Santa Fe 400th Anniversary on Track for 2009-2010 Commemoration

Share Article

The Santa Fe 400th Anniversary will commemorate 400 years of culture, from the establishment of the city as a "villa" in 1610 by the Spanish, through today, making it the oldest capital in the United States. A number of cultures played key roles in Santa Fe's development: Native Americans who settled long before 1610, Hispanic, European and African Americans of diverse backgrounds.

We are pleased that we're on track for the 2009-2010 plans and appreciate the partners who are coming to the table to help make it happen. We look forward to a commemoration that will honor the many cultures of Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe 400th Anniversary organizers announced at a press conference today, the much anticipated program of events for the upcoming 2009-2010 commemoration.

The Santa Fe 400th Anniversary will commemorate 400 years of culture, from the establishment of the city as a "villa" in 1610 by the Spanish, through today, making it the oldest capital in the United States. A number of cultures played key roles in Santa Fe's development: Native Americans who settled long before 1610, Hispanic, European and African Americans of diverse backgrounds. These lives and stories have created a cross-cultural tapestry of interdependence that over time has made Santa Fe one of the most diverse and rich cultural cornerstones of America.

Maurice Bonal, Chairman of the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary Board, said, "We are pleased that we're on track for the 2009-2010 plans and appreciate the partners who are coming to the table to help make it happen. We look forward to a commemoration that will honor the many cultures of Santa Fe."

The goals of the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary Commemoration include showcasing Santa Fe's cultural richness to local, national and international audiences as a valued destination experience and to expand City and State revenue by increasing regional attendance of residents and visitors.

The Santa Fe 400th plans span 16 months, beginning September 2009 and continuing through December 2010, including a series of new and existing events.

New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson understands the significance of the upcoming commemoration. "The 400th Anniversary of Santa Fe is an important event in New Mexico's history. As the country's oldest capital city, the City Different has a long and rich legacy of history and cultural heritage of which we are very proud. The upcoming events surrounding the 400th Anniversary will embody the state's commitment to honoring this history, and I look forward to being a part of the commemoration," said Richardson.

Organizers were challenged to strike a balance to remain fiscally conservative while producing an event calendar and a marketing strategy that will offer opportunities to sponsors on a national scale. The initial $10 million budget was reevaluated and scaled back to an estimated $7 million. It is anticipated that this amount will be raised through a combination of public and private financing along with new revenue streams. The budget includes event, overhead, and all marketing and public relations.

Speakers at the conference highlighted the 16 months of happenings, specifically:

  •      Commemoration launch: VIVA! Santa Fe, Labor Day Weekend, 9/5,6,7, 2009. This three day outdoor festival for all ages is free to the public and will explore the sights, sounds and tastes of Santa Fe through interactive exhibits, artistic and musical demonstrations, culinary samplings, and will include two paid concerts on Saturday and Sunday and a closing finale concert with a cultural procession of lights on Monday.
  •      This is Santa Fe, Targeting grades 3-5, this nationwide webcast will actively engage students in a creative and compelling way, with student reporters and expert interviews, to promote learning the key historic messages and cultural impact of Santa Fe on the early development of America.
  •      Sounds of Santa Fe The story of Santa Fe will come together through music, narrative, dance movement, and vocal accompaniment touching the historic moments in a symphonic evening.
  •      History Has a Personality, an interactive production with interpretative actors that will bring to life the story of Santa Fe through the points of view of the personalities who helped build this cross cultural cornerstone of America.
  •      Santa Fe Arts & Lecture Series, a blend of lectures, panel discussions, readings and storytelling that highlight interests and issues unique to Santa Fe.
  •      Santa Fe Outdoor Cinema, a free outdoor cinema program each Friday and Saturday night during the summer of 2010. The program will focus on Hollywood favorites the whole family will enjoy and will be held at parks around Santa Fe.
  •      New Year's Eve Legacy Ball, the Closing Night Gala will showcase highlights of the commemoration, along with dinner, dancing and live entertainment.

Detailed planning is currently underway for the opening weekend, VIVA! Santa Fe, which will take place at Ft. Marcy ball field and Magers Field and will include community, regional and national performers, artisans, and cultural groups.

