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Arts Council seeks investors to join the Arts 100


“To promote the creative economy, cultural tourism and local pride that can grow in proportion to how the arts thrive here, the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) has added an additional opportunity for supporters to invest in our community through the arts,” DAAC Executive Director Greg Smith said in a news release.

DAAC is looking for 100 investors willing to make a significant impact, Smith said. Seven have already stepped up: Jordan Wolle, Michael and Barbara Mandel, Tom Kirschbaum, Kim Kirschbaum, Barbara Reasoner, Dan and Mary Lere and Hal and Carol Henthorne. 

DAAC has assurances that the number will continue to grow during the coming months, with a goal of reaching 100 by the end of June, Smith said.

That support is more important than ever, he said, because state public health orders have caused the cancellation or postponement of many events that regularly generated funds for DAAC.

“The arts thrive in our region, and this community steps up to see that continue,” Smith said.

“As this region celebrates 2021 – The Year of the Artist – DAAC is celebrating 50 years that the organization has been promoting the arts here,” he said. “Those years have seen DAAC offering children’s programs, adult classes and workshops, gallery shows, performances, awards ceremonies, artist relief fund grants and fairs. Under DAAC’s direction, those years also saw the remodeling and reopening of the Rio Grande Theatre, 1998-2005, and theatre operation, 2005-17. 

“The Mesilla Valley and nearby areas are home to a wide range of arts and artists and to a broad spectrum of supporters of the arts,” Smith said. “These pieces have fit together over the past 50 years to ensure that the arts have flourished here.

DAAC offices and its arts and cultural center are located at 250 W. Amador Ave.

To join the Arts 100 and for more information about DAAC’s seven investment levels, visit daarts.org or call 575-523-6403.

Arts Council supporter: ‘I want to do what I can’

By Barbara Reasoner
Doña Ana Arts Council
Board Member, President Emeritus

I moved to Las Cruces from Denver primarily because of what I viewed as a stunningly talented art community. Taos and Santa Fe receive the lion’s share of the art publicity statewide, while there’s this Mesilla Valley jewel with so many unheralded artistic facets.

I became involved with the Arts Council before my boxes were even unpacked, ushering and handing out programs at the Rio Grande Theatre. Within three months of moving here, I found myself at Young Park helping set up and decorating tents for the Renaissance Faire.

Fast forward. I became a board member and then president during the painful separation of handing the Rio Grande Theatre over to the city.

This last year has played havoc with all nonprofits. DAAC was unable to have the Renaissance Faire this past fall – our major fundraiser to support the children’s programs and support the Mesilla Valley artists. To make matters worse, we will not be able to hold our second-largest fundraiser, the annual Las Cruces Arts Fair, at the convention center next month.

The Arts 100 is a major fundraiser and a way for the DAAC board of directors, community and art patrons near and far to step up and show support for our artists during this “time of COVID.”

I feel such a sense of community with the artists I’ve met and those I’ve created art with, that I want to do what I can to help close the gap to make certain that we keep DAAC thriving until we’re back on track with all the wonderful events we put on. It’s important to do all we can to help the artistic life blood of this community to keep flowing.  

Barbara Reasoner’ six-year term on the DAAC board of directors ends in June. She was board president 2017-19.