Arts & Cultural Districts

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

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