SILVER CITY, NM After navigating many challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the board of directors of the Mimbres Region Arts Council announces a series of actions to preserve the ongoing mission and impact of the Arts Council.

Due to short-term fiscal realities, Executive Director Kevin Lenkner presented recommendations to ensure the Arts Council has the needed financial resources to continue operations into 2022 and beyond. With unanimous approval, the board is adopting the following actions:

1. Furlough all staff until such time that adequate funds are secured to restore pre-pandemic operations.

2. Focus on the production of the 2022 Silver City Blues Festival. Explore a February 2022 Chocolate Fantasia to raise funds for the festival.

3. Pause other MRAC events and activities until resources become available to restore them safely and sustainably.

4. Form a community-based advisory team to explore ways to restore and sustain MRAC activities and events. Form a Blues Fest 2022 action team to focus on this major event.

During the pandemic, MRAC has worked to have local artists and partners carry on the Youth Mural program and the Southwest Print Fiesta. Members of the community stepped up to ensure these beloved activities would continue.

Linda Gray will continue to contribute time and expertise as office administrator in a volunteer capacity. Kevin Lenkner will be stepping down as the Executive Director on June 30 and stepping up to serve on the Arts Council's Board of Directors beginning in July.

Lenkner shares, "I would like to thank the board of directors for their leadership and thoughtful deliberations needed throughout the course of the pandemic. My changing role at MRAC, while difficult, will free critical resources for the organization. There have been significant challenges and hard-earned successes during my almost six-year tenure as Executive Director. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish as a team. My sincerest appreciation goes out to the staff, past board, volunteers, organizational partners, and most of all, to the donors and members that have fueled these successes. I am looking forward to my new responsibilities as a board member of this vital organization."

The board of directors continues to meet regularly and will be announcing the next steps for the organization shortly. Planning for the 2022 Silver City Blues Festival begins in July. If you would like to play a role in the future of the Mimbres Region Arts Council or would like to lend time and energy for the planning of the 2022 Silver City Blues Festival, please contact us at

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