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Art district in Las Cruces earns state recognition

The art district in downtown Las Cruces has earned state recognition, City leaders announced on Monday morning during a news conference.

“Today it is my honor to announce that the New Mexico Arts Commission has made Las Cruces a state authorized arts and cultural district in New Mexico,” said Kasandra Gandara, the city councilwoman for district one.

Las Cruces is the eleventh city in the state to earn the designation, joining cities like Albuquerque, Silver City and Taos.

“Las Cruces is so great, and our cultural community is so great, and our plan is so beautiful, that we got approved in just four months,” said Irene Oliver-Lewis, a founding member of the Las Cruces Arts and Cultural District Coordinating Council. “That future is now.”

According to a 2017 arts impact study, art in Las Cruces has supported 426 full-time equivalent jobs, produced $10.6 million dollars in event-related spending (not including admissions) and generated $700,000 in revenue to the local government.

“After years of growth, Las Cruces is at a juncture where we can distinguish ourselves as a cultural destination in southern New Mexico,” said Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

Because of the new designation, the city will be eligible to apply for new grants, Oliver-Lewis said.

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