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City of Santa Fe Hires New Director of Arts Commission

By City of Santa Fe

Having elevated the Arts Commission to an independent entity in the FY 19 budget, the City of Santa Fe has hired an experienced civic and arts director from Los Angeles to head the Arts Division. Pauline Kamiyama brings more than 20 years’ experience to a position vacated by Debra Garcia y Griego, who left to join Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration as Secretary of Cultural Affairs.

“Santa Fe is arts, culture, history and community.  It’s who we are and how we live; it’s part of everything the City does, which is why we made the Arts Commission an independent department,” said Mayor Alan Webber, “Pauline has the know how to take this new opportunity and bring it to life. .”

More than 50 applicants sought the director’s job, which pays $95,000 a year. The City did a months-long search to fill the role after a thorough re-imagining of how the position would work, including the creation of a fully independent division that will report to the City Manager instead of the Tourism Department as it did previously. In Los Angeles County, Kamiyama was responsible for planning, developing and implementing what is becoming one of the largest public art programs in the country with more than 40 active projects ranging from $10,000 to $1 million.

“As Arts Director I’ m excited for the opportunity to expand the position to focus on the arts community as a whole,” said Kamiyama, “And to help Santa Fe generate the energy and resources to challenge ideas and support artists and creatives of the future.”

Kamiyama will continue to work closely with Tourism to market the culture of Santa Fe to the wider world, while also more actively interacting with other city departments such as Economic Development, Libraries, Housing, Historic Review Board, Parks and Rec, and more.

Additionally, Kamiyama has said she intends to:

  • Raise more money through various sources including federal and state grants to help local arts non-profits with programming and other needs (currently 1% Lodgers tax is focused primarily on tourism related marketing)
  • Continue to administer 2% bond funds for purchasing art under Art in Public Places, but expand the possibilities for other forms of public art and engagement across the city including temporary installations, performance art, etc.
  • Continue to manage the Arts Grant programs to support the marketing efforts of non-profit arts organizations in the city and county funded by one point of lodger’s tax
  • Continue to administer the Community Gallery and grow its role as a City cultural hub
  • Continue to administer and expand the roles of City Historian and City Poet Laureate, and expand upon the use of Storytelling across communities and generations
  • Build on the Mayor’s success with a re-imagined Mayor’s Arts Awards
  • Promote programing / recognition through UNESCO designation and Sister Cities
  • Advise the Mayor and City Council on all cultural matters that impact the city
  • Utilize the Culture Connect plan to serve as a roadmap to expand the scope of City Support for all aspects of the Arts in Santa Fe

Ms. Kamiyama has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton and post-graduate studies in public administration.

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