City of Las Cruces Public Art Master Plan
Client: City of Las Cruces, NM
Date Completed: 2020
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Pictured Above: Community members share their thoughts about public art at National Night Out Las Cruces in August 2019.
There is no denying the natural beauty of Las Cruces, with its stunning backdrop of the Organ Mountains, but Las Cruces is also becoming recognized as a cultural destination and a great place to live. The arts have been a driving force behind these changes – bolstering civic pride, helping to grow the creative economy, and supporting overall quality of life. In 2013, City Council made clear that public art, in particular, was a priority for Las Cruces by establishing the City Art Board to advise on matters related to public art. And in 2019, the City hired its first full-time Art Program Coordinator. As interest in public art continued to grow in Las Cruces, the City Art Board and City staff decided they needed a Public Art Master Plan to guide their work and commissioned Via Partnership to lead the process of creating one.
The master planning process began in late 2018 and engaged people throughout Las Cruces to share their perspective on the future of public art in the community. Hundreds of people responded to an online survey, attended a roundtable discussion, took part in a tour of public art in nearby El Paso, participated in interviews, or engaged with the planning team at National Night Out. The resulting plan draws from these many conversations, as well as multiple work sessions with the City Art Board and plan advisory committees.
The Las Cruces Public Art Master Plan is meant to be a guide for Las Cruces Public Art (the City’s public art program), the City Art Board, City staff and anyone interested in collaborating with the City on public art. It establishes a vision and provides administrative and programmatic recommendations to guide Las Cruces through the exciting – and at times challenging – work of building and caring for a public art collection that reflects and supports the importance of the arts in Las Cruces.
Recommended public art opportunities for the program to focus on include projects integrated into parks and city facilities, landmark public art projects, community engaged collaborations, and a special category of projects called Las Cruces Stories that highlight aspects of the unique history and present day cultures of Las Cruces.
The plan was adopted by City Council in early 2020 and included the recommendation to establish a Percent for Art Ordinance, which the City Art Board and City staff are now working on.
For more information visit the City of Las Cruces website.