Q&A with Alex Hanna

A legacy of LGBTQ+ support

In 2013, Alex Hanna and his husband Yon Hudson sued the Santa Fe County Clerk to be legally married. Soon after, he was introduced to the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Envision Fund, the first and largest philanthropic entity dedicated to LGBTQ+ causes in New Mexico.

Alex runs an award-winning design firm that specializes in high- quality print work, brand strategies, and marketing. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in art history. After teaching in Asia and on the East Coast, he moved to Santa Fe. He is the former chair of the Santa Fe Arts Commission and currently serves on the boards of Audubon Southwest and the Somos Unidos Foundation.

It was his branding work that led the Santa Fe Community Foundation to reach out to him when they needed help for one of their funds.

How did you get involved with the Envision Fund?

In 2013, my husband and I sued the Santa Fe County Clerk to get married. It was a pretty big deal. And we won the case!

I have a branding and graphic design business, and I was hired to work on the rebrand of what was then called the Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partnership at the Santa Fe Community Foundation. This was founded in the 1990s, and it was one of the very earliest funds in the entire country to support LGBTQ+ causes.

We came up with this idea of the Envision Fund, a fund to be inclusive of all types of people. Then I thought, I have the gay marriage victory, and I’m working on the branding for Envision – so it just made sense to join the Envision Fund committee!

Today, the Envision Fund is the largest LGBTQ+ statewide funder in New Mexico. Frankly, they do amazing work. The quality of talent working for the Envision Committee is hard to believe. The leadership, board, and volunteer members of the committee have all helped to grow the fund’s assets.

The team is a group of smart, engaged people who make really important decisions about how to fund organizations that are on the front lines of helping vulnerable people. The group is very, very thoughtful about how to make the most impact with the dollars they have.

The fund has a long history. What is it currently working on?

Some of the powerful stuff they’re doing includes ongoing support of transgender rights. We gave to and worked closely with the Transgender Research Center in Albuquerque, which does truly  amazing work.

We also worked with a number of organizations helping queer youth, another vulnerable group. These kids have parents that don’t support them, and they often get kicked out of their houses and become homeless. In New Mexico – even though we’re a progressive state – there are a lot of very traditional, conservative families.

Throughout all of this, the passion of the people on the committee was incredibly inspiring.

You volunteer but also donate to the fund.

Yes. I make a gift once a year. I’m not a rich person, but a little goes a long way – especially with the skillful management of the fund.

But if you can’t write a check, volunteer! Just show up to help! It’s amazing what you can accomplish.

And another thing: My husband and I recently did our estate planning. We don’t have kids, so we set up a legacy gift – a promised gift – for the Envision Fund. And, oh man, they were so excited and grateful for the donation. As they explained, these gifts are so important because it shows that the Community Foundation has a powerful commitment to driving significant change over a long period of time. It’s a commitment to help people over decades and decades.

It’s funny – when we won the gay marriage case all those years ago, I thought, We’re wrapping this up! Gay rights are here!

Well, of course, that’s not entirely true. We’ve still got a long way to go. There are a lot of vulnerable people out there, people who need the Envision Fund. And I’m proud to be part of it.

Jun 24, 2024
News & Stories

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