Climate Change Impact: New Mexico with Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández

Posted by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, Nov 17, 2022

Climate change is chipping away at our cultural heritage. A place to live, eat, and watch the next generation grow, that’s not something we want to lose. We want to preserve the cultural heritage of our beautiful state, and that includes protecting our air, land, and water for generations to come. When you begin to lose your land, you begin to lose a piece of yourself. New Mexicans are strong. We take an enormous amount of pride in living in this state. You can see that in the different regions and in our communities, no matter what district you visit. There are dozens of murals spread out across our neighborhoods. You may pass a giant, majestic roadrunner with carefully painted blue and yellow feathers on the way to the grocery store, or a wall that depicts Zuni dancers and the pueblos painted in yellows. There are so many representations of our beautiful landscapes as well. Through them all, our devotion to the region is palpable. Our diverse culture, intimately tied to the well-being of the environment, is what frames conversations on climate change in our community. Our ranchers and farmers are an important part of New Mexican culture; they feed us and contribute greatly to our economy. They are key voices at the table when thinking of solutions. New Mexico is getting hotter. Our droughts and wildfire seasons are getting longer, and we are seeing the effects of climate change become increasingly more damaging. We know that if our families want to continue to call this beautiful place home, we have an obligation to address these issues.

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Member Spotlight: Jenice Gharib

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Mar 22, 2021

Jenice Gharib serves as the grants program and policy director at New Mexico Arts (NMA), the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. NMA’s primary function is to provide financial support for arts services and programs to nonprofit organizations statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico. Gharib manages the department's Arts & Cultural Districts, Local Arts Councils & Service Organizations, Arts Trails, and Economic and Entrepreneurial Development programs. Her varied experience includes running an organic coffee company, starting a joint venture in Poland, and turning around a bankrupt cable TV company. As a writer, she has published articles, reviews, essays, poetry, and short fiction, and has had three plays produced. 

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How to Secure a Local Proclamation for National Arts & Humanities Month

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Sep 08, 2020

Proclamations are a wonderful way that your mayor, city council, or your city (or county) in general can easily show its support for the arts and culture. Each year, Americans for the Arts encourages advocates to work with their local and state elected officials to issue a proclamation declaring October National Arts & Humanities Month in their city, county, or state. They allow elected officials to easily demonstrate their support for the arts, offer a written document for advocates to use year-round to demonstrate the value of the arts and culture, and serve as a tool to engage other arts advocates in their local communities. For those who have never done this before, I thought that I would offer a how-to guide help you understand the process of obtaining a proclamation.

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A Strong Equation: How State Arts Advocacy Efforts are Paying Off!

Posted by Mr. Jay H. Dick, Feb 21, 2020

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) recently published their FY 2020 State Arts Agency Revenues Report. By any measure, the report paints a very positive picture for state funding of the arts, with year-to-year appropriations increasing by more than 37% to a grand total of almost $495 million in total legislative appropriations. Because the economy is doing well, it stands to reason that SAA appropriations would be higher. While it is true that a strong economy makes increases more likely, a strong economy alone cannot explain this year’s massive increase. There in an interesting equation at work: If your state has a State Arts Agency that is engaged in thoughtful programming, a strong statewide arts advocacy organization, and advocates who are proactively engaged with your state’s existing political leadership, more funding/pro-arts policy are possible! 

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The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center: Storytelling, Art, Music, and History in Tijeras, NM

Posted by Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Nov 01, 2019

It generally happens like this: The door to our museum opens—and in comes … a former military brat … or spouse … or a veteran with his or her family. Most of the time, they’re from out of town and have been following us on Facebook, planning a trip to our museum when they visit Albuquerque—or they were just driving along Route 66 and happened to see our sign. No matter how they got to the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center, their reactions are almost always the same: “I had no idea what to expect…” and then “Oh—this is amazing!” Because people process things differently, we capture military family history in as many formats as possible. The museum is educational, experiential, and interactive. It’s a mixture of practicality and whimsey—take our living room, for example—with its props of starched uniforms on an ironing board complete with iron, starch bottle and laundry basket, its cozy sitting area where we have discussion groups or watch DVDs on TV, or its exhibits, with panels of facts and figures. Visitors become a part of the museum, by simply being there.

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August Arts Advocacy Challenge!

Posted by Lauren Cohen, Jul 31, 2019

So far, 2019 has been a banner year in the world of federal arts advocacy. Throughout the spring, we saw promising bipartisan benchmarks for support of an increased budget for the NEA in FY 2020. However, our work advocating for pro-arts policies doesn’t stop with funding for the NEA. Americans for the Arts, along with national coalition partners, has pursued more federal legislative priorities this year than ever before. From tax policy to transit, healthcare to education, we’re working to ensure expanded arts access and opportunity throughout the country. You can get more information and send a message to your congressional delegation about any of these bills through our Action Center.

The U.S. Congress will take its traditional month-long recess in August. Members of Congress will be in their home states and districts holding town halls, making visits to local organizations and businesses, and taking meetings in their local offices. Wondering how to continue your arts advocacy momentum during the long recess? Participate in the August Arts Advocacy Challenge to stay involved and make an impact.

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