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State seeks proposals, public input on creative industries


The New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) is seeking proposals from people and organizations across the state to help develop a five-year plan for its new Creative Industries Division (CID). Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21.

In an RFP, NMEDD “seeks a contractor to work with its team and to develop a statewide plan for CID that includes viable program models, implementation partners, projected budgets, and an analysis of creative industry opportunities within the state,” the department said.

In a call for projects (CFP), NMEDD said it will provide funding for local government projects that will stimulate economic development through creative industries.

The RFP “will create a foundation/road map for New Mexico’s creative industries,” said Las Cruces artist and community activist Irene Oliver Lewis, who worked with Steinborn and others to draft the CID bill.

CID was created earlier this year in House Bill 8 (HB8), sponsored by State Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Doña Ana, and state Rep. Reena Szczepanski, D-Santa Fe.

Steinborn’s bill created the new division to “support the growth of economic opportunity among the full range of creative industries outside of film,” according to a news release about the bill.

With the RFP, NMEDD said it hopes “to select a contractor that (will) assist in planning and outreach for the new CID,” according to the RFP.

The contractor selected will “work closely with NMEDD to develop a five-year roadmap/plan for CID that … details the needs and gaps in the creative industries landscape in New Mexico.”
"This is an exciting opportunity for the creative community in Las Cruces and southern New Mexico to expand the resources and infrastructure to grow and support creative based businesses,” Steinborn said. “The new law requires that funding be distributed to rural communities along with urban centers, so all corners of New Mexico have an equal shot to build upon their artistic and cultural strengths."

“HB8 awarded $2 million to jump start CID,” Oliver Lewis said. The RFP and CFP “enable CID to bring all our research, statistics, community support and strategies to reality. This opportunity is open to an individual or a team of creatives who have experience in the creative economy/industries.

“The second part of the funding is what is most exciting for those of us in the New Mexico Creative Industries Consortium that worked for nearly two years on the legislation,” Oliver Lewis said. “50 percent of the funding must go to rural communities and underserved communities. This makes funding available to places like Mesilla, Hatch, Anthony, Deming, the Mesquite Historic Neighborhood with a municipality partner, Alamogordo, and La Union. The Call for Projects (CFP) offers $100,000 to 18 communities around the state to demonstrate and stimulate community economic development through the creative industries. The funding is available to counties, municipalities, other political subdivisions and federally/state recognized tribes or pueblos and will benefit creative industries entrepreneurs and small businesses with 10 or less employees.

“It is now extremely important for those of us in southern New Mexico to apply for these two proposals and demonstrate how substantial the creative industries workforce and small businesses are in generating economic development,” Oliver Lewis said. “We need to collectively harness our innovative and practical arts experiences to bring funding to our community. I am immensely proud of our legislators and the overwhelmingly bi-partisan support we had for HB8. Funding is through June 2024, and we need to demonstrate the ‘return on investment’ the legislature funded was successful and profitable.”

Visit edd.newmexico.gov/business-development/creative-industries. To view the RFP, scroll down and click on the yellow box labeled “View the RPF.” The CFP is to the right of the RFP on the same page.