Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

New Mexico Music Commission Working to Fill Void in Local Music Scenes across the State

New Mexico Arts

June 11, 2021


SANTA FE – In January 2021, the New Mexico Music Commission launched the Rural County Outreach program in 30 of 33 counties across the state. Commissioners will serve as liaison for these counties to identify two music-related service projects to fill a void in the area’s music industry due to stoppages and closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support rural counties in their recovery, commissioners will research the music industry in their adopted counties, compile a list of key music industry stakeholders, monitor the music scene and report major events to the music commission with the purpose of promoting local events via the commission’s social media channels, and facilitate at least one Student Musician Spotlight nomination in each county.

The service projects are designed to complement each of the commissioner’s unique skill set, expertise, and experience, and be delivered virtually each calendar year. The projects, including all research, planning, and communication, will be conducted remotely/virtually.

•   Here are examples of possible service projects:

•   Present a master class, clinic, sectional to students at a local school, college, or university

•   Instruct a workshop, clinic in partnership with a local 501(c)(3) arts organization

•   Deliver a performance assembly for a local elementary school

•   Emcee/Narrate a community virtual event or PSA

•   Perform/speak on a local radio, television, or podcast program

•   Sponsor/Host an online fundraiser with proceeds benefiting a county-based music organization

•   Produce an online performance in partnership with a local music organization, band, or school ensemble

•   Sponsor a competition and perform with/feature the winner on social media

•   Sponsor a competition and deliver free private lessons to the winner

•   Co-write a song with a local songwriter/band

•   Perform with a local band

•   Produce a music video of a local musician, band, or school ensemble.

“The New Mexico Music Commission’s Rural County Outreach Project is vital to ensure that remote areas of our state have exposure and access to music education,” said Commissioner Neil Swap of Silver City. “In isolated areas of the state, these events could be the only exposure students have to music and will hopefully lead to establishing music education programs in every school. New Mexico students deserve access to music education.”

“I look forward to giving the gift of music to our rural communities,” said Commission Chair Carlos Medina of Coruco. “Music heals, uplifts and fosters unity.”

Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and Sandoval counties are not included in the Rural County Outreach project. Instead, the Music Commission’s Production Committee will produce Art2Art events in these three counties.

The New Mexico Music Commission is administratively attached to New Mexico Arts, the state arts agency and a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information on the Rural County Outreach program, visit

For more information on the Student Musician Spotlight, visit

About New Mexico Arts
New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the state arts agency.  New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico. 


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