Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez


Dr. Estevan Rael Galvez

As a leader experienced in the management of cultural-based organizations, Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez served as a successful senior executive at national nonprofit organizations and government agencies. He is an accomplished strategist, writer and administrator with a belief in the transformative power of the arts, stories and ideas.

“Dr. Rael-Gálvez understands our shared culture and is committed to authentic engagement. We are a community blessed with a wealth of cultural assets, and a long-term roadmap for stewardship of these resources is critical to continue the success of our unique Santa Fe brand. Equally important is an inclusive strategy, in partnership with our local cultural community, to build social cohesion and increase collective resiliency. Dr. Rael-Gálvez is uniquely qualified to guide this process,” says Mayor Javier M. Gonzales.

“I am deeply honored to be working with the City of Santa Fe on this project and am confident that our work — centering culture and planning culturally — will point the way toward activating the community and invigorating the health and well-being of this unique place.  One of our primary goals is to lead an inclusive and engaging planning process, all toward elevating the rich cultural resources and relationships found in the very fabric of the entire city,” noted Dr. Rael-Gálvez.  “But above all, the Cultural Cartography will begin to illuminate the potential that our layered, complex and rich creative community holds now and in the future.”

A native son of New Mexico, Rael-Gálvez currently works as a strategist and consultant to various local and national organizations. He is the former Senior Vice President at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Rael-Gálvez also served for nearly a decade as the State Historian of New Mexico, the leading advocate and authority on New Mexico history. Rael-Gálvez earned his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has served on numerous commissions, boards, and legislative committees, most currently as a member of the board of directors for both the Santa Fe University of Arts and Design and the Santa Fe Opera.


Working Group

A working group appointed by the Arts Commission is responsible for providing feedback and guidance for Culture Connects: Santa Fe. The individuals on the working group represent a range of skills, experience and expertise. The group is chaired by JoAnn Balzer.

JoAnn Balzer, Trustee, Institute of American Indian Arts Trustee; various nonprofit boards; philanthropist; collector

Judy Espinar, Founder, International Folk Art Market; folk art expert; former small business owner

Andrea Fellows Walters, Director, Education and Outreach, Santa Fe Opera

Robert Kret, Director, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; former Director, Hunter Museum of American Art

Bob Martin, Executive/Artistic Director, Lensic Performing Arts Center

Michael Namingha, Native American visual artist; various nonprofit boards; former City of Santa Fe Arts Commissioner

Ana Pacheco, Historian; author; publisher; City of Santa Fe Historian

Carmella Padilla, Award-winning journalist; author; written extensively about art, culture and history of New Mexico and the Southwest



Social Media Engagement

Social media engagement through Facebook, instagram and Twitter are managed by Simply Social Media. Simply Social Media offers social media management, social strategy consulting, and content creation. Their goal is to build engagement for clients through promotional activities, resulting in brand name recognition and a good return on investment. They work with clients to organize and plan social media events, such as InstaMeets and Instagram Photo Contests, to bring the community together and support #local!

Simply Social Media is owned and operated by Caitlin E. Jenkins, a professional photographer and social media strategist, and Amy Tischler, an advanced amateur photographer, event planning aficionado and social media strategist.

They would want us to remind you to Like on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and use #CultureConnectsSantaFe!



Members of the Arts Commission staff are also involved in the development and implementation of Culture Connects: Santa Fe:


Debra Garcia y Griego, Executive Director, oversees the City’s support of arts and culture as well as coordinates city-wide arts-related initiatives; assists Mayor and Councilors with the development of new arts and cultural initiatives; supervises three staff members administering ongoing programs and projects including Art in Public Places, grants to nonprofit arts organizations and the Community Gallery; provides technical assistance to arts organizations; convenes community members on topics of importance to the arts; and pursues grants from public and private sources. 

Garcia y Griego holds a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico.  She has been the Executive Director since August 2012, but worked as the Commission’s Program Planner since 2000.  Prior to joining the Arts Commission, she worked for Museum Campus Chicago and Chicago a capella.


Robert D. Lambert Jr., Community Gallery Manager, manages the operation and programming of the Gallery; plans, organizes and implements all programming related to exhibitions, programs/workshops/events; manages the advertising and marketing of events, artists and exhibitions; in collaboration with an advisory panel, selects artists and artwork for consideration for exhibits; promotes artists and their work both through exhibitions and personal contacts; curates exhibits; pursues grants from public and private sources; keeps up to date on gallery and art trends; provides technical insight to artists regarding professional opportunities and development.

Lambert has a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning and a Bachelor of Arts from Hendrix College.  Lambert has been the Gallery Manager since its inception in 2008.  Prior to that he was the Gallery Director at Santa Fe Clay, Operations Manager with Essex Two (a Chicago graphic design boutique), and a Project Manager with Arthur Andersen’s Internet Design Division.




  • Member of Creative Cities
    Network since 2005

You Are Now Leaving The City of Santa Fe Website

Links to external, or third party web sites, are provided solely for visitors' convenience. Following links to other sites is done so at your own risk and the owners of this Website accept no liability for any linked sites or their content.

Any link from the our site to an external web site does not imply that we endorse or accept any responsibility for its use. It is important for users to take necessary precautions, especially to ensure appropriate safety from viruses, worms, trojans and other potentially destructive items. Users should review the privacy policies of external web sites and other terms of use to learn more about what, why and how they collect and use any personally identifiable information.


Open Alert