Art and Culture News

Feb. 4—The Center for Contemporary Arts announces new leadership

The Center for Contemporary Arts’ board of directors announced in January that David Muck was elected to serve as chairman. The position was previously filled by Maria Gale. After selling a software company he co-founded in 1985, he moved to Santa Fe from his native Texas. Muck is passionate about classical music and the arts and serves on the board of trustees for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. At CCA, he joins board Vice Chairwoman Doris Francis, Secretary Dyanna Taylor, and Treasurer Margo Thoma. In a news release, Muck stated: “In addition to creative collaborative outreach, we will focus on fundraising and bringing greater financial stability to the organization in a meaningful and long-lasting manner. It is this firm fiscal footing that we seek to build which will allow us to ensure that we can nurture and support creativity in its many forms and witness its long-lasting and transformative qualities for the community.”

Governor’s executive budget includes $46.4 million for Cultural Affairs

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s total executive recommendation for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs of $46.4 million for the 2023 fiscal year is a 9 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. The budget recommendation would increase the agency’s general fund by $3.3 million, which would support education and engagement initiatives, including the distribution of 2,500 more educational activity kits to grade school students statewide; $150,000 in critical funding to expand the department’s programs in rural communities and fund statewide participation in the national History Day Program to students in grades 6 through 12; $105,000 to fund programs that support armed service members and their families with art therapy services, musicians and performances statewide, and artist residences; additional full-time staff positions to oversee facilities maintenance and construction in the southern portion of the state; and more than $800,000 to support maintenance work, veterinary services, landscaping contracts, utilities, and other contractual services and operating costs at the museums and historic sites that come under the department. “Sufficient funding is crucial for the agency to serve its mission, and the FY23 executive budget recommendation will allow us to build on our success as custodians of the state’s incredible cultural heritage,” said NMDCA Cabinet Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego in a press release. “The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs continuously provides a broad range of cultural services, including arts education programs, libraries, historic preservation, archaeological research, collection and preservation of cultural resources, and operation of New Mexico’s eight museums and eight historic sites.”

Axle Projects receives NEA grant

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded $10,000 to support Axle Contemporary’s upcoming photographic portrait project E Pluribus Unum: El Norte. Axle Contemporary founders Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel began E Pluribus Unum in 2012. The ongoing biennial project documents communities throughout New Mexico. A mobile photographic portrait studio was built inside Axle’s vintage aluminum van. Past E Pluribus Unum projects have taken place in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, and in the Southeast portion of the state. Works from the projects have been exhibited at SITE Santa Fe, 516 Arts in Albuquerque, the Navajo Nation Museum, the Roswell Museum and Art Center, and the Western Heritage Museum in Hobbs. E Pluribus Unum: El Norte is slated for the summer and fall of 2022 in communities in north-central and northeastern New Mexico. Participation is free. Participants are asked to bring a small object of personal significance and sit for a black and white portrait while holding the object. The portraits are displayed on the exterior of the mobile gallery, in regional exhibitions, and are published in book form by Axle Contemporary Press.

NEA grant to Santa Fe Film Institute supports 14th Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Santa Fe Film Institute (SFFI). The grant will go to support the 14th Annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF), which will take place from Oct. 19-23. The grant marks the third consecutive year that the NEA has recognized SFiFF’s cultural and creative impact as a forum for international and independent cinema. “It is meaningful for both local filmmakers and film artists worldwide for the Santa Fe Film Institute to receive this support,” said SFiFF Executive Director and SFFI Treasurer Liesette Paisner Bailey. “The fantastic projects and world-class screenings that make up SFiFF’s public programming reflect the organization’s commitment to the arts and artists.” The Santa Fe Film Institute works to advance independent filmmaking and presents wide-ranging educational discussions, workshops, filmmaker events, and world-class programming at the annual festival.

New Mexico Hispano Music Association announces winners at the 30th annual awards show

The 30th annual New Mexico Hispano Music Awards took place on Jan. 15 at the Ohkay Casino Conference Center in Ohkay Owingeh. Winners include Daniel Lee Gallegos for Producer of the Year; Songwriters of the Year Felix Peralta and Lara Manzanares, whose song “Dos Corazones” also won Original Song of the Year; Makaylah Antonia, who won Rising Star/Artist or Group of the Year; Female Vocalist of the Year Anakaela; Male Vocalist of the Year Jerome Grant; CD of the Year for Sangre Joven’s self-titled album; and Darren Cordova y Calor for Band of the Year. The New Mexico Hispano Music Association works to preserve the Hispano culture and musical heritage of New Mexico.