About weareit

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far weareit has created 11 blog entries.

New Arts Directory!

Great news!  the new on-line Arts Directory is live and in “test mode”.  Please bear with us as we complete the database of over 500 names.

If you would like to be listed in the directory, or would like to correct/update information that is already there, please email  manager@daarts.org and put “Arts Directory” in the title of your email.

It is free to have a basic listing, however, artists who are members of the Doña Ana Arts Council receive enhanced listing options.  To find out more, please visit Join/Renew.

You may access the Arts Directory from the homepage of this website, or directly at  www.daarts.org/directory


Gregory Z. Smith, Executive Director

Greg Smith joined DAAC as executive director at the start of 2020, but his support for the Arts Council extends back into the last century.  As collectors of art, as appreciators of the arts in many forms, and as lovers of this community, Greg and his wife, Allison, see DAAC as a catalytic part of reaching a bright future in the Mesilla Valley.
Greg started life in El Paso, later in the same year that Dwight Eisenhower began his first term as president.  From there, he and his family traveled as far north and west as Alaska and as far south and east as Argentina.  After living in places as diverse as Anchorage, Monterrey, Buenos Aires, San Salvador, the Panama Canal Zone, and College Station, the Smiths moved to Las Cruces.
After studying architecture and getting a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree, Greg embarked on a twenty year career teaching in Austin. That was followed by a return to Las Cruces and architecture before an eight year stint as City Councillor for District 2 on the Las Cruces City Council.
Throughout his life, the arts have played an important role, not surprisingly because his mother is an artist, but also because he views good architecture as a form of interactive art.
Greg looks forward to the Doña Ana Arts Council and the arts continuing to play an important role in our region’s future.

Contact information for Gregory Z. Smith:  director@daarts.org  or 575-523-6403


Kathleen Albers, Communications Director

Kathleen Albers currently serves as the Communications Director for the Dona Ana Arts Council.  Before accepting this part-time position in October 2019, Kathleen served as Executive Director for the previous seven years.  Prior to this, Kathleen served as the Education Administrator for the  Las Cruces Symphony Association, then General Manager for the organization from 2005 – 2009.

Kathleen grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, then attended the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for an undergraduate degree in economics.  Later, she secured a masters degree in administration from Ohio University in Athens.  Kathleen and her husband moved from Denver, Colorado to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1987 and have made their home here ever since.

Kathleen is passionate about arts education for children and has been a champion of this cause in the greater Las Cruces area with the Dona Ana Arts Council and the Las Cruces Symphony since 1998.

Contact information for Kathleen Albers:   kathleena@daarts.org    or  575-523-6403


Arts & Cultural District

The Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) is a foundational partner in the Las Cruces Arts and Cultural District (ACD) in downtown, Las Cruces, along with the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership and the City of Las Cruces.  DAAC Executive Director, Greg Smith, serves as the current President of the ACD’s Coordinating Council.  For more information about the ACD and DAAC’s role in sustaining this important driver for our creative economy, please click HERE


Community Arts Awards

For over 30 years, the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) Community Arts Awards have recognized individuals and organizations for their extraordinary contributions to the arts in the Mesilla Valley and greater Las Cruces area.  For information about how you may nominate someone for an award, or for details about the next Community Arts Awards, click HERE

Below are photos  from the 2019 Arts Award Gala.  (hover over each photo for identification)

The crowd at the Gala

Donna Tate, Papen Family Award presented by Greg Smith

Cruces Creatives, Leah Wise-Surgay Executive Director, Newcomer Award  presented by Nan Rubin, Marisa Sage and Ron Saltzman

Jan Archey, Arts in Education Award presented by Lisa Carlson and Heidi Frohnafel

Rebecca Courtney, Art in Public Places Award presented by Sen. Jeff Steinborn and Jess Williams

Erlinda Portillo, Public Service to the Arts presented by Former Senator J. Paul Taylor, Sen. Jeff Steinborn and Teresita Corral

Ron Saltzman, Community Arts Award presented by Kathleen Squires and Marty Galster

Dancing at the Gala

Sally & Glen Cutter, Papen Family Award Sponsors with Kathleen Albers


Kennedy Center Partners in Education


The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems. The primary purpose of these partnerships is to provide professional learning in the arts for teachers. In 1992, this program was awarded the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Dawson Award, which recognizes innovative and successful projects.

The Dona Ana Arts Council and the Las Cruces Public Schools officially joined the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program in 1996.  For more information or to find out how you can become a part of this program, please contact the DAAC office at 575-523-6403.


Las Cruces Arts Fair returns for ninth year: March 1-3

The Doña Ana Arts Council’s (DAAC) Las Cruces Arts Fair, the area’s most expansive collection of art and fine crafts, returns for the ninth year to the Las Cruces Convention Center March 1 through 3. Over 100 artists from across the country, some returning favorites and other first-time exhibitors, will offer work in eight categories, including jewelry, mixed media, fabric, painting and drawing, print making and photography, porcelain-pottery-glass, recycled materials, and woodwork-metalwork-sculpture.

The fair kicks off Friday evening, March 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., giving collectors the first opportunity to see and buy work directly from the artists. The Las Cruces Arts Fair continues Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. There will be entertainment by flamenco guitarist Jake Mossman Friday evening and Saturday and food and beverages will be available to purchase.

This year’s featured artist is Hal Marcus of El Paso, Texas. Marcus is a self-taught artist whose sense of color originated from the influences of Mexico, where as a child he accompanied his grandmother on weekly visits to the Juarez market. He was inducted into the El Paso Artists Hall of Fame in 2003, served as chair of the El Paso Museum of Art Advisory Committee, and is of the owner of Hal Marcus Gallery, which exhibits only local art.

DAAC is donating space for two student booths, representing emerging artists from New Mexico State University and Doña Ana Community College. Students participating in the fair are challenged to learn to display their pieces, price their work, and discuss their art with the public. Be one of the first to collect the work of these up-and-coming artists.

In addition, each exhibiting artist will contribute an item to a silent auction, which will close Sunday at 2 p.m. All fair proceeds benefit DAAC’s many children’s art programs.

For the third year, a Quick Art contest will be part of the fair, with 16 artists creating art as the audience watches, with all pieces then available to purchase by silent auction. The Quick Art contest will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon.

Tickets are $10 for adults at the door or $15 for a two-adult pass when purchased in advance. Children aged 12 and under are admitted free. Ticket holders may reenter the News Release event one additional day at no charge. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.daarts.org ; in Las Cruces at the DAAC offices, 1740 Calle de Mercado in Mesilla; Cutter Gallery, 2640 El Paseo Road; The Frame and Art Center, 1100 S. Main St., and in El Paso at the Hal Marcus Gallery, 1308 N. Oregon Avenue;.

The Las Cruces Convention Center is located at 680 E. University.

Go to Top