Debra Garcia y Griego has over 20 years of experience in arts administration. Her work experience is in a variety of organizations, including dance, theater, museums and local arts agencies. She is currently the Executive Director of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission where she is responsible for implementing the City’s support of arts and cultural affairs such as funding of local nonprofit arts organizations, operation of the Community Gallery, the Art in Public Places program and the City’s international affairs. She is currently leading the City’s first cultural planning process, “Culture Connects Santa Fe.” Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, she was the Senior Planner at the Commission, charged with managing both the City’s funding for nonprofit arts organizations and the public art program. Previous work experience includes Museum Campus Chicago (a multi-institutional cross-collaboration and –marketing initiative consisting of the John G. Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Park District), Chicago a cappella, the Southwest Theater and Dance Festival, and the University of New Mexico Department of Theater and Dance.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Americans for the Arts and is a member of the Santa Fe Community College’s Art on Campus Advisory committee. Her previous community service efforts include serving as a member of the Santa Fe Railyard Park + Plaza Public Art Planning Committee, a founding board member of the New Mexico Community Arts Network and membership on the New Mexico Public Art Task Force. In 2015, she was co-producer of the City of Santa Fe’s inaugural New Year’s Eve on the Plaza event. Garcia y Griego has served on the planning committees of the New Mexico Grand Centennial Ball, Mayor’s Ball and Open Hands Art Auction. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, she was selected to attend the Americans for the Arts Executive Leadership Forum as one of 18 participants nationwide. Garcia y Griego has served as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and New Mexico Arts as well as an outside adjudicator for Metro Nashville Arts Commission. She was a presenter at the Americans for the Arts Annual Conventions in 2014 and 2016 as well as a presenter at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in 2016. In 2010, she curated “Deep Listening,” a retrospective of the work of New Mexico artist Marietta Patricia Leis. She served as a juror for the 2010 and 2007 Acclaimed Artist Series for New Mexico Arts and the 2006 Student Art Exhibition at the University Art Gallery on the campus of New Mexico State University. Garcia y Griego holds a Master of Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico.