President's Biography

Don Rossi Nuccio - President of Latino Art BeatDon Rossi Nuccio, after having spent many successful years living overseas representing American business interests in Europe and the Middle East returned to Chicago and to the Little Village neighborhood on Chicago's near Southwest side where he grew up. He decided to devote himself to working with talented young inner-city high school artists and affording them opportunities at higher education and employment that they might not have otherwise had.

Don co-founded and established Latino Art Beat in 1998 a not-for profit arts organization that encourages the artistic talents of young high school artists, photographers and filmmakers. Latino Art Beat holds an annual art competition, themed "What Hispanic Heritage & Culture Means to Me", which awards college scholarships and monetary prizes to its winners. The organization also celebrates these award-winning artists by holding various art gallery showings of their winning artwork throughout the year. Don has diligently performed his duties as President of Latino Art Beat now for over eighteen years as a community service and without drawing a salary.

Don previous to creating Latino Art Beat was also involved in the Entertainment Industry and worked with many top performers, actors and singers. He has received many awards and acknowledgements for his contributions to music (concerts, record promotions, etc.) including high profile recognition at the Chicago Music Awards. Further in 2005 he created a partnership with The Latin Recording Academy®, The Latin GRAMMY®s, in presenting for the first time ever the opportunity for a student artist to create the Official Latin GRAMMY® Awards poster.

Don has also worked for young people nationally. He has worked with and assisted young people by lobbying former President George H. W. Bush (“41st President”), along with singer-actress Whitney Houston in enacting a National Children's Day in 1991. He acted as the local Chicago Review Committee Chairperson for the National Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation of Washington, D.C. commencing in 1999 and for multiple years since. The Foundation gives out scholarships annually to young Latinos across America. In 2008, Don was awarded the prestigious “Compadre Award” by the Foundation for having assisted with its year-round programs focusing on promoting higher education within the Latino communities. Don worked with young handicapped Olympians through Special Olympics in Washington, D.C. and helped in organizing the games held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1991.

Don negotiated a partnership between his organization, Latino Art Beat and the Office of Illinois Governor George H. Ryan in issuing the Governor's first ever official State of Illinois poster for Hispanic Heritage Month in 1999 and he also negotiated a partnership between Latino Art Beat and Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley in issuing the City's first ever official City of Chicago poster for Hispanic Heritage Month in 2001. This tradition is still carried on in Chicago.

In 2001 Don was one of 150 of the nation’s top Hispanic leaders invited to celebrate for the first time "Cinco de Mayo" in the White House with President George W. Bush.

In 2002 Don successfully negotiated a partnership with General Motors that enabled him to take Latino Art Beat national. The art competition is now operating in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, DC with nearly 2,000 participants annually. Subsequently he negotiated additional high profile partnerships with Showtime Networks, Southwest Airlines and Nordstrom as well as with local government agencies, school boards and academic institutions.

In 2008, Don took Latino Art Beat to its highest level in the nation’s capital and negotiated a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Initiative on Excellence in Hispanic Learning (Latino Art Beat is a partner organization); which collectively presented the “Retrospective Latino Art Beat art exhibit” displaying past and present Latino Art Beat winning artwork. The opening day reception was a “standing-room” only event.

Through the years Don also negotiated other partnership agreements in promoting the activities of Latino Art Beat. Through Latino Art Beats film and animation division, Don formed collaborative partnerships with high profile film festivals like, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, which is considered the largest, most comprehensive and best Latino film festival in the United States, the Miami Short Film Festival and most recently with the HollyShorts Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA. In 2014 Latino Art Beat organized in collaboration with the HollyShorts Film Festival a national ‘Youth Short Film Competition’ which culminated in a high profile awards presentation in the summer of 2014 at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, Ca where twin film Directors, the Cooper Brothers were feted as the national winners and awarded a substantial dedicated college scholarship.

In 2015 a NEW competition category was negotiated between Don and a new sports website, SPORTAMY in order to encourage students with artistic and writing skills to proudly show their interest in sports via a drawing and essay competition.

Don regularly speaks at colleges and universities around the country promoting higher education, the arts and literacy as being important building blocks thus encouraging young people to be better prepared for the future opportunities that shall present themselves.