALAC reported revenues of $5.9 million and total expenses of $2.3 million.
Located in the heart of Texas’ Hill Country, San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States and the largest Latinx majority city in the nation. Population exceeds 1.5 million people, 64.2 percent of whom are Latinx. With an average temperature of 70 degrees, 300 days of sunshine annually, and an attractive business climate, San Antonio has been one of the fastest growing cities in the country for more than a decade. San Antonio ranks in the Top 50 Best Places to Live in U.S. News & World Report. Cost of living is 10 percent below the national average, and housing costs are 25 percent below the national average.
Present-day San Antonio is the ancestral homeland of many Bands and Clans, primarily the Payaya of the Coahuiltecan Nation, a tribal affiliation of Bands and Clans who lived throughout South Texas and Northern Mexico. Southern Plains Indians, including the Lipan Apaches, the Tonkawa, and the Comanches, came to the area in the 1600s as they were displaced from their native lands. In 1718, Spanish and mestizo colonists established the Presidio de Béjar and a Franciscan-led mission which was named San Antonio de Valero. This Mission community was relocated from the Rio Grande and was formerly known as San Francisco de Solano. Mission Indians from Solano and local Coahuiltecans built and paved the road for four more missions along the San Antonio River. The missions, including the famous San Antonio de Valero, were recognized by UNESCO in 2015 as a World Heritage Site. Descendants of the native families and early settlers played a strategic role in two separate independence struggles in the 19th Century, the Mexican War of Independence (1811-1813) and Texas Independence (1835-1836). The descendants of the native families still live on these ancestral lands known also as Yanaguana.
The San Antonio area is home to a thriving business community, including the headquarters for two Fortune Global 500 firms and seven Fortune 1000 companies. The biomedical research, military, and tourism play distinct roles in the city’s diversified economic base. Headquartered in the city are also two of Texas’ best known food services brands, Whataburger and H-E-B. The military presence in San Antonio is centered at Joint Base San Antonio—which includes Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base—and the San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center, the largest military medical readiness training platform and the United States Department of Defense’s only Level 1 Trauma Center. The Medical Center is also home to the Center for the Intrepid, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation, research, and training center for injured military personnel. There are 30 institutions of higher education in San Antonio, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University, St. Mary’s University, Trinity University, University of the Incarnate Word, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
San Antonio provides a wealth of arts and cultural experiences. The West Side of San Antonio is the oldest Mexican American neighborhood and is home to eight Latinx arts and cultural organizations, including the Guadalupe Cultural Center, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Centro Cultural Aztlan, American Indians in Texas, Urban 15, San Anto Cultural Arts, and Conjunto Heritage Taller, Say Sí, and NALAC. Several mainstream institutions such as Blue Star Contemporary, Artpace, and several museums are part of the city’s cultural offerings. San Antonio’s world-class museums include the Briscoe Western Art Museum, DoSeum, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, Witte Museum, and Ruby City. Continued investment in performing arts facilities like the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, the Majestic Theater, and the Empire Theater demonstrate the city’s commitment to a vibrant arts culture.
The President and CEO will be a strategic and dynamic leader with a deep passion for arts and culture, an exceptional work ethic, and demonstrated success engaging partners and philanthropic supporters. Reporting to the board of directors, the President and CEO will collaborate with the board, staff, and key stakeholders to set the long-term vision and implement short-term goals centered on NALAC’s mission. This leader will embrace innovation and collaboration to inspire others to advance the Latinx arts and culture sector. Solid experience managing, mentoring, and motivating their team will be essential. Fostering an inclusive environment and an organizational culture that values equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging will be core functions of this role. As the public face of NALAC, the President and CEO will cultivate strong relationships with funders and partners and participate in national alliances and convenings, serving as the leading advocate and agenda-setter for the Latinx arts and culture sector. They will collaborate with the board’s finance and investment committees to ensure NALAC’s long-term fiscal and organizational sustainability. This individual will be an exemplary spokesperson for the value of Latinx arts and culture and its positive, reverberating impacts on society.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic and Programmatic Leadership
Provide dynamic, visionary, and strategic leadership to the organization, utilizing entrepreneurial sensibility to guide the staff to fulfill strategic goals.
