New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Zack Quintero named executive director of National Hispanic Cultural Center

September 21, 2023

Daniel Zillmann

Albuquerque, NM – The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) announced today that Zack Quintero will serve as permanent executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, NM. Having vetted Quintero as interim executive director since March of 2023, the Board of Directors of NHCC voted to recommend him to NMDCA Cabinet Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego as the candidate for the Center’s top leadership role. Secretary Garcia y Griego immediately appointed him following approval of the Governor. 

“Over the past six months, Mr. Quintero has demonstrated a willingness to think outside the box and a strong commitment to the Center,” said Morris “Mo” Chavez, president of the NHCC Board of Directors. “Working alongside a tremendous leadership team, Zack has revealed a great vision for the future of NHCC. The Board looks forward to seeing his plans coming to fruition.”  

Quintero, a lifelong New Mexican with family roots in Doña Ana County, developed meaningful ties to the state’s Hispanic communities throughout his career. He will work closely with NHCC Artistic Director Noël Bella Merriam to fully realize the Center’s dedication to preserving, promoting, and advancing Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities.  

“I am incredibly honored and grateful to continue to serve the people of New Mexico as Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center,” Quintero said. “The Department of Cultural Affairs and NHCC have an amazing team working hard to preserve, advance, and protect the culture of our state. I am excited to be a part of this important work and I look forward to continuing the local, statewide, and national collaborations we have started here in the last few months. I invite our gente to continue to visit the Center to view and participate in the special work we are doing.”   

Visitation and revenue at the National Hispanic Cultural Center have seen an increase under Quintero’s leadership through community events like the Ozomatli concert and the 2023 FIFA Women’s Cup watch parties, all held on the Plaza Mayor. Quintero launched a Cultural Ambassador partnership program in April to better facilitate relationships with the National Hispanic Cultural Center and rural communities across the state. These partnerships will allow the Center to share works of art from national and community artists, build education programming for community members, create youth and school programming, and host renowned artists and national conversations at these historic locations. Moving forward, Quintero will spearhead The Legacy Project, which focuses on identifying, retrieving, archiving, and maintaining the endangered traditional Spanish language and historical documents in rural Northern New Mexico.  

“Zack Quintero’s interim leadership of the National Hispanic Cultural Center has been an incredible testament to his commitment to Latino and Hispanic heritage, culture, and art in New Mexico and across the country,” said Debra Garcia y Griego, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary. “We want to see thriving partnerships and programming at NHCC, and I can hardly imagine a more committed leadership team than Zack and Noël to accomplish the Center’s important mandate.”  

For a short biography on Zack Quintero, visit this release from April 2023.  

More about the National Hispanic Cultural Center: The National Hispanic Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. The NHCC presents mission-related events throughout the year, some produced by its history, literary, performing, and visual arts programs, and others by partnering with external organizations. Events take place at its 20-plus-acre campus, which includes a plaza, an art museum, a historically designated building, a library, and a genealogy center. The NHCC is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is further supported by the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.   

Related Photos

Zack Quintero | Dolores Huerta

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