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Bill will provide funds to grow creative industries in New Mexico

Photo by Nani Chacon
Mural by artist Nani Chacon

A bill that would fund and support the state's growing creative industries passed the legislature in the recent session, but with a much smaller price tag than sponsors wanted.

House Bill 8 originally called for using $67 million from the general fund, but the House spending plan lowered that to $2 million.

Those funds would go towards a newly established creative industries division within the Economic Development Department that will support a wide range of sectors, including performing and visual arts, information and broadcasting, technology, architecture and museum professions.

It also includes a creative industries fund that the Economic Development Department will administer through competitive grants and programs that are designed to stimulate local economies.

Sen. Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces) says this bill will allow the state to capitalize on one of its major strengths.

“We are rich in art, we're rich in culture, and in history, of course, in all corners of the state,” he said.

A2020 study by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies found that cultural and art production contributed $2.5 billion to the New Mexican economy, and created over 21,000 jobs.

The Creative Industries bill passed on March 14. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 7 to sign or veto this bill. After that date, any bills she leaves untouched will be pocket vetoed.

Jeanette DeDios is from the Jicarilla Apache and Diné Nations and grew up in Albuquerque, NM. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2022 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism, English and Film. She’s a former Local News Fund Fellow. Jeanette can be contacted at jeanettededios@kunm.org or via Twitter @JeanetteDeDios.
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