Santa Fe Mayor on Arts Vibrancy: Culture Defines Santa Fe

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

Guest Post by Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales

*Santa Fe ranked #2 on our top 10 list of arts-vibrant medium MSAs.

Culture has defined Santa Fe for generations, fostering a shared value system, combined resources and a collective identity.  This rare legacy is ours to cherish, protect, and share.  It is what makes our community unique from any other in the United States. Santa Fe offers a multitude of cultural riches found in our music, food, art, dance, and traditions.

Civic leaders and citizens, past and present, have protected and mindfully promoted our valuable cultural legacy. Today, culture in Santa Fe is a significant part of our local economy and key to supporting our community moving forward. Culture Connects Santa Fe, a recent municipally funded assessment of Santa Fe’s cultural landscape, revealed that a view of culture as a tangible community asset is widespread. From this work emerged a shared statement of cultural value for our community. Santa Fe values the:

  • Breadth and depth of its culture
  • Essential role of culture in advancing equity
  • Potential of culture to connect people, places and ideas
  • Transformational role of culture in education
  • Role of culture as fundamental to the wellbeing of individuals and the collective
  • Impact of culture as an economic catalyst
  • Importance of stewardship and conservation of culture

Culture Connects asked challenging questions and tested long-standing assumptions. Among the issues brought to light were growing divides along lines of race and class, with displacement and gentrification being threats to the fabric of our shared culture. Within this growing challenge lies great opportunity. Through our culture, we can bridge divides and continually connect our community. With our cultural riches comes a responsibility to utilize these assets in a productive way that serves all of our residents through education, engagement and equity.   

In addition, this cultural foundation provides a welcoming and warm destination for visitors. Our efforts to protect and enrich our community culture have positioned Santa Fe as an authentic and world-class destination for people around the world to experience a 400 plus old Capital City.