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First New Mexico Arts Convention held at NMSU brings leaders together

To promote the economic impact of arts and culture in Southern New Mexico, The Talking Stick Institute (TSI) will be having the first New Mexico Arts Convention at New Mexico State University.


The arts convention will be held in three sessions Sept. 8, 15 and 22 at the NMSU Corbett Center Student Union with different speakers and events highlighting each day.

"People don't realize the art assets we have here," said David Boje, a professor in NMSU's College of Business and one of the arts convention organizers. "We're going to put Las Cruces and Mesilla art on the map."

Boje said there are 82 art service organizations in Las Cruces that will benefit in coming together at the arts convention.

Local filmmaker Ed Breeding will open up the arts convention Sept. 8 with his documentary film, "Heart of the Arts: Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley, New Mexico."

"It gives people an example of how to promote what the arts are all about," Boje said.

The documentary is followed by TSI meetings where participants pass the Talking Stick to develop three goals for the arts convention.

Guest speakers for the first session include Sharon Schultz, chief executive officer of the Tourism Association of New Mexico; Cindi Fargo, executive director of Las Cruces Downtown; and Chris Faivre, Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau spokesman. The first session will close with comments from Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima.

The first session also will break participants into 10 task forces where students in Boje's "Small Business Consulting" class will facilitate the discussions.

The second session on Sept. 15 will include Mesilla Mayor Michael Cadena and Rich Williams, state coordinator of New Mexico Arts and Cultural Districts, as guest speakers.

Boje said the goals and action plans will be formulated by the task forces in the second session.

The third session on Sept. 22 will have guest speaker Garrey Carruthers, dean of NMSU's College of Business, address the task forces.

"This is the most aggressive effort to get the local art community together to work harder on their marketing strategy," said Carruthers.

Represented at the arts convention will be the Dona Ana Arts Council, the Las Cruces Downtown organization, the Tourism Association of New Mexico, New Mexico Arts, the New Mexico Arts and Cultural District, the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, ArtForms,

City of Artists Promotional Association and Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, among others.

For more information contact Boje at (575) 532-1693 or visit http://www.talkingstick.info/.