Silver City’s own Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) was named as one of the recipients of the 2013 NM Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts:

Governor Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Arts Commission have announced the seven artists and art supporters who will be recipients of the 2013 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

“New Mexico’s culture is anchored by our rich history of beautiful artwork and creativityThe talented artists and dedicated art supporters recognized as 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards honorees enrich the quality of life all New Mexicans enjoy.” – Governor Martinez

The Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) of Silver City is recognized as a Major Contributor to the Arts. Led by long-time director Faye McCalmont, MRAC has served the Grant County community and surrounding areas for 32 years, providing quality arts programs, including artist shows, art walks, and lecture series. The local arts council’s annual Blues Festival features well-known national performers and emerging New Mexico artists, drawing thousands of visitors to Silver City each year. The nonprofit arts council provides a number of exemplary programs for youth in the area including Fine Arts Fridays, which provides hands-on workshops by New Mexico artists for K-5 students, giving them an extensive introduction to dance, music, drama and visual arts. The local arts council’s Youth Mural Program pair professional artists with educators, historians, and at-risk youth to plan, design, and create mural for the region. MRAC’s youth programs reach more than 4,700 students annually serving the geographically isolated and ethnically diverse Grant County region. The arts council also acts as mentor and fiscal agent for fledgling arts groups, such as Southwest Festival of the Written Word and the Virus Theatre. MRAC spends more than $200,000 annually on arts programming for the Grant County region and its hundreds of volunteers contribute more than $50,000 in in-kind services. The Mimbres Region Arts Council is credited with transforming the arts and cultural offerings of Grant County.

The 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are: Edward Gonzales of Rio Rancho, Painter and Printmaker; Darren Vigil Gray of Santa Fe, Painter; Jenny Vincent of Taos, Musician; Jim Wagner of Taos, Painter/furniture maker; Frank Willett of Santa Fe, Ceramics/Potter; Aria Finch of Roswell – Major Contributor to the Arts; and the Mimbres Region Arts Council of Silver City – Major Contributor to the Arts.

The 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremonies will be held on Friday, September 27th at 5:15p.m. at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. The ceremony is preceded by an afternoon reception and exhibition opening, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., in the Governor’s Gallery, 4th Floor, State Capitol. Both the awards ceremony and gallery reception are free and open to the public.

This year marks the 40th annual celebration of the Governor’s Arts Awards, which were established in 1974 by Governor Bruce King and First Lady Alice King to celebrate the extensive roles – both economic and cultural – that artists, craftspeople and arts supporters play in the life of New Mexico. A diverse and noteworthy list of painters, weavers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, poets, actors, playwrights and potters have been honored by the governor’s arts awards, New Mexico’s most prestigious arts awards. Past awardees include: Maria Martinez, Tony Abeyta, Glenna Goodacre, Tony Hillerman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Patrick Oliphant, N. Scott Momaday, Tammy Garcia, Catherine Oppenheimer, and Robert Redford.

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