Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)
He supported the development of the New Mexico History Museum, and awarded the University of New Mexico $3 million to create the "Art, Research, Technology and Science Laboratory" (ARTS Lab) to support the state's efforts in the burgeoning digital media industry.
In addition, Gov. Richardson elevated the Office of Cultural Affairs to a cabinet-level agency of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and supported a new program to create arts and cultural districts across New Mexico to boost local communities and arts-based economic development and cultural tourism efforts.
“As a devoted supporter of the arts—in all forms—I am honored by this recognition,” said Gov. Richardson. “I've always been guided by the belief that artistic endeavors not only enrich our quality of life, but also serve as important economic drivers”