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As they recognize the variety of artforms throughout the year, the Doña Ana Arts Council is choosing a new art form and a new artist to recognize each month of 2021 – The Year of the Artist. Film and Stage are the March art forms selected and actor/writer Mike Cook has been chosen Artist of the Month.
“There are so many other actors who are more deserving of this recognition than I am,” Cook said. “But, being a part of the Las Cruces theatre community is one of the very best things in my life, so I accept the honor on behalf of all my fellow actors, crew members and theatre lovers.”
"We have many superbly talented professionals and amateurs in our community in both film and stage," said Greg Smith, executive director of Doña Ana Arts Council. "We believe that, in choosing Mike, we've honored all of those individuals because he not only is one of them, but he is also so dedicated to writing about the theatre and film arts, as well as the other arts thriving in our community."
Cook's involvement with theatre in Las Cruces started with a production of "Beyond Therapy" at the Black Box Theatre in 2001. In the two decades since then, he's done shows at Las Cruces Community Theatre, New Mexico State University, Boba Cabaret, Lo-Fi Productions, and Scaffolding Theatre Company. Cook has also writes short plays, some of which have been performed locally.
"Collectively, they are the most rewarding experiences of my life," Cook said about his ventures in theatre, onstage and off. "In fact, my circle of close friends is comprised almost entirely of the most talented actors, singers, dancers, performers and creators you can imagine."
Linda Moore, administrator at the Arts Council, said he makes her smile and is always upbeat and caring.
"Not one to take himself too seriously, Mike has a knack for making others shine," she said.
In recent years, Cook's role as a reporter for the Las Cruces Bulletin has given him the opportunity to review plays and musicals at many of the local venues. He says he is in awe of the theater talent in this community and "incredibly grateful for the opportunities" it has afforded him.
"There are certainly more talented actors in Las Cruces than I am, but there is no one more fortunate," he said.
"We would be hard pressed to claim to know who is most talented, but we freely claim our own good fortune here in having Mike Cook sharing his many talents with us," Smith said.
For more information, visit www.daarts.org or call 575-523-6403.