Baltimore, MD – June 29, 2020 – Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) has announced that Rebecca Medrano has been named the 2020 recipient of the Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award (ACLA). Named after MAAF’s Executive Director from 1994 through April 2017, the Award honors an arts leader who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the arts sector within the mid-Atlantic region.
For more than four decades, Rebecca Medrano has worked to promote and share the wealth of Latino art and culture. Ms. Medrano is Co-founder of GALA Hispanic Theatre and has been its Executive Director and principal fundraiser since 1976. She has led the organization as it developed from its grassroots origins to a community cultural staple in Washington, DC and, in 2003, Ms. Medrano launched GALA’s $4.3 million capital campaign to build out its permanent facility in the historic Tivoli Theatre. Today, GALA stands as a National Center for Latino Performing Arts. GALA has produced nearly 300 bilingual productions of classical, contemporary, and experimental plays and has commissioned work by emerging and established Latino and multicultural performing artists. Under Ms. Medrano’s leadership, GALA created programming designed to engage Washington, DC’s youth, including Paso Nuevo and GALita Children’s Theatre. Deeply rooted in the community, she has cultivated partnerships with other arts organizations and social service agencies throughout the city, including Washington Performing Arts, InSeries, Carlos Rosario Adult Education Center, Mary’s Center, VIDA senior center, and Latin American Youth Center, among others. In addition, she has established international exchanges with theaters in Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina. Ms. Medrano is a recipient of the 2006 Mayor’s Arts Award, a 2010 Washingtonian of the Year, 2014 Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Council, and was recognized by Mayor Muriel Bowser with the Washington Women of Excellence Award. Ms. Medrano, and her husband Hugo, were awarded the Order of Queen Isabella, bestowed by King Carlos I of Spain, for their dedication to preserving and promoting Spanish culture in the United States. She serves on the Latino Advisory Council of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Ms. Medrano was selected by a panel of five arts professionals from the mid-Atlantic region based on the published Award criteria. Of Ms. Medrano’s selection, MAAF’s Board Chair Hal Real said “Rebecca has made a career of supporting artists and promoting the artforms and cultures closest to her. Rebecca’s exceptional work and leadership serving Latinx arts and artists and her inspiring endeavors to found and develop an influential community theater demonstrate her passion and dedication. MAAF could not be more pleased to recognize Rebecca as a proponent of diverse, meaningful cultural exchange.”
Nominations for the 2021 Alan Cooper Leadership in the Arts Award will open this fall. Nominees will have demonstrated impactful leadership in the arts in one or more of MAAF’s nine partner jurisdictions of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.
About Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation develops partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work and advance access to and participation in the arts. The Foundation was created in 1979 and is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional, national, and international perspective. To learn more about MAAF, its programs and services, visit our website at www.midatlanticarts.org.
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation