Cultural Voices is a multi-year project to identify and showcase Santa Fe's diverse range of artistic and cultural resources. The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Long Range Plan 2005-2009 states, “From well-established, internationally recognized institutions to the most informal gathering of creative individuals; from the Native American and Hispanic roots that are the foundation of Santa Fe’s unique character to the customs, traditions and expressions of cultures from around the world, cultural voices is a term that recognizes and honors the contributions of all segments of the community. The term encompasses our geographic, ethnic, economic and religious diversity while acknowledging our common voices.”
- Discovering artists who are not visible to the community at large
- Facilitating the presentation of the artistic work of Santa Fe residents in neighborhoods and the south and west parts of the city
- Making school children aware of the artistic heritage of Santa Fe
- Encouraging people who live on the south and west sides to attend arts events in the north and east, and vice versa
- Promoting dialogue and the sharing of experiences between parts of the community that do not usually interact
- Encouraging events that will result in greater unity of the community through a new appreciation for people of different backgrounds
In July 2006, the Arts Commission hired Christine Snyder to undertake a “cultural survey” of both long-standing and more recently arrived cultural and ethnic communities within Santa Fe that are not part of the tri-cultural heritage of Santa Fe. Through intensive fieldwork—which included oral history interviews with artists, craftspeople, storytellers and key community members—Snyder has developed an understanding of the cohesive cultural/ethnic groups in Santa Fe. Her work answers key questions such as: What cultural/ethnic communities have formed in Santa Fe? What traditional cultural and artistic practices do these communities maintain? What is it like being an artist in Santa Fe if you are not a member of one of the primary recognized cultures? How are the natural and cultural landscapes of Santa Fe shaping these traditions and how are they, in turn, shaping Santa Fe?
Through our grant program we are now funding projects that meet the objectives stated above. The end goal of the initiative is to build connections between artists, arts organizations, community members and businesses to achieve community-wide participation in the arts.
The Cultural Voices initiative is a program of the Arts Commission in partnership with the Museum of International Folk Art and other community entities with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for the cultural survey and events held in 2006 and 2007.
A complete report on the Cultural Voices Project is available at this site.