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At Home in the Arts

 

The Doña Ana Arts Council, one of the key parties in the establishment of the Las Cruces Arts and Cultural District, is now actually housed in that singular district. The new address for the Arts Council, 230 South Water Street in Las Cruces, is just inside the southwest corner of the ACD, but there’s more to this particular story.

 

For most of its first fifty years, the Arts Council (DAArts) was located at several street addresses in what would eventually become the ACD in 2018. A significant portion of that time, DAArts was rehabilitating and then occupying and managing the historic Rio Grande Theatre, one of most iconic and significant landmarks in the Arts and Cultural District. Ironically, in 2017, on the cusp of the District’s special designation, the Arts Council turned management of the Theatre over to the City of Las Cruces and moved to the Bulletin Plaza in Mesilla.

 

“The Mesilla Location was beautiful,” said Greg Smith, outgoing DAArts Executive Director. “Still, considering the Arts Council’s various roles with the ACD and discussions about things like artist live/work spaces being situated there, it made sense to explore what was available near downtown Las Cruces.”

 

After three years in Mesilla, the Doña Ana Arts Council moved to a location that Smith described as “spectacular,” a former bank building just outside the ACD. The owners worked with DAArts to make what Smith described as a “premier gallery space.” It worked well for almost two years, but new ownership and a different use for the space required moving again.

 

“We are thrilled to be in such a great spot, and back, if you will, in the ACD!” enthused Smith about the South Water location. He praised the work the new landlords have done to accommodate DAArts, the high visibility of the location, and the proximity to so much happening downtown. He expressed regret that there are no shows or performances in January but encouraged people watch for what is coming up in February and March.

 

The Arts Council is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Smith said anyone willing to overlook ongoing “moving in” activities is welcome to come in and check out the new space in January.

 

 

The Doña Ana Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the widest range of the arts to the broadest spectrum of the community with the goals of positively impacting the economy, culture, and community pride in the region. Communication with the Executive Director can be made by calling 575.523.6403 or emailing director@daarts.org. Written correspondence can be sent to P.O. Box 1721, Las Cruces, NM 88004.

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