FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2020
(Santa Fe, New Mexico) – The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Laflamme-Childs as Executive Director of New Mexico Arts, the state arts agency. She most recently served as Program Director for the 1% for Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts.
Prior to working with DCA, Laflamme-Childs spent seven years at the internationally recognized Santa Fe Art Institute, where she held the positions of Deputy Director, Residency and Marketing/Public Relations Director, and Administrative Director. She has more than 25 years of experience in senior management leadership, supervision and staff development, and extensive involvement in arts program development and administration.
“I’m honored to be appointed as the Executive Director of New Mexico Arts,” said Laflamme-Childs. “I look forward to using the experience I’ve garnered leading innovative programs at nonprofit arts organizations and serving as the Program Director for the Public Art Program to further engage artists, galleries, nonprofits, and our many program partners.”
New Mexico Arts’ mission is to preserve, enhance, and develop the arts in New Mexico through partnerships, public awareness, and education, and to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations. DCA conducted a nation-wide search with Laflamme-Childs rising to the top of nearly 50 qualified applicants.
As Executive Director, Laflamme-Childs will work to develop creative ideas to strengthen, evolve, and diversify programs at the agency while forging partnerships to address the changing needs of the arts across New Mexico. In addition, she will supervise annual grant programs, statewide percent for public art and other services, as well as provide leadership and advocacy for the cultural community, build critical relationships, lead collaborations and initiatives, and work to significantly increase access to and engagement with the arts.
“We are excited to welcome Michelle as Executive Director,” states Debra Garcia y Griego, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. “Her experience and knowledge of New Mexico and the vital role the arts play in the economic, educational, and social health of our communities is vast and will serve the division well.”
Laflamme-Childs has overseen and served on art juries and selection committees both locally and nationally. She’s an elected member of the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network National Advisory Council; former vice chair of the Santa Fe County Arts, Culture, and Cultural Tourism Committee; and is currently a member of the Santa Fe Community College Art on Campus Committee.
A native New Englander who has called New Mexico home for more than 25 years, Laflamme-Childs holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe.
“I’m passionate about working in our many diverse communities and creating access to arts opportunities for all New Mexicans,” said Laflamme-Childs. “I will strive to ensure that New Mexico Arts continues to develop innovative programs and new collaborative approaches to deepen our work throughout the state.”
About New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico Arts
Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, seven historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, the DCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.
New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency that 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.
Events, news releases, and images related to activities in divisions of the DCA can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.