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Arts & Culture Shares Transformative Impact on Creative Economy, Arts Scene

Presentation made during inaugural NM Creative Industries Week.
June 19, 2024

The City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts & Culture has shared its Creative Economy & Arts Impact Summary, highlighting achievements and initiatives that have significantly bolstered Albuquerque's creative economy and vibrant arts scene from 2018 to date. By fostering a dynamic environment for artists, cultural organizations, and creative entrepreneurs, Arts & Culture has played an active role in Albuquerque’s thriving hub of artistic expression and economic growth.

Arts & Culture Director Dr. Shelle Sanchez presented the summary during New Mexico Economic Development Department’s inaugural Creative Industries Week. Sanchez explained how her department’s strategic investments, innovative programs, and community partnerships under Mayor Tim Keller’s administration have not only enriched the cultural landscape of Albuquerque, but also contributed to job creation and the overall economic vitality of the city.

"These initiatives are about more than just supporting artists. They're about making Albuquerque a vibrant place where creativity thrives and everyone benefits,” said Dr. Sanchez. “By investing in the arts, we're not only enriching our cultural landscape but also creating jobs, boosting tourism, and strengthening our local economy."

“Spend any amount of time in our city, and you’ll see that Albuquerque is a place that celebrates art, honors history and culture, and thrives on creative spirit,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The considerable economic impact that art brings to our community is only matched by the benefit of getting to experience our unique brand creativity on a daily basis.”

The Creative Economy & Arts Impact Summary can be found here.

The summary touches on numerous efforts in creating professional opportunities for creatives such as Public Art residencies and Mayor’s Creative Youth Corps; celebrating creatives with programs like the annual Creative Bravos Awards; and expanding places for arts and culture such as the recently opened Gallery One in City Hall and the renovated Studio 519 for local media production. Continued investments in Pubic Art and increased staffing at Arts & Culture venues is also noted. 

The mission of the Department of Arts & Culture is to enhance the quality of life in the city by celebrating Albuquerque’s unique history and culture, and providing services, entertainment, programs, and collections that improve literacy, economic vitality, and learning in state-of-the-art facilities that enrich life and increase tourism to Albuquerque.

At the heart of these endeavors lie the department’s seven divisions: ABQ BioPark (Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden, and Tingley Beach); Albuquerque Museum; Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum; CABQ Media; Community Events (large-scale events and performance spaces); The Public Library ABQ/BernCo; and Public Art Urban Enhancement.