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National Latinx Theatre Initiative adds funders



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National Latinx Theatre Initiative adds Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation,
Doris Duke Foundation, New York Community Trust to growing list of supporters


LOS ANGELES (March 27, 2024) — Today, World Theater Day, L.A.’s Latino Theater Company announced that three additional funders have joined to support the company’s National Latinx Theatre Initiative, bringing the total of national and local funders to eleven. The program, launched in December 2022 with a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, aims to boost the national profile of Latinx theater companies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico; disperse funds needed to pursue greater financial stability; and nurture artistic voices in a post-pandemic landscape. The three new funders include the Doris Duke Foundation ($500,000 over two years), the New York Community Trust ($450,000 over 3 years), and The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation ($50,000).

These funders join the Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers FundJoyce Foundation, California Community Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Miranda Family Fund and an anonymous donor in an unprecedented effort by the nation’s philanthropic community to deploy significant resources to the Latinx theater sector.

“We are proud of the National Latinx Theater Initiative’s power to bring together foundations, large and small, across the country to join this effort, and can only hope that this work foments a larger culture of collaboration and cooperation in philanthropy,” said Emil Kang, program director for arts and culture at the Mellon Foundation. “We are thrilled to be joined by the Doris Duke Foundation, New York Community Trust, California Community Foundation and the Biller Family Foundation, all exemplars across a range of funding priorities and geographic areas. Each of these foundations is committed to building a more equitable future, and it’s inspiring to see them come together in support of the NLTI.”

“The National Latinx Theater Initiative’s mission to highlight and strengthen Latinx theater across the nation is vital,” states Ashley Ferro-Murray, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Foundation. “Our support aligns with the remarkable efforts of fellow funders, whose collective contributions are pivotal in advancing this sector. Together, we are building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive performing arts landscape, acknowledging the richness of Latinx cultural narratives and their essential role in the broader tapestry of American theater.”

The New York Community Trust is honored to provide a three-year, $450,000 grant to the National Latinx Theater Initiative to support the ten Latinx theaters from New York City chosen to take part in this effort, furthering the Trust’s goal of encouraging equitable and thriving communities for all.

“We completely believe in the work of the NLTI,” says Audrey Haberman, CEO of The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. “For us, the scope of NLTI’s mission addresses not just an arts issue but a social justice issue. It’s an honor to link arms with a growing list of very different funders to champion the Latinx theater sector, which has been undercapitalized since its very beginnings, and I would welcome a conversation with funders of any size or geographic reach about how our regionally focused foundation came to support this critically important national initiative.”

The National Latinx Theater Initiative is providing general operating support to 52 local and national Latinx anchor producing theaters in its first round of two and three-year grants and will offer robust professional development opportunities for grantees.

“The National Latinx Theater Initiative is the first time that national and local foundations have come together to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the Latinx theater sector,” said Olga Garay-English, a director of the initiative alongside Latino Theater Company artistic director Jose Luis Valenzuela. “We hope to see many more foundations of varying types and geographies join us in this long-term investment in a vivid and critical piece of the United States’ theatrical ecosystem.”


National Latinx Theater Initiative
About the New Funders


Doris Duke Foundation:
The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. DDF focuses its support to the performing arts on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. Visit to learn more.

New York Community Trust:
The New York Community Trust is a public charity and New York City’s largest community foundation. It connects generous people and institutions with high-impact nonprofits making the city, Long Island, and Westchester better places for all. It builds stronger communities, influences public policy, fosters innovation, improves lives, and protects our environment.

The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation:
The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation believes that everyone deserves access to systems and solutions that expand economic opportunity, supportive care for life-threatening illnesses, and the transformative power of the arts. Since its inception in 2001, the Foundation has been led by its guiding values of access & equity, collaboration, and optimism. Learn more at