The Arts & Cultural Districts program was established by the Legislature in 2007 as a comprehensive economic development strategy designed to capitalize on the expanding “creative economy.” The Arts & Cultural Districts Program promotes 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.
The Arts & Cultural Districts Program is a joint effort of three state agencies and private entities including New Mexico MainStreet, Department of Cultural Affairs divisions: New Mexico Arts and Historic Preservation, Tourism Department, and the McCune Charitable Foundation. The New Mexico Arts Commission is the state authorizer for new Arts & Cultural Districts while New Mexico MainStreet administers the program.
State-authorized Arts & 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 partner offers specialized assistance to the districts. New Mexico boasts eight state-designated Arts & Cultural Districts. The first two pilot districts were authorized in 2008, and the most recent three were added in 2014.
Support for New Mexico’s state authorized Arts & Cultural Districts is provided through a collaboration of:
The state’s Arts & Cultural District Council meets twice a year to review district planning efforts and monitor community progress. Applications for new districts are accepted as funding is available. Applicants are recommended by the Arts & Cultural Districts State Coordinator to the New Mexico Arts Commission, which officially designates the districts.
To review past application and eligibility criteria, click here.