In November 2013, Artesia was designated a New Mexico Arts and Cultural District by the New Mexico Arts Commission. Artesia’s district is one of nine arts and cultural districts in New Mexico.
The state program was developed in 2007 by the State Legislature. It is designed to provide communities with a framework and technical assistance to explore economic development through the “creative economy” concept. The program seeks to build on each community’s unique heritage and assets to support cultural entrepreneurs.
In 2014, a state resource team met with Artesia residents to learn about the community’s assets and the desires for the district. As a result of the three-day session, the state resource team provided a written report that local ACD volunteers will use as a planning tool.
Since then, the core organizations – Artesia Arts Council, Artesia Chamber of Commerce, Artesia MainStreet, and the City of Artesia – have been working to identify our resources and focus areas. A “signature event” was created in in 2015 called Red Dirt Black Gold, which was the ACD’s first large event in the district.
As an organization, ACD will recognize the artists and artisans in our community who, to date, have not recognized themselves as such. ACD will find ways to celebrate our cultural heritage and the things that make Artesia tick. The most important element of any plan or activity will be about bringing people together to celebrate, teach, share and enjoy the many things that bring life and color to Artesia.
Find your own way to participate. Being involved in Artesia Arts and Cultural District does not mean you have to be an artist. A simple interest in the culture of our community and ways to celebrate our many talents and assets can be enough to contribute to the development of the district.
For more information or to become involved, please call Artesia Chamber of Commerce – 575-746-2744, or Artesia MainStreet – 575-746-1117.