June 2024


NEW Staff Announcement

Amy Mills is the new program coordinator for folk arts and accessibility. She manages programs that support New Mexico’s folk and traditional arts through grantmaking, documentation, public programs, and fieldwork research, as well as advising on accessibility best practices.

From 2016-2023, Amy worked for the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), designing and producing national folk festivals in five states and supporting partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and National Park Service. She has also served as programs manager at the Western Folklife Center, managing the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other regional programs. Other roles have included Northwest Folklife program coordinator, cultural historian, documentary filmmaker, dance teacher, and project manager for a computer company.

Amy has conducted ethnographic research from Oregon to Maryland, Romania to New Zealand. She is also an accomplished dancer of traditional styles ranging from ballroom to Balkan, swing to Scandinavian. She holds master’s degrees in anthropology and folklore from the University of Oregon, and bachelor’s degrees in anthropology, history, and international studies from the University of Washington. She grew up in New Mexico and is thrilled to have returned home to support our folk artists and traditional communities.

Welcome Amy!

Remembering Phyllis Jennings Kennedy

It is with great sorrow that we share the news of Phyllis Jennings Kennedy, artist and activist, teacher, mother, and wife, passing peacefully in her sleep on April 15th. She had retired from New Mexico Arts in 2020 with plans to become a beekeeper, to travel, and reignite her focus on her own art form, photography.

Phyllis’ last road trip with her husband Rod Kennedy was to view the eclipse in Texas to view yet another of nature’s miracles. Phyllis always kept her life moving forward.

Phyllis reinvigorated the statewide Poetry Out Loud program, showcasing her innate abilities to network and get the right people excited and involved. She brought that same diligent passion to creating an Arts and the Military program, creating opportunities for New Mexican veterans. The unstoppable force that was Phyllis, impacted uncountable people whether they knew it or not.

Phyllis Jennings Kennedy’s photography work is included in private and public collections and throughout the state of New Mexico including the Albuquerque Convention Center; the Albuquerque International Sunport; the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; and in the City of Albuquerque’s public art collection.

Our thoughts are with her husband, Roderick Kennedy (Judge), and her daughters Camila and Annie Jennings, and her many close friends and colleagues. The world is a brighter place for the work she accomplished on behalf of all New Mexicans, proven by a full church at her Memorial service. From childhood education as an elementary teacher, to being a champion of arts education and funding. 

“Phyllis was my office neighbor for years at New Mexico Arts. She was not simply my colleague, but my friend. I valued her advice and valued the friendship we built that continued after her retirement.

Her humor was subtle and dry, her heart was warm and open, with a creative mind that could find a solution to any problem. She impacted both children and adults through her advocacy, her teaching, and her ability to put the right people together to affect change and growth.

One of my favorite moments with the Kennedys was an afternoon visit to their lovely home in Rio Rancho. I loved visiting with Rod and Phyllis. They asked what my plans were for the evening, and I told them I had been gifted a ticket to see Bob Dylan. They mentioned that they didn’t know he was in town. Once I was seated in the concert hall, I excused myself to the powder room. As I walked towards the exit, there were Phyllis and Rod, waving like two little kids! I still smile thinking of that moment.

She was beloved here at New Mexico Arts and we all felt fortunate that she stopped in at the 2024 Poetry Out Loud recitation at the St. Francis Auditorium this last March before taking a solo road trip to Nebraska.

“Nebraska? What’s in Nebraska?”, I asked. “One million sandhill cranes”, she responded with that mischievous smile of hers.

I am very grateful for those last hugs and smiles.” 

- Maggie Hanley, New Mexico Arts

Photo 1 by Maggie Hanley

Photo 2 captioned from Instagram:

“One million Sandhill Cranes can’t be wrong. #CraneTrust #bucketlist #Nebraska."

Photo 3 by Rod Kennedy.

New Mexico Poet Laureate, Lauren Camp, and

Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Executive Director of New Mexico Arts, are traveling to cities, towns, and villages across New Mexico

to host poetry reading and writing workshops.

The events start with a short reading by the Poet Laureate of her own work followed by a conversation with the participants about poetry in general. There is an open mic component where local folks can read a poem, either one they have written or one they simply wish to share with the group.

Each workshop concludes with Camp leading a prompted writing exercise about the local community, which she and Laflamme-Childs will use as the source material in assembling the poems for and about each community in the words of those who live there.

These poems will be printed as broadsides by the historic Palace Press at the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum. One broadside will be gifted back to each community, and another displayed as part of an exhibition showcasing the different community poems from around the state.

Invite the Poet Laureate

NM Department of Cultural Affairs Offers Free Admission to Active-Duty Military

Through Blue Star Museums Program

Free admission to any of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs’ (NMDCA) eight museums and seven historic sites will be available this summer to active-duty military personnel and their families through the Blue Star Museums program. New Mexico has a sizable active-duty military and National Guard population of more than 43,000 people and NMDCA offers these individuals a chance to explore the history and culture of the state throughout the summer.

Learn More

New Mexico was well represented at the recent National Finals for Poetry Out Loud. Kaitlyn Lubega from UWC-USA, Montezuma advanced to the third round of the Western Semi Finals. The competition was fierce, but the talented student contestants were supportive and friendly.