Prosody Creative Services, a national marketing and event management agency, has been hired by the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary to consult on the development of the overall commemoration planning and serve as Executive Producer for four of the key Legacy Events. "We look forward to working closely with the arts and cultural organizations in the area to create impactful programming that will help shine a national spotlight on this historic cornerstone of America," said Maris Segal, CEO, Prosody Creative Services.

Living long beyond the 2010, the 400th Anniversary will also produce Legacy Projects, to include:

  •      Books: Two anthologies of collected works are under development with one from the Native American perspective.
  •      Documentary Films: Two documentary films are planned with one showcasing the "Personalities" in the "History has a Personality" production, while the other focuses on the Native American perspective and voice.

The 400th Anniversary has also begun building partnerships by reaching out to the successful existing events that take place throughout the year to include them in the overall Santa Fe 400th marketing efforts.

Libby Dover, Executive Director of the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary, explains the community partnership. "Santa Fe has an incredible annual calendar of cultural events and activities. We're committed to forming strategic marketing partnerships with these organizations that will be mutually beneficial. By doing this we will expand our program of events while helping local organizations build their audience," said Dover.

The city and the state are integrating this historic commemoration into their marketing plans through 2010. Keith Toler, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau explains that the CVB will be actively engaged in marketing the events of the 400th. "VIVA! Santa Fe, for example, promises to be a strong tourist draw to the city and will positively impact our local economy as visitors stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, shop in our retail outlets, and visit our many wonderful attractions. If they come for VIVA! Santa Fe, we hope to keep them here through Fiestas. There's no better way to showcase what Santa Fe is all about," he said.

Jennifer Hoffman, Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, said, "The commemoration of four centuries of history will be a crown jewel for the state of New Mexico. We are committed to supporting the Santa Fe 400th in hopes of bringing New Mexicans, Americans, and world-wide visitors together in recognition of Santa Fe's impressive past, present and future."

History and education taskforces have been formed and will continue to work actively to ensure accuracy throughout the creative planning process.

Throughout the Commemoration, 400th cultural events will take place at historic and favorite locations. Troy Fernandez, Deputy Secretary of Cultural Affairs for the State of New Mexico and Vice Chair of the 400th Anniversary Board, said, "The Department of Cultural Affairs is proud to partner with the City of Santa Fe's efforts to commemorate 400 years of rich cultural legacy. Cultural Affairs has as part of its ongoing mission the preservation and promotion of New Mexico's cultural patrimony. The department has been working closely with Santa Fe 400th Inc. in developing the plans. Additionally, the department's Santa Fe museums will be key, ongoing attractions for the City's 400-year commemoration, especially the New Mexico History Museum which is nearing completion behind the venerable Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza and will open to the public on Memorial Day weekend in 2009.

Today's press conference is followed by an open forum for production and events services companies interested in being considered. Many qualified contractors will be needed for the Santa Fe 400 events. Ken Ashby, President of Prosody Creative Services, said, "We know that the city and state has a very strong pool of qualified companies who can help make the 400th events successful, and we look forward to having them on our team."

Santa Fe's Mayor David Coss said, "It's exciting to see Santa Fe's 400th anniversary commemoration events take shape. This momentous milestone is a time for Santa Feans to take pride in our community and to share our city's history and culture with the rest of the world. Communities that have invested in their 400th anniversaries, such as Quebec and Jamestown, have seen significant return on their investment in terms of economic impact. Total costs and benefits are hard to predict, but Santa Fe's 400th anniversary should also provide a much-needed boost in economic activity, pumping new tourist dollars into our local hotels, stores and restaurants."

For more information on the Santa Fe 400th Anniversary, please visit Santa Fe 400th Anniversary

Groups interested in being considered for performances should send a DVD, performance description and references to Prosody Creative Services at 112 West San Francisco Street, Suite 309, Santa Fe, NM 87501

For press information, please contact:

Rachel Mason
Ballantines PR
Tel: 505 216 0889
Cell: 505 795 5353
Rachel (at) ballantinespr (dot) com
Ballantines PR

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rachel Mason
Visit website