Creative Santa Fe (CrSF) was founded in 2005, after the City of Santa Fe commissioned an economic development plan by Angelou Economics, which recommended a strong strategic focus on Santa Fe’s “creative industries.” A subsequent study by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research confirmed the importance of these industries to Santa Fe’s economy—a $1.1 billion-a-year business, which is second only to government in the number of employees in this capital city. The Atlantic magazine recently recognized Santa Fe as the “Most Artistic City in America,” based on the concentration of artists, architects, and writers relative to the city’s general population.
CrSF has advanced the region’s awareness of the critical impact of the arts, culture, and creative industries in city, regional, and state economic development strategies. We played a key role in obtaining the UNESCO Creative Cities designation for the City of Santa Fe. CrSF members were instrumental in influencing the city’s decision to purchase the former College of Santa Fe campus to maintain a four-year university in Santa Fe as a foundation for its creative industries.
While initial funding was provided by the City of Santa Fe, Creative Santa Fe now operates as an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.
Create the Vote was a collaboration of arts, cultural, and creative organizations and businesses working together to raise the issues of arts, culture, and creativity among candidates running for political office in Santa Fe.
Walkability was a month long city prototyping project demonstrating simple, affordable, and practical solutions to increase walkability in Santa Fe. The goal of WALK [Santa Fe] was for Santa Fe residents, business owners, and visitors to experience the impact that clear signage and designated pathways can make for a more vibrant and connected downtown, and begin a discussion with city leaders to consider new wayfinding solutions for downtown Santa Fe.
We celebrated our 4th annual new-media and interactive light festival, FANTASE FEST,
in downtown Santa Fe.
In partnership with the Santa Fe Arts Commission, and New Mexico Arts, CrSF hosted a public lecture and discussion with Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
April 2016City Council approves donation
of 5 acres on Siler Road for the Arts + Creativity Center.
February 2016Jason Schupbach, Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA),
came to Santa Fe to discuss how the $150,000 NEA matching Our Town grant can further Santa Fe's economic and community development.
August 2015The A+CC Project Initiative
was awarded a prestigious “Our Town”
planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
April 2015Cross Gen 2.0
utilized conversations and collisions across all generations to pinpoint opportunities for how our community can attract and retain young and vibrant talent. Conversation Starters included: Andrea Romero, Adam Shaening-Pokrasso, Nicolai Archuleta, Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Michael S. Delello, Zackary Quintero, Joanne Lefrak, and Seth Bidderman.
April 2015Startup Santa Fe
is awarded $45,000 grant to launch startupsantafe.org.
March 2015Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center
receives a passed resolution with the City of Santa Fe moving the project into the Site Analysis phase.
Creative Santa Fe brings Mayor Javier Gonzales, Board, Staff, and friends to Las Vegas to explore the Downtown Project.
Creative Santa Fe is awarded the 2014 Piñon Award for Courageous Innovation
Partnered with Western Horizons to present the summit “Gen Y: Leveraging the Private Sector.”
Speakers: Mayor Javier Gonzales; Shawn Patrick (Founder Institute); Dan Burrell (Burrell Medical School); Todd Clarke (Urban Specialist).
In partnership with the Santa Fe Institute and St. John’s College, Creative Santa Fe hosted Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
and founder of Las Vegas, NV’s Downtown Project.
Partnered with 12FPS and City of Santa Fe on the social media campaign #howtosantafe
Partnered in Night Wave:
a three-night event supporting healthy, safe, and vibrant nightlife in downtown Santa Fe.
Partnered with Santa Fe Forward
to co-host the Growing Santa Fe Young
panel discussion featuring Mayor Javier Gonzles, George R.R. Martin, Shannon Murphy, Daniel Werwath, and Zane Fisher.
Partnered with the Metropolitan Planning Organization
to bring Dan Burden and Robert Ping of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
for two days of targeted presentations and site analysis.
Annual FANTASE Dome Fest
in DeVargas Park brought music, light, art, food, and 4 geodesic domes to downtown Santa Fe. Thousands of participants enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere and 83% of the budget went directly back to artists and creative people.
