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Latino artist from Connecticut selected for national convening on the arts

STAMFORD , Conn . May 25, 2014 - Angelica Durrell, Founder and Artistic Director of the INTAKE Organization (Instrumentally Native Taking on the Classics), was chosen to represent Connecticut in the national convening on leadership and advocacy in the arts, hosted by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) to be held at the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington, DC during the week of May 27 through May 29. At the same time, Durrell has been awarded the Inaugural MPower scholarship from the national Sphinx Organization to empower artists from ethnic minority backgrounds.

According to the Advocacy Leadership Institute, a program of NALAC, the National Association of Arts and Cultures, the national convening will host 15 leading artists who will develop skills to advocate for the arts at the local, state, regional, and federal government levels. For this occasion, all participants will have direct meetings with the at the White House Office of Public Engagement, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Council of La Raza, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as well as direct conversation with their state senators and representatives.

The three- day intensive training for these Latino leaders aims to instill skills and knowledge on the role of government and public institutions in the field of arts advocacy, where experienced executives will provide strategies to improve the efforts and knowledge about the arts and cultural equity, in order to cultivate a deepen the understanding of cultural policies and their impact on Latino artistic productions and social justice.

María López de León, NALAC Executive Director said the reason INTAKE was chosen for the Advocacy Leadership Institute is that “from its founding year to the present date, the institution has promoted classical arts through native voices and it has achieved significant diversification in the artistic and cultural expression thus raising the voices of those who are under- represented in the arts today”.

Durrell’s attendance is possible thanks to the scholarship fund from the American Express Leadership Academy, based in New York, and the Sphinx Organization, which advocates for artistic excellence among Black and Latino artists, who recently awarded Durrell their Inaugural MPower Artist Grant, a special fund for the Ecuadorian-American violinist and social entrepreneur to expand her artistic skills at the service of the INTAKE Organization. "Our goal is to provide for their musical development and this has truly been an inspiring process," said Aaron Dworkin, Sphinx President, in a statement delivered upon the scholarship announcement.

"I am honored to represent Connecticut on this national convening because I think it is necessary for our Latino communities and our voices to be heard at all levels of society, and to continue searching for equal opportunities through the arts," said Angelica Durrell who upon arriving to Washington DC, will deliver INTAKE Organization’s Annual Report regarding the social, economic and artistic impact it has achieved since its inception in May 2011 until the current date.

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