New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

NM Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Garcia y Griego receives strong, bipartisan support from state leadership; reappointment advances to full NM Senate

September 08, 2023

Daniel Zillmann

SANTA FE, NM – Today, the NM Senate Rules Committee voted for the reconfirmation of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Debra Garcia y Griego. A vote by the full Senate will be held during the upcoming Legislative Session, opening on January 16, 2024. 

“I am grateful to state leadership for their clear demonstration of support today,” said New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego. “Equally important is their ongoing confidence in the work our agency unceasingly delivers. In the last four and a half years, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has more effectively utilized and shared our resources, increased return on the investment made by New Mexico’s taxpayers, and improved services to every county and Tribal community across the state. I look forward to my continued work with the talented individuals who support this agency through their hard work. Their dedicated service to the entire state as a resource for all New Mexicans truly inspires me.”   

In her remarks, Secretary Garcia y Griego listed the agency’s many accomplishments since her appointment in 2018: 

  • Created the Cultural Affairs Facilities Infrastructure Fund which has provided $20 million in critical funding for basic repairs and maintenance. 

  • Built out a Facilities Management Bureau to better use DCA’s resources and staff expertise statewide in improving the stewardship of its buildings and the collections they house. 

  • Constructed the New Mexico Mutual Welcome Center at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and replaced the community water system at Fort Stanton Historic Site. 

  • Retained and recruited talented staff. DCA has a 16% vacancy rate, lower than the average state vacancy rate of 23%, and is proud of its 22% internal promotion rate. 

  • Made Los Luceros operational as a historic site, secured almost $500,000 of federal funding for preservation of the historic hacienda, and launched a partnership with the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area to create economic development opportunities at the site. 

  • Working with tribal and decent communities, DCA opened new permanent exhibits at Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner Historic Site and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Opened new permanent exhibits at New Mexico Museum of Space History as well as remodeled the Dairy Barn at New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. 

  • Post pandemic, DCA launched an aggressive exhibition schedule, opening 35 new exhibits statewide in FY23. The fruits of this effort are reflected in increased statewide attendance and revenue. 

  • Initiated a travelling exhibit celebrating historic women of New Mexico available to public libraries across the state. Made available just last month, eleven libraries have already reserved the exhibit. 

  • Certified every Navajo Chapter House in New Mexico as a developing library, opening the door to increased funding and resources. 

  • Established a department-wide education network. Driven by education staff across the department, the network has developed more than 100 online education programs; published and distributed more than 63,000 copies of 3 different activity books featuring art by more than 50 New Mexico artists and poets; and provided more than 32,000 hands-on activity kits to youth statewide. 

The Cabinet Secretary’s bio is available upon request.

Related Photos

Sec. Debra Garcia y Griego

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