New Mexico MainStreet Partners Receive Our Town Program Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts

24 Aug 2017


Santa Fe, N.M.  - Today, New Mexico MainStreet (NMMS), a program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, announced that more than $300,000 has been awarded to MainStreet partners to support the arts in New Mexico. The City of Albuquerque, the City of Gallup and Creative Startups partnering with Zuni Pueblo have received funding to support their work as centers of arts and innovation and build on their cultural assets to activate their downtown economies.

"This funding will support place making and arts programming in New Mexico Arts & Cultural Districts and MainStreet communities - further growing and strengthening our local economies," said Economic Development Department Secretary Matt Geisel. "These types of investments help create a vibrant space in the heart of our communities and support job creation in our state."

The City of Albuquerque received $100,000 through the Our Town program to support the Cultural Services Department's "Feed the Heart: Downtown Arts Nurturing ABQ" program. The program is a collaboration to spur downtown revitalization, provide economic opportunities for artists, and enliven downtown cultural spaces through a coordinated series of live performances, arts events, and arts and cultural activities, many of which are free. The program is being developed by the Cultural Services Department of the City of Albuquerque and the Downtown Arts & Cultural District, and will feature the work of as many as 12 local arts organizations. The District includes many of the City's arts organizations and provides access to the arts to diverse populations.

"My administration has placed a great emphasis on supporting our local arts economy," said Mayor Richard J.  Berry. "I am pleased that we have once again received this competitive national grant as we continue to bolster Albuquerque's unique and culturally diverse arts community."

The City of Gallup received $150,000 through the Our Town Program to support the design of Coal Ave. Event Street. The project includes an interactive and artist-led design process to retrofit and enhance the street to increase pedestrian walkability, provide outdoor seating, and serve as an event space. The City of Gallup will work with gallupARTS to turn the street into a vibrant hub of the historic downtown. The project is anticipated to serve more than 20,000 residents.

"This award is the culmination of many hours by dedicated individuals in our community. After years of planning and dreaming we now have the funding avenue to enhance fantastic arts and artists from around our area," Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney said.

Creative Startups received $75,000 through the Our Town Program to support their Real Solutions for Real People and Places: A Zuni Mainstreet Project. Creative Startups will implement the community plan for a Mainstreet ArtWalk. The plan calls for improved pedestrian infrastructure, space for art making and sales, public visitor facilities, and cultural engagement activities. The project seeks to catalyze cultural engagement, generate income for Zuni artisans, and provide entrepreneurship education. Creative Startups will partner with the UNM iD+Pi and Zuni Pueblo, as well as the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center.

"We are really excited about this funding and what it can do for the community, Zuni Pueblo MainStreet has already begun working with artists and setting up programming to connect people with artists in their homes and studios," said Governor Panteah of Zuni Pueblo, "I am looking forward to the implementation of this program and want to thank the Board and staff of Zuni Pueblo MainStreet, as well as our partners at the UNM iD+Pi (Indigenous Design and Planning Institute) for their efforts around this program."

"Projects like those funded through the Our Town Program have the potential to spur the redevelopment and revitalization of our downtowns," said Rich Williams, New Mexico MainStreet Director. "We congratulate our program partners in securing this vital funding and charting the growth of their local economy through investments in arts and culture."

A program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet works throughout the state to help affiliated local organizations create an economically viable business environment while preserving cultural and historic resources. New Mexico MainStreet currently serves 28 affiliated MainStreet Districts, eight state-authorized Arts & Cultural Districts, more than 20 Frontier Community projects, and eight Historic Theater Initiatives.

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