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CARES Act Projects 2020




City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department

CARES Act 2020 Community Projects 


“Culture embodies the shared complex and diverse heritage of a community, including its tangible and intangible virtues…It is the quiet and restless imagination that becomes expression, from which emanates writing, song, performance, painting, sculpture, cuisine, dance, design and story. When recognized, coalesced and leveraged, culture is transformative. It ignites creativity, consciousness and capacity.”

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Early in the pandemic we identified that members of our arts community, specifically artists themselves, were among those hardest hit.  Without normal venues for their performances and exhibitions, artists saw deep cuts in their professional economies.  Initially, with help from Lannan Foundation and generous members of our community, we started our Artist Relief Fund (more info HERE) and were able to distribute $500 grants to 92 artists throughout Santa Fe County.  During that time, we realized that our work could not stop when that funding resource was expended.  As a result, our request for Federal CARES Act funding was focused on better serving (and helping) the creative human resources of our community.

In the Fall of 2020, the City of Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department received over $70,000 of COVID Relief Funds as a function of Federal CARES Act support.  In the interest of developing projects and programming that would have the greatest impact on our local arts and culture communities, we focused our funding activations on TWO primary  functions: Promoting COVID Safe Practices and Artist Professional Training.


As a result of our ongoing close work with arts organizations and members of our creative community, we understand that artists are often the segment of society that helps us communicate with and more clearly view our world.  During a crisis, the need for that insight becomes even more essential.  In that light, we dedicated the largest portion of our Federal CARES Act funding for the contracting of artists to create COVID-safe messaging of education and hope.  These projects were developed by artists and selected for their ability to communicate to populations of our community who were most at risk and displaying the highest infection rates in our community.  

The first program was a series of bilingual video public service announcements to promote COVID-safe practices:  face coverings, social distancing, washing your hands.  Our first promotion in the project was released in September of 2020 and was entitled, "YO PROMETO".  This PSA featuring Carlos Medina, was produced by Kaela Waldstein of  Mountain Mover Media and was based on the City’s “I Promise” campaign, developed to encourage residents and visitors to use safety practices while out in the community or while engaging with others. More Info HERE

Our second program was called, "ARTIST MINI GRANTS FOR HOPE".  These projects were conceived, developed and implemented in the minds of local artists and varied from faux movie posters promoting the use of face coverings to bicylcle spoke cards with COVID-safe messaging printed on them.  In the end, we were able to fund 60 artist projects in the amount of $750 each.  These projects helped support the work that artists do while simultaneously educating and inspiring our community with creative, small and temporarily engaging messages of hope.  More Info HERE

Our third program was inspired by the success and popularity of our "YO PROMETO" PSA and is a series of videos with the same creative team entitled, “Los Maskareñas”.  “Los Maskareñas” is an effort by the City of Santa Fe to reach the Spanish speaking community with targeted messaging around COVID safe practices. A comedic four-part mini-series, “Los Maskareñas” depicts a day in the life of a Southside Santa Fe family as they navigate how to live safely in a COVID world.  The PSA series features Carlos Media and was produced by Kaela Waldstein of Mountain Mover Media.  In the interest of supporting a greater number of local creatives, this production expanded to include:  soundtracks and musical themes were composed by Carlos Medina, local New Mexico band Lone Piñon, and Jason Goodyear; local photographer Tira Howard; animator Alec Brown; Joe Dean of Lumenscapes Illumination Media and Motorama; La Familia Medical Center; and Carlos Medina’s real-life girlfriend Christine Romero also contributed to the production.  More Info HERE


As the COVID pandemic moved our lives online, we immediately understood that access to and competency with digital media were more essential than ever for our creative community.  The need for everyone to be more engaged with digital technologies has been vital for us to be "in touch" with one another.  However, for artists and arts organizations, digital media became the only way to safely engage with their current and future audiences.  In response, we produced a series of digital technology training workshops free to the public to help our creative community in Santa Fe become more agile in that world and thus, more competitive.  Now, more than ever, artists will need digital images of their artwork and the skills to use social media, email marketing and web to promote themselves.  Creatives will need to be saavy in the world of basic digital video, teachers will need to be better trained to teach art online and artists with the gift of illustration can supplement their income with a new trend in professional meeting services called Visual Recording.  More Info HERE


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Artist Mini Grants for Hope
Artist Professional (Digital) Training
Artist Professional (Digital) Training
COVID-Safe Practices PSA's
COVID-Safe Practices Public Service Ads



Contact Information and Hours

Physical Address: 201 W. Marcy (map), Santa Fe, NM 87501

Mailing Address: PO Box 909, Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909

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Ph: (505) 955-6707

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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