Frequently Asked Questions
What was the idea behind NALIP, when it started in 1999?
NALIP was organized by two dozen Latino/a producers, activists and educators from around the country who convened a history conference in response to a single crisis: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was defunding the NLCC (National Latino Communications Center), the minority consortium non-profit responsible for commissioning and distributing Latino/a work for PBS. A Planning Committee was put together to organize a Conference for June 1999, lead by co-chairs Bienvenida Matias and Chon Noriega, and called The Future of Latino Independent Media: Public Television and Beyond.
The Planning Committee saw the need to bring people together in order to figure out what Latino producers needed: it was clear that the needs went beyond the NLCC crisis. The goals of the first Latino Producers Conference were these:
(1) Organize ourselves as a creative constituency
(2) Take an active role in defining our institutional needs within public television, and
(3) Look beyond public television to the new media environment within which independent programming might find other outlets
In short, the conference combined mentorship and advocacy with commercial and public media opportunities. The co-chairs wrote to the first Conference participants: This conference belongs to you. Make yourself heard. Listen to others. Take advantage of the opportunities. And give something back to our media community. Only then will we be able to build a diverse and national alliance that ensures the future of Latino independent media.
The conference was convened by the Coalition for Latino Programming on Public Broadcasting, Latino Producers Ad-Hoc Committee, Latino Public Broadcasting Project, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, National Latino Communications Center, and the National Council of La Raza; it was hosted by Cine Acción. Over 250 people came to the conference: the organizers were thrilled to see so many makers, many who were under the age of 35. While they called themselves producers, included under this umbrella were all directors, actors, writers, as well as all genres of film, video, and digital creations. Co-chair Noriega commented during the conference, We have the opportunity to bring the Latino production community together to take leadership. This is a unique opportunity. Whoever wants to can come forward and say, I want to play a leadership role in strengthening this community.
Many well-known producers, actors, and directors attended, including Hector Galan, Ray Telles, Edward James Olmos, Bel Hernandez, Gregory Nava, and Sylvia Morales, plus younger producers like Sonia Malfa, John Valadez, Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera and Dora Peña. In addition, many funders and allies spoke at the conference sharing their expertise with us. Our voices were heard!
The conference participants worked in six small groups to develop a framework for the governance, function, funding, education and community, values and professional development that would lead to the creation of a strong national membership organization. A volunteer Steering Committee composed of Lillian Jiménez, Chon Noriega, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Moctesuma Esparza, Bienvenida Matias, Greg Gomez (National Latino Education, Art and Media Institute), Rick Tejeda-Flores (Paradigm Productions, Liza Navarrete (NCLR), Marlena Dermer (LPBP), Dina Manicchia (LPBP), Josef Sanchez (NLCC), Ray Santisteban (Guadalupe Cultural Center, Cine Festival), and Rosalia Valencia (Cine Acción) was charged with turning the dream of a national organization into a reality.
The desire for a national professional association of Latino producers and media makers was clear - -nothing up to this time existed nationally in the media field for the Latino filmmaker, and the previous convening of Latino producers had taken place 20 years prior. (There were, and still are, regional organizations such as Cine Acción in San Francisco and the newly defunct Latino Collaborative in New York.) At the 1999 Conference, Latino Public Broadcasting was announced under the stewardship of Marlene Dermer and Edward James Olmos, and began operations in the office of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.
The Steering Committee hired Beni Matias as a part-time national coordinator, and together they planned a Second NALIP Conference for June 2000 in Miami Beach. Latino Media in the New Millennium was co-chaired by Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Moctesuma Esparza . The Rockefeller, Ford and MacArthur Foundations again supported the effort along with the National Council of La Raza, the SAG-Producers IACF and HBO Latino: many filmmakers attended on scholarship (financial support for NALIP members to attend the conference was started with the first conference), and Raquel Welch told her story of a Latina in Hollywood. That night she outed herself as a Latina! She was proud to be a keynote speaker at this gathering of Latino producers. The tradition of a regular NALIP National Conference was established.
After the 2000 Conference, the hard-working volunteer Steering Committee committed to hiring paid staff in order to formalize the organization. NALIP began as a Special Project of NCLR. In 2001, with the hiring of Kathryn Galan as NALIPs first Executive Director, NALIP petitioned to become an independent 501-c-3 (non-profit corporation in the state of New York), but kept NCLR on our Board of Trustees. The Steering Committee became a Board of Directors in December 2001, and executed NALIPs Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws (*available at www.nalip.org*). In March 2002, after the successful Third National Conference Storytelling in the Digital Age in La Jolla, California, the new NALIP Board held a Strategic Planning Retreat and charted the course for NALIPs next 3 years.
