FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 03, 2020
SANTA FE – During testimony today before the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC), New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego recommended $31.5 million in general funds for Fiscal Year 2022 to ensure ongoing education, protection, and preservation of the state’s rich cultural resources.
“The Department of Cultural Affairs continues to serve New Mexicans throughout pandemic closures by raising its online presence, offering more programming across its department-run websites and social media channels, and increasing participation from state residents, in particular those from areas outside the Rio Grande corridor,” said Secretary Garcia y Griego. “These virtual programs include at-home educational kits, youth summer camps, inviting a DCA educator into a classroom setting, musical concerts for the entire family, and museum exhibition tours.”
At the same time, the Department has provided critical relief dollars to cultural organizations. New Mexico Arts, the state arts agency and a division of DCA, awarded $1.5 million in state and federal funds to roughly 200 arts organizations, colleges and universities, K-12 schools, tribal governments, and government entities across the state. A third of the funding was given to organizations based in rural communities.
“The funds will be used for online arts programming and services, assist with the retention of full- and part-time jobs, and support independently-contracted artists, arts administrators, and arts educators,” said Secretary Garcia y Griego.
The New Mexico State Library granted $630,000 to expand direct program delivery to rural areas of the state through infrastructure investments. Part of this funding provided free and dependable broadband internet access to 27 additional communities. With a goal of 100% participation by 2023, 60% of New Mexico’s public and tribal libraries now take advantage of the E-Rate program.
Finally, DCA also utilized the public closures to complete capital improvement projects at its facilities including renovations to the planetarium at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, new elevators at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, and renovations to the main windmill tower at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.
“The funding is vital to ensuring the agency’s ability to serve its mission by providing a broad range of cultural services, including libraries, E-Rate broadband funding, arts education programs, historic preservation, archaeological research, collection and preservation of cultural resources, and operating the state’s 16 museums and historic sites,” said Secretary Garcia y Griego.
About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs 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.
Events, news releases, and images related to activities in divisions of the DCA can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.