National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures calls for Catalyst for Change applicants


Jesus CIMI Alvarado, 2020 Catalyst for Change, NFA Grantee

 The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, in collaboration with Southwest Folklife Alliance, is proud to announce the open call for applications for the 2022 Catalyst for Change (CFC) Fellowship program.

The Fellowship is made possible with significant support from the Surdna Foundation Thriving Cultures Program and is intended to catalyze community-based, and artist supported, visions for creative solutions to racial injustices.

In 2020 via the inaugural year for the CFC program NALAC supported eleven artists, representing seven different artistic disciplines, on projects that addressed systems of injustice within their own communities. Selected projects represented a wide range of topics, such as immigration, healthcare, incarceration, and education through a variety of mediums including visual art, performance arts, and creative writing.

“The inaugural year offered an opportunity for NALAC to provide substantial support for artists, allowing them to focus their talents and skill on increasing racial justice awareness on structural issues in their communities. We are excited to move forward with the 2022 CFC program, in partnership with SFA, to expand upon the foundations and outcomes of the initial program and to further support artists approaching community issues with radical new insight,” said NALAC president and CEO María López de León.

For the 2022 Catalyst for Change (CFC) program NALAC has partnered with Southwest Folklife Alliance, an affiliate non-profit organization of the University of Arizona, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. SFA will connect with selected fellows to provide training, coaching, and support for community-based research efforts. This connection will aim to support fellows in the development of a community-centered approach to identifying racial justice issues and their impacts.

“The NALAC and SFA partnership is grounded in our organizations’ shared commitment to support communities of color in harnessing cultural knowledge and artistic practice as essential tools for birthing, sustaining, and advancing movements for social justice,” said Leía Maahs, executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance. “It is our hope that by supporting artists and their communities as visionary leaders of change, that the Catalyst for Change Fellowship will advance creative solutions to racial injustice.”

The CFC Fellowship is open to Latinx artists and culture workers located in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with the potential to utilize community informed art-making to increase civic engagement/activism, thereby creating systemic change through artistic interventions. Fellows will be selected through a hybrid-application process that launches with the current open call.

Application process

Stage 1- Open Call – CFC Letter of Interest Form, May 9-Jun 6, 2022
Interested applicants are invited to submit a CFC Letter of Interest Form which focuses on the applicant’s role in their community and perspective on working with communities on racial justice and equity.

Stage 2- By Invitation Only – 2022 CFC Fellowship Application
Offered by invitation only, select applicants who submitted a CFC Letter of Interest form will be asked to submit a more comprehensive application for the CFC Fellowship.

About NALAC 
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. For more information about NALAC and its programs please visit

About Southwest Folklife Alliance
The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) builds more equitable and vibrant communities by celebrating the everyday expressions of culture, heritage, and diversity rooted in the Greater Southwest, the U.S. Mexico Border Corridor and beyond. It does so by directly supporting heritage-based artists, documenting folklife, amplifying the voices of artists and cultural workers, and producing folklife festivals and public programs that increase visibility and respect for folklife practices. Nationally, SFA amplifies models and methods of meaningful cultural work that center traditional knowledge, social equity, and collaboration through various programs. An independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, SFA is the Arizona Commission on the Arts’ state partner for folk arts, as designated by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Surnda Foundation  
The Surdna Foundation is a $1 billion private, national foundation that seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies and thriving cultures. We seek to dismantle the structural barriers that limit opportunity for many, helping to create communities that are prosperous, culturally enriching and sustainable.

The Thriving Cultures Program is guided by Radical Imagination for Racial Justice, our future-oriented, world-building strategy, which is organized across three interconnected grantmaking approaches:

  • Create invests (through regranting organizations) in artists of color who work with communities of color to imagine and build racially just systems and structures at a local scale.
  • Clarify invests in researchers and cultural critics of color to interpret and disseminate knowledge about the work of artists and to build a more equitable research and criticism infrastructure.

Connect advances the role of artists and communities of color in shaping public policy, narrative change, and philanthropic practices that advance racial justice.