About the NEA

María López De León

San Antonio, TX

María López De León is the executive director and board member of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). De León has been with NALAC for 14 years and has served as executive director for ten years. Under De León’s leadership, NALAC developed and launched three grant programs: the NALAC Fund for the Arts, a grant program for Latino artists and organizations; the Transnational Cultural Remittances, a grant program for artists and organizations in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America; and the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces program, a grant program that supports organizations that are part of the Ford Foundation’s Diverse Art Spaces to expand their Latino programming to diverse audiences and outreach to diverse communities. She has directed the continued development of 12 editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and the Latino Arts Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC, and directed the convening of five national arts and cultural conferences and dozens of 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 accompanying education curriculum distributed to more than 35,000 schools. De León is a fellow of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and the Wallace Foundation Leadership in Excellence and Arts Participation (LEAP) program. She serves on the board of the First People’s Fund and is an advisory council member of San Anto Cultural Arts and Women of Color in the Arts. She studied journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso.