Thursday, September 4, 2014

The New Mexico Art In Public Places Program (AIPP)

"Sun Mask" artwork being installed at City Hall by artist, Don Redman. Photo by Paula Scott

Maybe you've seen the acronym, AIPP before or, perhaps you've never heard of it before. The acronym stands for Art In Public Places Program. If you've visited the Rotunda at the State Capitol and noticed the rather impressive and stunning artwork everywhere in the building, know that it was primarily the AIPP funding that was responsible for a majority of that collection.

To explain further, the following excerpt is taken from the New Mexico Art in Public Places website (with permission to republish):

"The mission of the Art in Public Places program is to enrich New Mexico’s communities through innovative and diverse public art.
AIPP Program Description

Since its inception nearly 25 years ago, the program has placed more than 2,500 works of art in all of New Mexico’s 33 counties (Rio Rancho received its first two pieces several years ago). The goal of the AIPP is to reflect the diversity of the arts in New Mexico, the Southwest, and the nation while building a dynamic public art collection for the State of New Mexico.

Through a fair and open public process, committees made up of local and regional representatives work with New Mexico Arts staff to select artwork for their communities. The Art in Public Places program then commissions large-scale projects that are designed for integration directly into the architecture of a building, or the program purchases existing original artwork to be placed in public buildings permanently or on loan.

Here is a brief overview of the One Percent (1%) for Art legislation and the process employed to select works of art for communities throughout New Mexico (an AIPP Project Coordinator is assigned to every project and facilitates the art selection process):


In 1986, the New Mexico State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law the Art in Public Places Act (Sections 13-4A-1 through 13-4A-11 NMSA 1978, as amended). This legislation declares it to be "a policy of the State that a portion of appropriations for capital expenditures be set aside for the acquisition or commissioning of works of art to be used in, upon or around public buildings" (Section 13-4A-2, NMSA 1978). The resulting Art in Public Places (AIPP) Program is often referred to as the One Percent (1%) for Art Program because of the requirement in the law that:

For each appropriation exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), agencies shall allocate as a nondeductible item an amount of money equal to one percent or two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000), whichever is less, of all eligible capital projects. These funds are to be expended for the acquisition and installation of works of art to be placed “in, upon or around” the new building or the building in which the major renovation is to occur. (Section 13-4A-4, NMSA 1978)

Art in Public Places funds can be expended for the following purposes:

The works of art acquired pursuant to the Art in Public Places Act may be an integral part of the building, attached to the building, detached within or outside the structure or placed on public lands, part of a temporary exhibition or loaned or exhibited by the agency in other public facilities. (Section 13-4A-6 NMSA 1978)
General Procedures

The New Mexico Arts, a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is designated in the Art in Public Places Act as the agency to administer the AIPP program. This entails establishing policies and procedures for the selection and acquisition of artworks."

You can find out in more detail the procedures that have been developed that provide a general framework for selecting artists and artworks acquired for the state’s public art collection at:

As our city grows, residents in Rio Rancho can expect the city's public art collection to grow. Understanding how each piece of public art was funded and how the art was selected is important too. Some works of art will be funded through the state's AIPP and some will result through the city's 1% for the arts ordinance. The ordinance requires that an amount equal to one percent (1%) of capital improvement bond proceeds is reserved for acquisition of art for public places in the city. In the future, when capital improvement bonds are issued for Rio Rancho, 1% for the arts will be designated as a result of the 2010 1% Delma M. Petrullo Ordinance.

In the meantime, Rio Rancho can expect another piece of public art to appear in City Center as the installation process for this work started on August 3rd. The artwork is being installed in what was intended to be the reflecting pond just outside of the council chambers at City Hall. This project was funded through the state's AIPP and should be completed by the end of September (with a ribbon cutting date to be announced). Look for a 'sequel' to this article that will explain the process of how this piece of artwork was selected in an upcoming article.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rio Rancho's Renaissance Faire is Here!

The Rio Rancho Arts Commission is proud to announce The Knights and Dragons Faire! After much hard work and countless hours, the Arts Commission has organized a series of activities and mini events throughout the month of August. For the last several months, this faire has been on our priority list as a great way to bring in the community to participate and interested in Arts and Cultural events. This has been an amazing and insightful learning process for us, lessons that will help us in the future to bring you quality art and culture. We hope that you will enjoy it and of course support us in our future artistic and cultural endeavors we pursue. With your support and interest we know that we can continue to build a bigger and better impact of the arts right here in our community, and thus helping New Mexico as well. Do you have any suggestions, ideas or feedback that you'd like to share with us concerning the Knights and Dragons Faire or future events? Then please let us know by contacting us here or at our Facebook page.

Please join the Rio Rancho Art Commission in welcoming Rio Rancho's own Renaissance Event! We will be hosting a wide range of activities from August 2nd - August 17th for all ages. Including arts and crafts, music, demonstrations and of course Knights! Please check the event schedule down below for dates and times.

       Please note:
        * August 2nd-16th events held at the Loma Colorado Library
                  * Contact to register for Aug. 2nd and Aug. 16th crafting events
        * August 17th events held at the Sunday is Funday event at Rio Rancho High School

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

True Success Stories of Art and Advocacy

...and how you can bring that success to your community.

Local arts agencies share their success stories and issues of advocacy, arts education, fundraising, leadership, public value and research in this 2014 session at the Americas for the Arts Convention.

Streamed live on June 15, 2014 at the Americas for the Arts Convention, Nashville, TN:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Can Art Really Have the Power to Transform a Community?

Recorded at the 2014 Americas For The Arts Convention-streamed live on June 14, 2014.

