Queer Eye Season 4 introduced a whole new cast to root for, and one of the Fab Five's most inspirational clients was Deanna Muñoz. Deanna is a Chicana whose passion for the arts and Mexican American culture inspired her to found the Latino Arts Foundation in her hometown of Kansas City. After Queer Eye, Deanna is continuing her work with the Foundation, and stepping out to promote it in a major way.
Often times the clients the Fab Five take on have unique, fulfilling careers or passions, and they just haven't figured out quite yet how to dress with confidence or grow their business. Deanna is no different: after they tamed her 'do, gave her fitted heels, and found her an office space by City Hall, Deanna was fully ready to be the entrepreneurial woman that she set out to be. Fans will be happy to know that the Foundation is still chugging along and slowly filling up the event calendar with various activities, from a summer mentorship art program, a painting class, and a writers workshop for an LGBTQ anthology.
The Foundation now has nine board members, including Deanna as president and CEO. In 2018, they started the first ever Latino Arts Festival scholarship for a student interested in pursuing an artistic career.
There's already the 2019 Latino Arts Festival on the books for September, boasting an 80+ lowrider car show, 16 artist booths, several hours of performance art, and Mexican food vendors. The festival is also advertised on the official Visit Kansas City website, which reinforces what the Fab Five told Deanna all throughout the episode: regardless of what racists have expressed, her family, her culture, and her work belong here.
To further promote the Foundation, Deanna spoke at a TEDx event — an offshoot of the larger TED talks that allows local individuals to plan talks and spark conversations in their own communities. She talks about finding pride in her culture, and realizing that art can indeed be a career and not just a hobby. "Lowriders use art to make our mark in this world by using color and beauty to tell our cultural stories," she says. "Telling the story of what it means to be American from the Chicano experience."
According to Deanna's LinkedIn, when she's not running the Foundation she's working full time at Hallmark Cards, and it appears she recently got promoted from Sales and Support Specialist to OMS Program Leader. As a Program Leader she "provides execution expertise, strategic understanding, and operational acumen" to ensure all retail stores are on track and keeping with the brand. Deanna has a degree in Entrepreneurship, so it's no surprise she's able to juggle a full time position with being a founder and a mom, to boot.
With all the work Deanna is putting in, Kansas City is clearly very lucky to have her. Under the current administration, it's more important than ever that young Mexican-Americans have a space where they feel like they can truly belong. Even if it just means having a place to paint for an hour, the validation and community that Deanna provides is priceless. It's clear Deanna always had something special going, and thanks to Queer Eye, now everyone else knows it too.