Creating Space for Latin@ Arts
Arturo Madrid reflects on his time at Trinity, promoting the work and experiences of Latin@ artists

Following his appointment as the Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in 1993, Arturo Madrid dedicated himself to introducing Latin@ artists, community leaders, and scholars to the Trinity University community. Over the course of the following 23 years, with support from Trinity University’s various programs, Madrid sponsored and hosted concerts, events, performances and lectures featuring Latin@ academics, artists, public figures, and writers on campus. A lecture series bearing his name, the Madrid Lecture for Latin@ Artists, was established in 2017.

Madrid began with bringing speakers to the classes on Latin@s he created, including the general education course, “Latino Artistic and Cultural Experience.” “Over the years I invited any number of Latin@ academics and artists to come to Trinity because they were here locally or because they were passing through…” says Madrid, reflecting on the development of the lecture series, “And I used that opportunity to invite community folks to attend the lectures as well as my colleagues who had no idea about anything going on in the Latino community.”

During his tenure at the University, Madrid had a lasting impact on diversity and inclusion efforts. In addition to hosting events and speakers, he encouraged the hiring of Latin@ faculty and staff and connected faculty, students, and community by inviting community members to Trinity events. “That is what I hope my legacy is, creating that Latin@ presence on campus,” Madrid says. 

In 2003, following Madrid’s retirement from its board of directors, the Belo Corporation created a grant to Trinity in his honor. The grant created the Fund for Latin@ Arts, which was augmented by contributions made to Trinity by Madrid and his spouse, Antonia I. Castañeda, Ph.D. Upon his retirement from Trinity, the fund was renamed the Madrid Fund for Latin@ Arts.

Madrid stresses that Norma Cantu, Ph.D., global Latinx studies and Spanish professor, his successor as the Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, was instrumental in creating the Madrid Lecture for Latin@ Artists. Over the past seven years, this lecture has showcased the work of Latin@ artists and their contributions to the world of Mexican-American art and culture.

“Using the resources available to her, Professor Cantú has organized symposia around the lecture and published the presentations made by the scholars invited to participate,” Madrid says. “Under her leadership, the lecture has prospered and gained major attention from artists and scholars.” Madrid, moreover, credits Professor Cantú for developing a multitude of other initiatives to promote Latin@ artists and sustain Latin@ visibility on campus.

This academic year, the Madrid Lecture will be delivered by Sandra Cisneros, the award-winning author of The House on Mango StreetCarameloWoman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, and various collections of poetry and stories. She will be presenting a lecture titled “Keeping San Antonio Lamé: My Life Among los Artistas” on April 11, 2024.


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Emma Utzinger '24 helps tell Trinity's story as a writing intern for Trinity University Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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