The State of New Mexico has eight Arts & Cultural Districts: Artesia, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Mora, Raton, Taos, Downtown Albuquerque, and Silver City. Each district focuses on:

  • Enhancing local economies and quality of life through the promotion and development of arts and culture
  • Providing significant financial incentives, including increased state historic preservation tax credits up to $50,000 and limited grant assistance from the McCune Charitable Foundation for staff and project support
  • Delivering intensive technical support from the Economic Development Department, Department of Tourism and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an intensive resource team visit within the first year of designation, advanced cultural planning, and help assessing each area’s creative economic potential

Learn more about each of the local districts below, and visit the state website at:

Las Vegas: Las Vegas, New Mexico boasts over 900 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the state’s largest number of Victorian homes, and the classic adobe styles of the Plaza Hotel and Old Town Plaza. Visit their website:

Los Alamos: Home to the famous Los Alamos National Laboratories, the Los Alamos Creative District is filled with museums, public art, and cultural activities, many with a technological focus. In fact, The Next Big Festival Day is hosted in Los Alamos every September and features the scientific heritage of Los Alamos partnered with fun, arts, food, and music. Visit their website:

Raton: See the history of Raton as a railroad and mining town via a walking tour covering five blocks of downtown architectural buildings and heritage, including the historic Shuler Theater (built 1915), the Old Pass Gallery (built in 1910 as the Wells Fargo Building), and the beautiful Victorian buildings of historic First Street. Visit their website:

Taos: The rich history of Taos extends all the way to 1050 A.D., when pueblos started being constructed in the area after the advent of agriculture. Taos now boasts an established arts scene and rich cultural heritage celebrated through annual events & fiestas such as the Taos Pueblo San Geronimo Feast Day, the Fiestas de Taos, and the Taos Fall Arts Festival. Visit their website:

Silver City: Founded in 1870 as a mining town, Silver City’s rough and tumble history of Apache raids, Butch Cassidy, and Billy the Kid has segued into a blooming arts community with over 40 galleries and a community of painters, weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and others. The city also hosts the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival and the Silver City Blues Festival. Built in 1923, the historic Silco Theater host performing artists, and other venues hosts film festivals and other cultural celebrations throughout the year. Visit their website: silver