February 2014Create the Vote
rallied together over 35 organizations together to educate Santa Fe’s running political leaders in the 2014 election about the importance of arts and culture.
January 2014Artspace Survey Results
are announced and a city resolution was passed, moving the Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center
into the next phase.
October 2013Walk [Santa Fe]
project launches as the largest Walk [Your City]
project in the world with temporary signs, maps, and a painted path connecting the Railyard Plaza to the Downtown Plaza.
August 2013Walkable City
author and city planner, Jeff Speck
visited and spoke in Santa Fe to an audience of over 350 people, while providing an informative and proactive workshop with city leaders and staff.
The first annual FANTASE Fest
celebrated the reopening of DeVargas Park and Skatepark with over 2,000 attendees and 100+ community partners.
Annual Community Youth Mapping Workshop
with San Antonio’s Riverwalk expert: Sherry Wagoner
Completed Community Needs and Use Assessment for Affordable Art Spaces in Santa Fe
working with partner organizations City of Santa Fe, SFUAD, NEA, and Artspace.
October 2012Sherry Kafka Wagner,
leader in the field of urban design and the development of public places, presented a workshop and a talk on “The Long View,” exploring ways to sustain community support for transformative urban projects over the extended periods—sometimes decades—necessary to their realization.
Partnered with Santa Fe Railyard Corporation to present a workshop titled "Plaza-to-Plaza" by Susan S. Szenasy,
longtime editor of Metropolis Magazine.
Partnered with Santa Fe Arts Commission to sponsor Santa Fe regional town hall on the arts with NM Veronica Gonzales.
Brought internationally-renowned artist and activist Candy Chang
to the City Different as keynoter for Santa Fe’s RE: MIKE event. As an immediate outcome, Creative Santa Fe won inclusion of Santa Fe in the international Neighborland project
, which uses the Internet to gather community input for neighborhood improvement.
Collaborated on the RE:MIKE project,
a partnership led by the City of Santa Fe Economic Development Department and MIX Santa Fe with citywide participants to reimagine the St. Michael’s corridor as the center of a vibrant and innovative creative community.
August 2012Robert Hammond: The Highline
visited Santa Fe to discuss how public private partnerships are helping align public and private needs to move vital projects forward.
Continued “Santa Fe | Ground Up” dialogue with NEA Director of Design Jason Schupbach.
Following a morning workshop on art and creativity spaces, Schupbach addressed the Santa Fe community on the topic of “Creative Placemaking: Santa Fe and the Nation.”
Brought Walter J. Hood, Jr.
award-winning designer and professor at the University of California Berkeley, to Santa Fe to inaugurate its “Santa Fe| Ground Up” initiative
, a series of workshops and events exploring Santa Fe as a city with an active, street-level culture that creates opportunity, builds community, and appeals to residents and visitors alike. Hood’s workshop and public presentation focused on the public spaces and cultural landscapes of Santa Fe and other cities, and the best practices for community involvement in urban design.
Launched IF: Imagined Futures
with the “Evolve or Die?”
public program and series of workshops over four days provoked far-reaching conversations about the future of arts and culture in Santa Fe, and set the table for Creative Santa Fe’s next programs in the series, entitled “Santa Fe|Ground Up.”
Presented workshops on affordable housing by Wendy Holmes, Heidi Kurtze and Matthew W. Meier of Artspace Projects
with partners City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe University of Art and Design and Lannan Foundation.
Partnered with the College Art Association, O’Keeffe Museum, SFAI, WESST, NM Lawyers for the Arts, NM Arts, SF Arts Commission, SFUAD, and Little Globe
to present Your Art Practice Made Perfect: Business Tips and Tools.
Produced Artists Business Resource Guide,
providing access to critical information about fostering business growth within the creative economy.
Co-sponsored the inaugural Design Lab
competition and awards ceremony with Design Santa Fe
for professional and student designers in New Mexico.
Sponsored the seventh annual Santa Fe Studio Tours.