New Mexico Arts is pleased to be one of the partners in the New Mexico Arts and Cultural Districts Program. This program is a unique joint effort between three state agencies and private entities. The Arts and Cultural Districts Program's goal is to promote the exceptional art and history of New Mexico while assisting communities in developing their cultural and artistic resources to create dynamic and economically vibrant districts. Forming Arts and Cultural Districts helps communities provide support to cultural entrepreneurs and institutions while capitalizing on the potential economic opportunity for the district as well as the town.
State agency partners in this program are the Economic Development Department's MainStreet Program, the Department of Cultural Affairs divisions of New Mexico Arts and Historic Preservation. Other partners are the McCune Foundation and the New Mexico Resiliency Alliance. The New Mexico Arts Commission authorizes new Arts and Cultural Districts while MainStreet administers the program.
State-authorized Arts and Cultural Districts receive incentives such as assistance with developing cultural plans and enhanced historic tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic structures within the district. Each of the partners offers specialized assistance to the districts as well.
In 2008, the first two pilot districts were authorized: Las Vegas and Silver City. As of 2016 there are seven arts and cultural districts and one arts and cultural compound. They are Las Vegas, Silver City Downtown Albuquerque, Artesia, Gallup, Los Alamos, Raton, and Mora (compound).
For more information about the program, including applications for district authorization, see the New Mexico Mainstreet Arts and Cultural Districts toolbox or visit the New Mexico Arts and Cultural Districts website.The Arts and Cultural Districts approved by the Legislature have the potential of spurring new development crucial to smaller New Mexico communities. The New Mexico Arts Commission serves as the authorizing authority for the Arts and Cultural Districts.
The Arts Trails are designed to put New Mexico artists on the map and bring the market to them. The trails are a key component of New Mexico Arts' arts-based economic development and cultural tourism efforts and are paid for through state funds approved by the New Mexico Legislature and the Governor.
Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts
The Governor's Arts Awards were established in 1974 by Governor Bruce King and First Lady Alice King to celebrate the enormous roles - both economic and cultural - that artists, craftspeople and arts supporters play in the life of New Mexico. During its 40-year existence, a diverse and prestigious list of painters, weavers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, poets, actors, playwrights and potters have been honored.
Poetry Out Loud
The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation have partnered with state arts agencies of the United States to support the expansion of Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. This exciting program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.
American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius is a program that celebrates the best of American arts and culture. Through American Masterpieces, the National Endowment for the Arts supports performances, visual arts exhibits, and sponsors tours and educational programs in communities throughout the country.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
New Mexico Arts was awarded $297,000 in arts recovery funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.