Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino / Hispanic Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad specs    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


Juanita Durán greeted as new Sofia Quintero Center directora

By Kevin Milliken for La Prensa

Over 100 Toledo-area residents greeted the new executive director of the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC)la directora, Juanita Durán—at its First Friday, March 1, 2013, and illustrates how the Center is moving to a new, expanded leadership structure as its board of directors seek to expand program offerings and partnerships.

Ms. Durán previously served as the family program coordinator alongside her mom Tonya, who handled sports programming, when the pair launched the Believe Center at the former Aurora González Community Center last year.

Juanita Durán con hijo

Former director Joe Balderas will serve in a newly created role as director of building and grounds. SQACC has a number of community gardens in addition to several buildings.

The two centers forged a partnership last year when SQACC reached a long-term lease agreement with the City of Toledo on behalf of the Believe Center for its current location.

Ms. Durán’s salary will be funded through a recent grant awarded to SQACC. She stated the Center will need to think “outside the box” on other funding sources. The Center also plans to hire a development director to seek outside funding and write grants. However, Ms. Durán herself brings some skills that will be utilized at the Center: as a licensed family therapist and experienced grant writer.

“I’m really excited about this position because it’s a lot of different elements—art and culture,” she said. “Also, there are lots of parts about being Mexican and the Latino side. It adds a cool dynamic to the Center.”

“Ms. Durán was selected for her education, resourcefulness, passion and commitment to the South Toledo community,” said María Rodríguez-Winter, board of trustees president. “Having worked in Europe and Japan, SQACC is delighted that she returned to Toledo where she can not only broaden the direction and progression of the goals of the SQACC organization but also to serve as a significant role model to the youth of the Latino/ Latina community.”

Ms. Durán informed this reporter: “I just want to give back to the Old South End that was so good to me growing up,” she said. “I’d like to help bridge the relationship between all the agencies. We all claim the same territory, but we need to work together. There are a lot of people here who need our help, so we need to collaborate.”

She will be responsible for the management and leadership of advancing the mission and vision of the organization, enhancing Latino/Latina Art and Culture through education, cultural diversity, global awareness, stewardship, responsibility, and social equity.

Ms. Durán has done non-profit work before, but in housing—with Habitat for Humanity and the National Fair Housing Center in Washington, D.C. She also worked in foreign countries at various military bases, working with children as a licensed social-worker contractor.

Ms. Durán earned a master’s degree with honors from the University of Toledo, as well as completed an undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University, with a minor in ethnic studies. She attended Queen of Apostles School as a child and has an infant son, Leandro, as shown on the cover of La Prensa.

“I would like to enhance the programs that fall in line with the mission of the Center,” she said. “We will brainstorm ideas for new programs in the next couple of weeks.”

SQACC’s monthly First Friday also had on display raised flower beds, picnic tables, and birdhouses that are for sale as a fundraiser for the Center, as the multitude savored comida mexicana. A new SQACC website will debut, which will allow supporters to donate through PayPal.

SQACC will continue to collaborate with the Believe Center on projects and programs. For example, a neighborhood cleanup day is set for May 4 in the Old South End, which coincides with the late Sofia Quintero’s birthday. It’s also in memory of Dan Román, a Believe Center coach who passed away several years ago.

According to Ms. Durán, the Center will continue to take an active role in the Broadway Corridor Coalition, a group of Old South End agencies who banded together to advocate for the neighborhood and share resources.

On a personal level, the new post allows her to carry on the Durán family legacy of commitment to the Latino/a communities and non-profit organizations. Her family has served in a variety of capacities over the years in the Old South End with groups, such as the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO), Catholic Charities, and the former Guadalupe Center.

Rico de la Prensa contributed to this report.

On the Internet: www.sqacc.org


Copyright © 1989 to 2013 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/05/13 15:09:41 -0800.




Web laprensa





«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and Hispanic events with English and Spanish articles.
Contact us at [email protected] or call (419) 870-6565



Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2012