Maintain, advance, and reimagine NALAC’s programs and services, while managing risk and ensuring sustainability.
Guide the team to deliver critical services to the field and ensure focused and robust convenings and professional development through NALAC’s signature programs including the Leadership Institute and the Advocacy Leadership Institute.
Balance an exciting vision for NALAC’s future with a realistic understanding of the capacity of its human, financial, and technological resources.
Demonstrate NALAC’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging throughout all facets of the organization, including programs, staffing, and organizational development activities.
Reimagine fundraising structures and implementation activities, collaborating with the board of directors and staff to support key initiatives, including increased identification, cultivation, and stewardship of annual giving priorities (foundations, sponsorships, corporations, and individuals), major gifts, and planned giving.
Seek out new sources of contributed and earned revenues in keeping with peak business model effectiveness and fiscal responsibility.
Collaborate with the board and professional advisors to ensure that NALAC’s assets are invested to maximize return for long-term sustainability.
Engagement and Advocacy
Guide effective advocacy efforts and maintain, participate in, and build NALAC’s vital relationships with colleagues in the field, including funders, peer organizations, and strategic alliances and related networks.
Promote and support artists and arts professionals as an advocate and serve as a thought leader in the field, which includes advocating to government and public affairs efforts that NALAC provides on behalf of the field.
Communicate effectively and regularly with the field through a variety of convenings, written communication, and multilateral dialogues.
Ensure effective use of technology to improve service to the Latinx arts field and for initiation of innovative fundraising.
Management and Operations
Inspire, motivate, and mentor a high achieving staff to continue reaching NALAC’s strategic goals, quality service to the field, and thoughtful innovation that addresses changing times and environments.
Foster a hospitable and welcoming work environment that encourages high productivity, low turnover, a collaborative atmosphere, staff accountability and evaluation, professional development, and staff satisfaction.
Manage human resources according to personnel policies and procedures that fully comply with current laws and regulations.
Create and recommend the annual budget for board approval and manage NALAC’s resources within the budget guidelines while maintaining its fiscal responsibility and service to its mission.
Support operations and administration of the board of directors by advising and interfacing with board members and staff, keeping the board informed of developments in the organization, and the field.
Traits and Characteristics
The President and CEO will be a strategic thinker and inspirational leader who deeply values and understands the impact of arts and culture. This people-oriented collaborator will possess a high degree of cultural competency and the ability to work with people across hierarchical and cultural structures. The person in this role will be adept at balancing priorities and allocating time, talent, and resources to achieve multiple optimal outcomes. Receptive to new ideas, the leader will keenly manage risk while encouraging innovation. The individual stepping into this position will be a thought leader and connector. They will have deep knowledge and appreciation of Latinx history and arts and cultural expression.
Other key competencies include:
Leadership and Diplomacy: The capacity to inspire and influence others, leverage their networks to advance organizational priorities, and gain the trust and confidence of partners and key stakeholders.
Personal Accountability and Resiliency: The confidence to self-evaluate, accept responsibility for their actions and decisions, and overcome setbacks or obstacles with optimism.
Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills: The ability to build rapport and cohesiveness in the team, value and respect individual perspectives, and guide the team to consensus.
Conceptual and Futuristic Thinking: The adeptness to process complex information, identify connections or unique perspectives, and envision new frameworks and opportunities.
Qualified applicants will have a minimum of eight to ten years of senior level experience with an arts and cultural organization, nonprofit organization, or other public agency serving the Latinx community. They will have deep knowledge of the Latinx arts and cultural sector nationally and an active network of professional contacts in the field. Qualified candidates will have demonstrated experience in fundraising, staff management, and program development. Evidence of commitment and success to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, access, and belonging is essential. Successful candidates will have exceptional communication skills, with proficiency in Spanish highly desirable.
Additional Salary Information: NALAC offers a competitive salary expected to be in the range of $160,000 to $185,000 and a benefits package that includes health insurance with full premium coverage for full-time employees and 25 percent premium coverage for eligible dependents, holidays, and flexible paid time off. This position will be based in San Antonio.
About Arts Consulting Group
Advance arts and culture every day. ACG is looking for seasoned arts and culture professionals who are passionate about bringing a positive impact to the organizations and communities we serve.