American Artscape Notable Quotable: Alana Hernandez of CALA Alliance

By Don Ball
Portrait of woman with long dark hair wearing black-rimmed glasses and wearing a purple shirt.

Alana Hernandez, executive director of CALA Alliance. Photo by Shaunté Glover, with support from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

"Latinx art and histories are American histories; this is really important to emphasize. Of course, the downside is I wish we didn’t have to have culturally specific organizations to exist as part of the art world to have people pay attention to us. Do I believe institutions that say they are for American art should have always been looking at more diverse stories? Of course. I never want us to only rely on our culturally specific organizations. But they serve an incredibly important purpose right now because there is this need. However, I really do hope in the future that Latinx stories and histories will be integrated into the canon; when we’re taught art history, it will not just be from a Eurocentric perspective."

CALA (which stands for Celebración Artística de las Américas) Alliance is a multidisciplinary Latinx arts organization with programs that traverse the city’s communities, telling new stories about transborder cultural connections. In the new issue of American Artscape, we speak with Executive Director Alana Hernandez about CALA’s programs and engagement with the Phoenix community, differentiating between Latin American and Latinx, and the importance of emphasizing U.S. Latinx art and its contributions to American culture.