A Rare Gem in the City: Publisher Named Houston Cultural Treasure

HOUSTON, TX—Arte Público Press, the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of US Hispanic literature, has been named one of eleven Houston Cultural Treasures by the BIPOC Arts Network & Fund (BANF). The acknowledgement of the press’ importance comes with $500,000 in general operating support over a two-year period and additional funds for technical support.

Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, the founder and director of Arte Público Press, said, “We are tremendously honored by this recognition. Arte Público has suffered from being one of Houston’s best-kept secrets, and we feel certain this opportunity will empower us to continue our efforts to help the community, its art and culture.”

The Houston Cultural Treasures initiative invests in the arts organizations that have anchored Houston’s communities of color and shaped the city’s dynamic and diverse culture, benefiting current arts groups. It is part of a larger national project sponsored by the Ford Foundation to honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence across the nation.

The other organizations recognized are Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Community Artists’ Collective, Community Music Center of Houston, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Indo-American Association, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, Nia Cultural Center, Nuestra Palabra, SHAPE Community Center and Silambam Houston.

BIPOC Arts Network and Fund revolutionizes the local funding landscape, breaks down silos within the arts ecosystem and welcomes everyone to support and learn from BIPOC arts communities. It utilizes equity-focused and community-participatory funding initiatives; community-informed evaluation and learning practices; and asset-based network building strategies to inform leadership, advocacy and action. BANF was created in a time of crisis to provide resources and networks that support the vibrant Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and other communities of color of Greater Houston in fully displaying their power, values and traditions.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors.  Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint serve as a bridge from home to school to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.  For more information, please visit www.artepublicopress.com.

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