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Press Releases

October 23, 2019

Thought leaders convene to discuss how arts sector can help New Mexico lead

SANTA FE • Arts and culture can be the driver in addressing New Mexico’s most critical social and economic issues, say organizers of an agenda-setting discussion happening Wednesday, October 23, at the NM History Museum auditorium on the Historic Plaza of Santa Fe.

The event, jointly sponsored by the international consulting firm Lord Cultural Resources and New Mexico’s Department of Cultural Affairs, brings together thought leaders from across the sector to explore how advancing the vibrancy of the state’s arts and cultural can affect some of the state’s most significant challenges. 

“New Mexico outranks other states in cultural capital, cultural diversity, and artists per capita, despite being the second-poorest state in the nation,” says Debra Garcia y Griego, New Mexico’s Cultural Affairs Secretary. “As a world-renowned destination for heritage tourists, an arts-and-culture mecca, and a hub of creativity, our state is uniquely positioned to translate these assets into a stronger economy, as well as improvements to many other areas.”

The event will explore strategies and ideas for turning this potential into real change. Gail Lord, President of Lord Cultural Resources, will bring a global perspective to the event, as well as in-depth perspective on New Mexico’s potential.

“Having worked in New Mexico culture for almost 20 years, I believe this is as a place with exceptional authenticity, power, and creativity. With the support of the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Santa Fe, and its wealth of diverse creative people, New Mexico can expand the narrative about art to one of relevance and equity.”

Other event participants include:

Cannupa Hanska Luger
(Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota), multi-disciplinary artist
New Mexico based artist Cannupa Hanska Luger was raised on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. His monumental installations, performances and political action meld into stories about 21st-century Indigeneity.

Pauline Kanako Kamiyama
Arts Director, City of Santa Fe Arts Commission (former Deputy Director of Civic Arts, City of LA)
Pauline provides leadership and guidance for Santa Fe’s policies and programs that develop and promote artistic excellence. 

Cyndi Conn
Executive Director, Creative Santa Fe 
Cyndi is a curator of art, ideas, people, and experiences. At the non-profit Creative Santa Fe, she leads projects that promote collaboration and use the arts to reframe critical issues and drive positive change.

Stuart Ashman
Chief Executive Officer, International Folk Art Market
Stuart brings decades of leadership experience in the arts and cultural affairs and a personal connection to both folk art traditions and the people who bring them to life in the 21st century.


Event Details:

Creativity, Social impact, and Soft Power in New Mexico

New Mexico’s innovative museums, cultural events, and community partnerships have made this state a hub of forward-thinking culture and creativity. Our speakers will discuss how this cultural capital creates “soft power,” which we can harness to address some of the most important social issues of our time.

Date:  Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Press Interviews: 3:00 p.m.

Discussion: 4–6:00 p.m.

Location: New Mexico History Museum Performing Arts Theater, Santa Fe


Lord Cultural Resources

Lord Cultural Resources is the global practice leader in cultural sector planning. Since 1981, we have helped to create, plan and operate cultural spaces and places in more than 460 cities, in 57 countries and six continents.

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs preserves, fosters, and interprets New Mexico’s diverse cultural heritage and expression for present and future generations, enhancing the quality of life and economic well-being of the state.


For media inquiries, including event registration and arranging interviews with participants contact: Veronica Gonzales (505) 379-7870; vngonzales@comcast.net