• The creative sector was one of the hardest hit by COVID

A community celebration of art and culture is coming to eight New Mexico communities, and Rio Rancho is one of them.

“ART NM!” is set for 9:30 a.m. to noon April 30 at Meadowlark Senior Center, 4330 Meadowlark Lane. Local nonprofit RR Creative Crossroads is hosting the event, and arts advocacy organization Creative New Mexico is presenting it, according to a news release from Creative Crossroads.

“The ART NM! event is meant to communicate the value of arts and culture in post-COVID recovery, economic development and community renewal and prosperity,” according to the release.

ART NM! is free, open to the public and family-friendly. Attendees can create artwork; engage in visual arts, music and theatre; and learn about creative resources in the community.

The two local winners of the Creative NM poster contest, both students from Rio Rancho charter school The ASK Academy, are scheduled to be there as well.

The event in Rio Rancho will include art displays and demonstrations by local artists and arts organizations and a children’s activity.

ART NM! is also taking place in Artesia, Farmington, Gallup, Hobbs, Las Cruces, Roswell and Taos.

New Mexico’s creative industries have generated $5.6 billion for the state’s economy and had a workforce larger than construction and manufacturing combined, according to the release. The creative sector was one of the hardest hit by COVID.

Rio Rancho Players actor Steve Weitz of Rio Rancho rehearses in his role of “stage manager,” or narrator, in “Our Town” as other cast members wait their turn in September 2021 at Avix Art. The Rio Rancho Players operate under Rio Rancho Creative Crossroads. (Argen Marie Duncan / Observer)

Rio Rancho Creative Crossroads is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Rio Rancho Youth Chorus, Rio Rancho Players community theater group and The Squeaky Shoe Project, which provides shoes for local students through proceeds from a children’s book, come under the umbrella of Creative Crossroads.

For more info on Rio Rancho Creative Crossroads, visit rr-cc.org.

To learn more about Creative New Mexico, visit creativenewmexico.org.