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Making music, all over the city


Make Music came to the United States in 2007 with more than 500 performances in New York and has grown to include thousands of bands and millions of attendees across the United States.

Led by the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) and local music groups and arts organizations, Las Cruces-Mesilla is likely to join about 100 cities nationwide participating in Make Music Day on June 21, 2020.

At the invitation of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, National Make Music Alliance President Aaron Friedman was at the DAAC Arts and Cultural Center Thursday, Dec. 12, to address groups and individuals about organizing a local event.

“We had representatives from Visit Las Cruces, Jazz and Blues Society, New Mexico Advocate for the Arts, City of Las Cruces, Singing Out Las Cruces choir, professional musicians and DAAC” said DAAC Program Manager Lisa Carlson, who has volunteered to serve at least temporarily as Las Cruces-Mesilla Make Music Day coordinator.

“We brainstormed after (Friedman’s) talk and all agreed we should start with events at Las Cruces and Mesilla plazas” on Sunday, June 21, 2020,” Carlson said. Because of the heat that day, Carlson said “We discussed different venue possibilities and finally decided we should start about 7 p.m. on both (downtown Las Cruces and Mesilla) plazas. Next, we discussed all the other groups we need to invite to our next planning meeting” scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2020 at DAAC, 1740 Calle de Mercado in the Bulletin Plaza.

The event began as the Fête de la Musique in France in 1982 and is now held on the same day in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries as an international celebration of music and the arts.

In China in 2019, Friedman said, there were about 4,000 Make Music performances that included 160,000 musicians in 160 cities. Last year, Friedman said, about 300,000 people attended 1,000 Make Music performances in the United Kingdom. Last year in the U.S., there were nearly 5,400 Make Music events that included more than 4,000 bands. Madison, Wisconsin, a college town of about 255,000 population, had 386 Make Music performances at 116 locations.

Make Music Day events are organized by local governments and organizations. Most are neighborhood gatherings, and all are free of charge and held in public spaces or private spaces publicly accessible. They are open to musicians of any age or musical genre. Events range from sidewalk performances and band rehearsals to school concerts and city park events. Organizers have included music retailers and music schools.

Contact Carlson at 575-523-6403 and manager@daarts.org. Visit www.makemusicday.org and www.nammfoundation.org.