Programs & Services

Culture's Impact in New Mexico

New Mexico’s cultural treasures stimulate broad and deep economic and social development within our communities.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs commissioned report, Building on the Past, Facing the Future: Renewing the Creative Economy, quantifies the current economic impact of arts and cultural industries in New Mexico and identifies challenges and key opportunities.

The study, conducted by the UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), reveals a $5.6 billion impact on the state’s economy and challenges business, government, and non-profit sectors to harness strengths and address key shortfalls to fully realize economic potential.

Arts and cultural industries in New Mexico enjoy a national reputation that is far beyond the state’s size or economic standing. Narrowly defined, these industries employ 43,031 persons in New Mexico, equal to 1 of every 18 jobs in the state (5.5%). More broadly defined, including persons employed in cultural tourism, art and cultural education, and industries linked to the unique culture and heritage of the state, the arts and cultural industries employ 76,780 persons, equal to nearly one in ten jobs (9.8%) in the state. That is more than the state’s construction and manufacturing industries combined.