NALIPs mission is to promote the advancement, development, and funding of Latino/Latino film and media arts in all genres.
NALIP was formed to embrace many constituencies: film, television, documentary and new media makers; US Latinos with diverse heritages including Puerto Rican, Chicano, Cuban, Tejano, Central and South American plus European; emerging and student makers, as well as mid-career and senior makers. NALIP formed as a partnership between community-based and independent media, plus broadcast and industry makers. NALIP brings together financial support from foundation and philanthropic sources committed to diversity in media, added with corporations that have community development programs or marketing+ talent relationship interests in the Latino field.
Once each year, NALIP brings together the field of Latino/a film, television, documentary and new media makers writers, producers, performers, directors, composers, dps, editors and other key crew -- plus the funders, broadcasters, networks, studios and distributors interested in projects by and about Latinos. In 2005, the Conference grew to 620 guests over the weekend that includes plenary sessions and seminars, hands-on workshops and keynote addresses, NALIPsters on View screenings and networking sessions. In 2001, NALIP started a Gala Awards dinner to honor Pioneers in the Latino media field.
NALIP provides services that support a members professional development including programs and information. NALIP also advocates on behalf of Latino/a media makers on telecommunications issues of importance to the independent producer, and teaches mediamakers how to advocate on their own behalves. NALIP maintains a membership office in Santa Monica, California to publish the eNewsletter and produce our Signature Programs. NALIP has meeting space there and in New York for member activities. NALIP Board and Staff members travel to member chapters and regions to support activities and festivals, workshops or other media convocations. NALIP Staff also cultivate member benefits and discounts available nationally and regionally, and update that list at http://www.nalip.org/ under Membership.
NALIP maintains a website at http://www.nalip.org/ that continues to expand as a resource of information on events, opportunities, jobs and, eventually, video resumes and seminar recordings. LMRG records may be updated at the website starting Spring 2006, including current credits and contact information for NALIP members. Chapters each have webpages at the national website for local announcements and activities. Chapters also have regional listservs for the dissemination of information.What is the Board of Directors Communication Policy vis the NALIP Membership?
Per the NALIP By Laws, communication between the Board and the membership is a crucial part of a successful organization. NALIPs Board and its membership will communicate through a wide range of means, including but not limited to:
A. Website: The website will maintain updated information about programs, jobs, opportunities, membership services, and upcoming events. It shall also house background information and organization documents such as history, mission, Board minutes, membership benefits and by-laws.
B. Annual or bi-annual Letter from the Chair: To detail the organizations activities, progress and new initiatives.
C. Conference: The National Conference will include a Town Hall meeting in which members can discuss and relay matters of mutual concern.
D. Chair Access: Individual members may relay their ideas or concerns by attending the NALIP quarterly Board meetings and/or by communicating in writing with the Chair.
Membership Handbook posted on the website.Who are NALIPs Members?
NALIP has members in 27 states, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Spain. NALIP members work as writers, producers, directors and performers, executives, agents and all key crew positions, publicity and casting, composing and production services. Members are students, educators and advocates. Some are emerging and young professionals; many are mid-career or senior professionals. NALIP supports English-language Latino media, but over half of our members work sometimes or always in Spanish. Our membership is evenly divided between men and women, most are college educated and many are 20-35 years old. Members work in documentaries and public television, broadcast and network television, independent and Hollywood features, plus new media, mobile media and community-based media projects.What is the NALIP Membership Development Fund?
NALIP Chapters or interest groups may apply for a matching grant to supplement budgets on programs. Examples in the past have included NALIP-NYs Latina Womens Director program, in association with NYWIFV, Cinefestival and Cine de las Americas workshops, and NALIPsters in Sundance. Details are available under Membership Benefits, but require budgets and matching funds for each program designed to support members in a region. Most grants are $200-$1000.How can you become involved in NALIPs leadership?
Members can become involved with NALIP on a local/regional level through their Chapters (*See Chapters information below*). However, NALIP is a national organization and has many opportunities to work on national programs. Committees form to produce the National Conference and other programs, advance advocacy efforts and develop Strategic Plans for NALIP. Benefits include discount travel and registration to the Conference, plus assistance in the agenda of NALIP. The NALIP Board of Directors is the highest level of leadership in the organization. Board members may be nominated by themselves or others; calls for nomination go out each fall for the December election by the Board. Participation in regional and national programs helps Board members come to know those members who are interested in running for election. Regional and professional diversity is also considered in the election process. Board members must commit to four meetings each year, leadership on one committee or more, fiscal management of NALIP, and fundraising support of the organization and staff.How do I make suggestions for NALIP programs or priorities?