Registration for the 20th Anniversary of Poetry Out Loud begins in September 2024. Lots of exciting announcements to come.


The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers

Queer|Art’s first international grant provides an award of $10,000 for the winner and $1,250 for distinguished finalists, to support the creation of new work by emerging LGBTQ+ photographers. Named in honor of photographer Robert Giard (1939-2002), a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer whose work focused on LGBTQ+ lives and issues, the grant focuses on supporting emerging LGBTQ+ photographers whose projects address issues of sexuality, gender, or LGBTQ+ identity.

Deadline: June 30th, 2024, Apply Here



The New Mexico Artisan Market, a showcase of high-quality

handcrafted products created by New Mexico’s finest artisans,

returns to Hotel Albuquerque Thanksgiving Weekend 2024.



The Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area invites artists residing within the vibrant cultural landscape of Taos, Rio Arriba, or Santa Fe County to showcase their original artwork in their upcoming exhibition, Cultures and Creators: Our Ancestors. Our Future. 

This call is a celebration of the rich artistic heritage and contemporary creativity that thrives within the region. Apply Here

WESTAF is now accepting applications for Cultural Sustainability: A WESTAF Grants and Peer Cohort Program for Arts Organizations of Color. With support from The Wallace Foundation and in partnership with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (USRAOs), WESTAF expects to grant a total of $1,100,000 in the region, with approximately two grants per state or jurisdiction. 


This new grant opportunity targets organizations with annual operating budgets below $500,000 that boast a minimum of three years of programming history and meet at least two of the following criteria related to leadership or community service in communities of color: 


1. Led by a person(s) of color, artistically and/or administratively

2. Predominately in service of Black, Latine, Asian, Arab, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, and/or Caribbean communities, or another community of color

3. Founded by and for a community of color


Register now for one of two (identical) applicant information sessions that will be held on Monday, June 10, 2024:


2 p.m. MT Session


5:30 p.m. MT Session


Part one applications must be submitted by Monday, July 1, 2024


This opportunity is part of The Wallace Foundation’s Advancing Well-Being in the Arts initiative, which funds arts organizations founded by, with, and for communities of color to advance their well-being, enhance understanding of their contributions to community, and ultimately help to build a more equitable and sustainable arts ecosystem.

Learn More

Complete Guide to FREE Artist Grants and Opportunities in 2024

All the best artist grants, residencies, and open calls for 2024.

All of these calls are FREE to apply!

Click Here For More Information

Upcoming Cultural Events:

Mar. 23 - Jul. 31, 2024

Inspired by the Land Art Exhibit

Manzano Mountain Art Council - Mountainair

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Daily

Mar. 29 - July 7, 2024

Patricia Michaels: Fashion & Fantasy

The Wright Contemporary - Taos

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM Weds. - Sun.

June 3 - 29, 2024

New Mexico LGBTQ + Pride

Albuquerque, Taos, Santa Fe, Silver CityLas Cruce, Roswell

Through September 2, 2024

Out West: Gay and Lesbian Artists in the Southwest 1900-1969

New Mexico Museum of Art - Santa Fe - Plaza Building

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

June 7, 2024

First Friday Art Walk

Silver City Art Association - Silver City

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

June 7, 2024

First Friday Scavenger Hunt

New Mexico Museum of Art - Santa Fe - Plaza Building

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

June 7, 2024

Convergence X Crossroads Opening Reception

National Hispanic Cultural Center - Albuquerque

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

June 8, 2024

Celebrate Questa, Art Market & History Trail

Questa Creative Council - Questa

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

June 18, 2024

Free Summer Series Film Screening

National Hispanic Cultural Center - Wells Fargo Theater

6:00 - 9:00 PM

June 22 - 25, 2024

37th Festival Flamenco Alburquerque

National Hispanic Cultural Center - Albuquerque

June 29, 2024

Ethos Literacy Presents New Words, New Voices

FUSION | 708 - Albuquerque

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

New Mexico Art Book Selection:

Harmony Hammond: Material Witness

An activist and a curator as well as a trailblazing artist, feminist and lesbian scholar, New Mexico–based Harmony Hammond (born 1944) has enjoyed a career spanning nearly fifty years and many mediums, all of which are brought together for the first time in Material Witness, which accompanies the artist’s museum survey of the same name at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

Hammond’s groundbreaking painting and installation practice unites minimalist and postminimalist concerns with feminist art strategies, employing marginalized craft traditions in the service of abstraction, and working through a wide cast of materials: fabric, rope, pine needles, hair, blood, bone and wood, mixed with traditional sculptural and painting materials.

Harmony Hammond: Material Witness restages the most significant installations of Hammond’s career and presents them alongside her major paintings, sculptures, works on paper and ephemera. Fully illustrated, and with an essay by exhibition curator Amy Smith-Stewart, this is the first and definitive monograph on Harmony Hammond and her revolutionary practice.

Get the Book


Public support for the arts to ensure the arts are central to the lives of New Mexicans.


A New Mexico with vibrant communities, meaningful quality of life, and a robust economy.

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