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Who We Are

Founded in 2019, Daphne Art Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit arts organization based in the South Texas United States-Mexico border in Laredo that focuses on improving the quality of life through transformative cultural experiences.

We are artists, educators, administrators, stewards, advocates, writers, and creatives.


Our Mission

Our mission is to advance the visual, performing, and media arts in the Laredo border region by: providing residencies to artists and creatives, exhibiting and promoting artists, and cultivating arts appreciation and participation.


Our Vision

Our vision is a vibrant Laredo border region where the arts are central to our cultural and socioeconomic vitality.


Our Home


Located in the south Texas county of Webb on the United States-Mexico border, Laredo, Texas is beautiful, rich in history, complex, and full of contradictions (this allows our work to thrive!). Out of the 15 largest metro areas in the State of Texas, Laredo ranks last in the amount of local sales tax generated by the arts and culture industry, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

At Daphne Art Foundation, we are committed to make the arts more accessible and expand our community’s awareness about visual, performing, and media arts.  Laredo not only inspires our work, it serves as a canvas for creative perspectives to shape a better, more colorful future.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Daphne Art Foundation has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As an organization, we acknowledge the complexities that result from advantages certain groups have over others. We challenge ourselves to constantly grow in awareness and develop and implement practices that advance equity in the arts. 


Our Team

Alyssa Cigarroa, Founder and Board President

Linda LaMantia, Board Vice-President

Mary Lamar Leyendecker, Board Secretary

Francisco Javier Garcia, Board Member

Keith Franklin, Board Member

Regina Portillo, Board Member


Maritza Bautista, Executive Director

About our Director

Maritza Bautista is a Tex-Mex/pocha, Fronteriza multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and cultural worker from Laredo, Texas. She earned a Master of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2009) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art from Texas A&M International University (2002). Maritza was awarded the SAIC Masters Fellowship in Art Education (2009) and her essay Unique Voices in Youth Media was published in the book “Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons” (2012).


Maritza participated in the collective exhibition Between An Egg and A Wall at Arts Fort Worth (2023). Her film Cartoneros (Cardboard Scavengers) received a Waste Award at Cinema Verde: 14th Annual Environmental Film and Arts Festival, and was selected for Best Direction at the Environmental Film & Screenplay Festival (2023). In 2022, her work was published in PASSAGE Visions and screened at Señorita Cinema, iFFY: Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti, the 108th NCA convention Honoring Place, and the Creating Justice Symposium where she led the panel Women Working on Border Topics: Intervention and Negotiation of the Creative Process.


Maritza has worked in the art nonprofit industry since 2003; working closely with diverse artists and art spaces including, Laredo Center for the Arts, Sound Art Space, Hecho en Encinal, Insight Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, Rumble Arts Center and Threewalls.  

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