NALIP prides itself on open communication with membership and transparency in our processes. All Board of Directors and Staff contact information is available on the website, or by calling the membership office 310-470-1061.
NALIP holds an annual Town Hall Meeting during the national Conference: members are invited to bring issues, recommendations, and appreciations to that forum. All Board and staff members attend and take notes of all comments to incorporate into future action plans or Conference agendas. Membership is sent copies of all Board of Directors minutes, and invited to observe quarterly Board meetings. An annual financial report is provided members, as well.How is NALIP Funded?
NALIP Staff and Board raised the funds necessary to maintain NALIPs programs, staff and office each year. NALIP is supported by foundation grants from the Rockefeller, Ford and MacArthur Foundations, industry philanthropies like the Academy Foundation and Hollywood Foreign Press Association Foundation, guild support for the develop of Latino talent including the WGAE, WGAW, SAG Producers IACF and the DGA. Corporations have supported NALIP and our programs from the beginning: HBO and HBO Latino, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Corporation, Univision, Telemundo, Fox Broadcasting, Nielsen Media Research, McDonalds Corporation, Coca Cola, Southwest Airlines, Comcast, Telemundo, MTV Networks and more. Please visit our Sponsorship page on the NALIP website and program pages.
NALIP writes grants and requests for our programs and overhead. Our 2006 budget is approximately $1million, the majority of which goes directly to program management and scholarship support. Membership dues at $20/$50 on average comprise a very small part of NALIPs income - -even as we have grown to nearly 1000 members nationwide!How do Chapters Work?
Chapters are voluntary associations of NALIP members organized in regions or around professional interests. They are created along the stipulations of NALIPs By Laws and Chapter Handbook (*see below*). The philosophy is that Chapters are created by and in order to serve the regional membership: chapters determine their meeting and management structure, create programs most responsive to local needs, and fundraise/produce those programs with support but not direction from NALIP National. Chapters use the NALIP name and, where necessary, NALIPs 501-c-3 status, so close communication with the membership office and annual reporting is essential. NALIP provides materials for meetings (banners, LMRGs, membership brochures), updated membership rosters and webpage space at our website (along with the software to update and maintain chapter pages). Chapters supervise their own listservs through the NALIP intranet, manage their activities, disseminate information about NALIP Signature programs, deadlines and initiatives, and expand membership in their communities.
Each year, NALIP brings Chapter leadership to a development day prior to the National Conference for skills development and collaboration. This program has proven very successful in building cooperation and sharing between Chapters. Problems arise when Chapters compare themselves directly to one another, or judge that some Chapter is doing it the way or better than another. EVERY region and member group is different: we see all the regional personalities and needs, plus the evolution of groups over time. Older Chapters are resources not dictators; most have members available to consult and brainstorm, but they dont know how to do it, so feel free to invent systems and hierarchies that work for you.
Fundraising is intimidating for Chapters, but a little goes a looooooooong way. Most communities have city, state, county and other arts organizations that will fund $1,000 - $5,000 program grants; many have companies that can provide meeting space, goods and services, or professionals as mentors or instructors. Sample budgets are available from the NALIP office; dont miss regional deadlines or fail to grab a small start-up fund. NALIP provides the web software, website space and $250 for chapter marketing, meet-and-greets or other start-up costs. The NALIP Board has waived Chapter fees for the past 4 years in support of Chapter Development.What is NALIP Nationals policy on Chapters?
Per NALIPs By Laws (available at http://www.nalip.org/), NALIP encourages the formation of chapters that will, through their programmatic activities and governance, aid in the identification and development of Latino leaders in media.
Members may organize as NALIP regional Chapters to further the empowerment of Latino producers in their regions. NALIP Chapters may not incorporate as a separate organization, but can organize internally as best suits their objectives.
