Albuquerque’s Downtown is home to a unique array of assets, including artists, designers, filmmakers, galleries, museums, theaters, musicians, music venues, city festivals, restaurants, food trucks / kitchens, breweries, coffee shops, and creative entrepreneurs living and working in both formal and informal spaces.

The Downtown Arts & Cultural District, made up of roughly 30 blocks in and around the Central Avenue corridor, was officially signed into being in 2016 with the support of Councilor Isaac Benton and the city council, Mayor Richard Berry, the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services and Economic Development teams, the New Mexico Department of Economic Development and NM Mainstreet program, the NM Arts Commission, and the NM Department of Cultural Affairs Arts and Historic Preservation Division.

Those organizations, along with a council of cultural and artistic institutions and businesses already invested in Downtown, helped to develop a cultural plan titled Multitude of Riches (.PDF) outlining some of the district’s strongest opportunities, including:

  • Supporting and promoting existing creative work
  • Growing a strong creative identity, internally and externally
  • Unlocking unused or underutilized space
  • Increasing access to shared knowledge
  • Stimulating a range of funding opportunities
  • Increasing visitors to the district

Curious about what we’re up to in 2017? District activities for this calendar year are based off of our advisory council approved 2017 Work Plan (.PDF)


New interactive map aims to attract people to Downtown Cultural District (KRQE-13 – 3/15/17)

Downtown ABQ arts will hit the grindstone this year (Albuquerque Business First – 3/9/17)

Group on the long road to grow city’s creative sector (Albuquerque Business First – 3/8/17)

Downtown Albuquerque Launches Arts & Culture District (KRQE-13 News – 1/20/17)

Downtown Arts and Cultural District designation approved by city (Albuquerque Business First – 2/18/16)

Plan for Downtown Arts and Cultural District gets new life (Albuquerque Business First – 10/30/15)

Other reports, data, presentations 

NM Arts & Cultural District Annual Report 2016 (.PDF) – data and reporting compiled via the New Mexico MainStreet program and delivered to the NM Arts Commission (2017)

Building on the Past, Facing the Future: Renewing the Creative Economy of New Mexico (.PDF) – data and reporting compiled by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (2014)

Homegrown Commerce (.PDF) – Bloomberg Philanthropies and City of Albuquerque Innovation Team report (2016)

Recommendations for Downtown Revitalization: Cultivating Special Events, Small Business & Residential Development (.PDF) – MiABQ Millenials Project report (2015)