Supporting the Arts and Strengthening NM's Creative Economy
In New Mexico, we're very fortunate to be surrounded by many diverse and unique forms of art. The arts are a part of who we are, and they're also critical to our future. They bring us together, enrich our lives and sustain thousands of jobs across our state.
A study by the University of New Mexico found that nearly one in 10 jobs in New Mexico is in arts, culture and cultural tourism. In some counties, like McKinley, the percentage is much higher. The arts are a major driver of our economy, but we can do more to support and create arts jobs. And that's why I'm working to stimulate arts businesses, improve access to the arts and create more arts-related jobs in New Mexico, from Navajo jewelers in Gallup to painters and artisans in Las Cruces and others all across the state.
This year, I introduced the Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy Act — the CREATE Act — with significant input from artists. The legislation does three main things to support artists and the arts. First, it helps artists and entrepreneurs in starting arts businesses. Next, it helps museums and institutions make art more available. And finally, it helps create more opportunities for access to the arts in our communities.
My staff and I have held a series of discussions around the state in Albuquerque, Gallup, Silver City, Las Cruces and Santa Fe to hear from local artists, entrepreneurs and others about how we can make this bill even better. We've heard from some amazing artists who want to learn business skills that will help them gain economic independence and share their art with more people. We've also heard from some very smart people in communities across our state who agree that New Mexicans' creativity is one of our most valuable economic resources — and that we can do much more to tap into it.
This week, the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, even joined us in Santa Fe to see first hand the impact that NEA support for the arts is having in our state.
Our conversation isn't over. We'll be holding more discussions in the future. I want to hear from you about this bill as well.
Together, we can help strengthen the creative economy in New Mexico and support the arts — for this generation, and generations to come.
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