From the Americas for the Arts Youtube description of this video: "Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, moderates a panel of conversation among artists, administrators and activists on how art can be viewed as essential to the local communities of the future."

Impact of the Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy

At the Rio Rancho Arts Commission, we are passionate about the arts in all its forms. You can read about the arts impact on communities and economy on this blog. Those were simple yet very informative articles and infographics that we looked at. But a more in depth look at the impact of the arts is beneficial to get a clearer understanding of the situation. With more comprehensive statistics and information concerning areas of education, events, venues, and employment allow for us to greater quantify the impact of the arts and culture. " According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP."(*) Although the arts economy suffered dramatically during the recession and then on until 2011, the arts and their GDP are slowly starting to grow again.

Infographic from Market Star
Graph from NEA impact report

(Article from National Endowment of the Arts,  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and National Endowment for the Arts Release Preliminary Report on Impact of Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy  / December 5, 2013 )

"Washington, DC – The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released prototype estimates today from the new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). This is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the final dollar value of all goods and services produced in the United States. According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.

“The positive value of arts and culture on society has been understood on a human level for millennia. With this new effort, we are now able to quantify the impact of arts and culture on GDP for the very first time. Better utilizing this type of knowledge and information is part of the Department of Commerce's 'Open for Business Agenda,' through which we are seeking to provide more transparency and data to enhance decision-making, create more value, and better understand and grow our economy," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

"Art and culture is a significant part of the U.S. economy. Not just its contributions of ideas and creativity to the innovation economy, but also as an important part of the labor force and our country's GDP," said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account is an unprecedented resource for detailed, reliable data on the economic value associated with arts and cultural activity." (READ THE REST HERE)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Volunteers Bring Much Needed Public Art to a Community

When a community comes together they can accomplish great things. But it's not often that you hear about a group of volunteers that puts over a year of their time to better a community.  This is just the case with the Boulevard Tunnel Initiative,  which started in 2013. The initiative was first started to create a safer and more pleasant experience through the tunnel, but has evolved into something even more powerful. Their goals were simple , albeit time consuming and labor intensive, to clean up the Boulevard tunnel which had been know as a dangerous and grimy place - but also functions as a major and almost unavoidable underpass which connects two cities. Nicki Mlynski, leader of the initiative, saw what it was becoming and decided to do something. Nicki is an example, that it only takes one person to CARE, to really get the ball running. This is the kind of initiative we need to see within the arts and for community engagement!

Before image of the tunnel.

After image of the tunnel.

(Article from Creative Loafing , Plan underway to clean up creepy Boulevard tunnel, a key connection between Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward by Max Blau / Fri, Jun 28, 2013 )

"For most motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who travel along DeKalb Avenue, the public art that decorates the nearby tunnels and underpasses is a beautiful thing.

But when it comes to the Boulevard tunnel just south of Edgewood Avenue, most pedestrians would prefer avoiding it altogether. That's why a group of Cabbagetown and Old Fourth Ward residents are now working to clean up and beautify the underpass.

The Boulevard Tunnel Initiative led by Cabbagetown resident Nicki Mlynski is attempting to make the route a safer and more walkable experience.

"It's become a hub for unsavory characters," the Grady Memorial Hospital emergency medicine physician says about the tunnel's stairwells that lead up to DeKalb Avenue. "Honestly, I run into folks using drugs in the stairwell or just hanging out. They're nice and fine, but people leave piles of trash and they use it as a place to poop and urinate."

Many residents avoid walking in the tunnel, the most direct path between the two neighborhoods, because of the same safety and aesthetic concerns.

"It smells." Cyerra Crumrine, an Old Fourth Ward property owner, tells CL. "It's not a pleasant experience walking through the tunnel."

But the group has started to change that through organized clean-up efforts including painting over unwanted graffiti, picking up trash, and pulling weeds. The tunnel still needs to have new guardrails installed, lighting replaced, and potholes fixed." (READ THE REST HERE)


Monday, May 12, 2014

Adding Arts to the STEM Curricula

With the arts being cut year after year or struggling with decreased funding; schools, communities, and the youth suffer at this loss. So when schools across the nation step up to change a dire situation, it is always inspiring. In this case, schools across Florida will now be adding Art to their magnet programs or the STEM program- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math- the addition of Art now makes it STEAM. The STEAM program is an encouraging way for schools to introduce students into new and different academic paths that they may not have had a chance to experience before. The STEAM program is about adding or updating everyday classes with new teaching methods and materials. Or creating new classes with professional materials such as software and programs for the students to use.

Image from Florida STEAM article 

(Article from The Science Monitor, Full STEAM ahead: Schools add art to STEM curricula By Mackenzie Ryan, Associated Press / April 21, 2014)

"It's a challenge tackled by engineers in the space program: Design a garment that can withstand a certain level of heat.

But next school year, students from Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Fla., will be the ones trying to find the solution.

Thanks to a partnership with NASA, students will be designing prototypes in engineering classes, deconstructing space garments used in fashion design courses, testing materials in chemistry labs, and writing about the project for English assignments.

Across the nation, many schools are taking steps to integrate different academic disciplines, part of a growing effort to better connect science and technology with innovative thinking.

In Brevard County in Florida, four schools are rolling out new "STEAM" magnet programs. The acronym takes STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – and adds an "A'' for Art.

Teachers say STEAM programs are about exploring students' creativity. In biology class, for example, teacher Lauren Feronti asked students to create models of DNA after extracting it from a strawberry, or draw the anatomy of a fetal pig before they dissect it.

"It's more fun," says freshman Micheal Mingo of the hands-on assignments. "It grabs your attention."

While there's a place for textbooks and structured labs, the initiative breaks away from traditional methods to more fully engage students." (READ THE REST HERE)