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19 AUGUST 2008.  Santa Fe Mayor David Coss announced his annual Recognition Awards for Excellence in the Arts on 15 August 2008. ARTsmart, a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by the Santa Fe Gallery Association, is one of six recipients.

Art is Critical to a Child’s Development. “It’s truly an honor to be among the individuals and organizations recognized in 2008,” said ARTsmart President Connie Axton. “ARTsmart was founded on the belief that art is critical to a child’s creative development in all aspects of their lives. By working with art teachers, artists, art galleries, restaurateurs, lodgers, and a prodigious list of committed businesses, organizations, and individuals, ARTfeast, our annual February fundraiser, has become a great weekend for a good cause. ARTsmart allows those of us who benefit from Santa Fe’s profile as an art mecca to give back to the community. It is a win-win situation on many levels.”

Excellence in the Arts. Begun in 1989, the Mayor’s awards recognize that art is essential to Santa Fe’s quality of life. “Rich and deeply rooted in the culture, art plays an essential role in the health and vitality of the local economy,” Mayor Coss said. “This year’s winners show a deep love and commitment to the arts by their incredible devotion to artistic excellence and achievement in the community.”  Nominees are submitted by the public beginning in May.  A committee consisting of Arts Commissioners and past awardees selects the year’s recipients in August.

ARTsmart joins the following recipients at an awards ceremony held 30 October 2008: The Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus, Judith Espinar, Juliet Myers, Arlen Asher, and Nicholas Steven Flores. Further details will be announced at the City of Santa Fe web site.

The 12th annual ARTfeast fundraiser takes place 20-22 February 2009.