NALIP Chapters will be comprised of dues paying members in good standing of NALIP National. They will agree to operate in accordance with the mission and guidelines prescribed by NALIP National as set forth in the Bylaws and Membership Handbook, and will be formed according to geographic/ regional interests. Under special circumstances, a chapter may be formed according to other "special" interest areas as determined by membership; in these cases, chapter application will be reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Chapters will be comprised of dues paying members in good standing of NALIP National
Chapters shall be entitled to the use of the NALIP name, access to NALIPs not-for-profit status and fundraising under NALIPs 501-c-3, start-up and organizing support, an annual stipend towards marketing and networking gatherings, a web page at the National website and priority to their applications for support from the Program Fund
Chapters will agree to operate in accordance with the mission and guidelines prescribed by NALIP National as set forth in Membership Handbook
Chapters will be formed according to geographic / regional interests. Under special circumstances, chapter may be formed according to other "special" interest areas as determined by membership; in these cases, chapter application will be reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Chapter Formation will be initiated by the filing a Letter of Intent that will be reviewed by Chapter Review Committee, an ad-hoc committee of the Board and membership that will review Letters on a quarterly basis.
Chapter applicants will work with the Executive Director to complete the Chapter Application process which shall include, but not be limited to:
- Letter of Intent
- Petition of support with 10-12 member signatures
- Operating budget
- Proposed list of chapter activities for 18 month period
- Signed statement of proposed officers to serve for a minimum of one-year upon approval of application
- Submission of annual chapter fee, the amount to be determined by the Board of Directors but which, for 2003-2006, has been waived
All local chapters will have ample latitude in raising operational expenses and additional programmatic funds above their annual allocation provided the plans are vetted with NALIP National Executive Director and approved, in order to insure fairness and equity to both entities.
All chapters will be required to submit an annual report and fiscal accounting of activities and expenditures in order to continue as a chapter 'in good standing.' Failure to submit required information on a timely basis will result in suspension of chapter affiliation and possible revocation of chapter membership with NALIP National.
Board of Directors shall publish and distribution a Membership Handbook that will include criteria for approval of chapters, revenue sharing, chapter operating procedures and fiscal management, and Chapter fee levels, if any.What are the Criteria for Approval of a Chapter?
- Start-up Committee must be comprised of members-in-good standing (i.e. dues paying members)
- Start-up committee must articulate how chapter establishment and services further NALIP National mission and service goals
- Start-up committee must evidence demonstrable support for the establishment and maintenance of chapter (i.e. critical mass of dues paying members in specific region or organized around specific special interest area)
- Members of the start-up committee must have a track record of a minimum of one-year of organizing activities in conjunction with NALIP National and/or other media/entertainment entity
- The Start-up Committee must commit to serve for a two year period in leadership roles (i.e.: officers) until chapter is approved and has completed one full fiscal year cycle
- Start-up committee must submit financial materials (including operating budget and financial planning documents) that demonstrate sound fiscal goals
- Annual Chapter fee shall be waved for 2003-2006
These are recommended guidelines for developing a local chapter, and can be modified according to the expressed concerns of membership in each Chapter area:
- Develop a start up committee of 5-7 individuals
- Develop a statement of purpose (e.g. To expand professional development opportunities for Latino media makers and their supporters in Texas)
- Start-up committee to host a networking reception to introduce potential members to organization (Reception to be co-hosted with support from representatives from national)
- Establish a committee to develop local by-laws based on NALIP National by-laws and guiding principles
- Establish Membership Committee
- Establish Membership Services (Sample list provided below)
- Host networking events quarterly (open to members & non-members)
- Agree to participate in NALIP Job Bank (e.g. through usage of listserv / identification of resources)
- Initiate professional development workshops/seminars for members in good standing in conjunction with NALIP National
- Establish formal protocols regarding chapter meetings, events and services
- Enter into fiscal sponsorship agreement with NALIP National to be sponsored for the purposes of doing business as not-for-profit entity.
Chapters and chapters-in-formation recognized by NALIP National and operating in accordance with the NALIP Bylaws and Handbook shall be entitled to the following:
- Use of the NALIP name in identifying their Chapter
- Use of the NALIP not-for-profit status
- $250/year for networking, marketing and other start-up costs
- Page on the NALIP Website
- Organizing support from staff and Board
In 2012, NALIP moved its office to Los Angeles from Santa Monica, where it was headquartered for eight years. The Staff is Beni Matias, Acting Executive Director; Octavio Marin, Signature Program Director; and Vanessa Gonzalez, Membership Coordinator. Staff bios and phone/email information are posted online. Each Conference and Program project hires team members such as Production Managers and Coordinators, depending on the need of each program. Interns and volunteers are always welcomed. Zach Evans is NALIP's webmaster and co-editor of our e-newsletter Latinos In The Industry (LITI). Staff openings are posted in LITI.