Nonprofit 501c3 – Proudly serving Las Cruces & Southern New Mexico


Our Mission

Through the arts, to enhance the quality of life and develop the cultural, educational, and economic growth of our community.

Our Vision

Our vision is a community where the Arts thrive.



Established in 1971, the Doña Ana Arts Council is a nonprofit 501c3 organization created to enhance the quality of life in Las Cruces & Southern New Mexico by ensuring that the Performing, Visual, and Literary Arts are an integral part of Education, Economic Growth, and Community Development. By staging Memorable Events, producing Innovative Programs, supporting Emerging Artists, and leading the arts community with effective advocacy, the Arts Council continues to broaden the vision of the arts in the greater Mesilla Valley. Working with the City of Las Cruces, the Town of Mesilla, Doña Ana County, New Mexico State University, and numerous arts organizations and arts-related businesses, the Arts Council is a focal point for arts activity in the region. With the creation of an Arts & Cultural Center in 2020, in downtown Las Cruces and adjacent to the Arts and Cultural District, the Doña Ana Arts Council is a keystone in the development of the regional creative economy, a destination for art lovers of all types, and home to the Arts Council offices.


Araceli Solis, Executive Director

My name is Araceli Solis.  I am the new Executive Director at the Doña Ana Arts Council. I feel extremely honored to be in this position and contribute to creating a community where the arts continue to thrive.  My goal is to support the vision and mission of the DAArts Council to enhance the quality of life and develop the cultural, educational, and economic growth of our community through the arts. In my new role, I plan to work collaboratively with my office staff, board members, and community partners to enhance the diversity of the cultures within the Doña Ana Community and continue to provide artistic opportunities and events for all. My vision is to make the organization the “Heart of the Arts”.

Penny Peace, Gallery Manager

As Doña Ana Arts Council’s Gallery Manager, I develop, plan, organize, curate, and market exhibitions and art-related programs.  I also collaborate with individual artists, develop relationships with new artists, and extend the Council’s relationships with other art organizations. My major goals for 2023-2024 are to reposition the Doña Ana Arts Council as a leading arts forum, not only within the County but within the state; to broaden the extant parameters of the Doña Ana Arts Council to include under-represented artists and neglected art forms; to engage the community with new and provocative programming; to extend our audience reach to include those who traditionally and historically are over-looked; and to apply the Council’s “Statement of Neutrality” to all I do. My door is always open.

Nikayla Rios, Office Manager


Dan Lere – President

Federicio Almarez – Vice President

George Ivolin – Treasurer

Tom Kirschbaum – Secretary

Kelly Carvlin – Board Member

Mary Diesel – Board Member

Keith Farley – Board Member

Bill Harrold – Board Member

Eliza Kretzmann – Board Member

Robin Prezbysz – Board Member

Bernadette Valdes – Board Member

Barbara Reasoner – Emerita Board Member


The Arts & Cultural Center in Downtown Las Cruces

The Arts & Cultural Center and DAAC offices are located at 230 S Water St., Las Cruces, NM.


The venue has a large gallery space where we feature a different artist every month. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Every First Friday, we’re open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every Second Saturday, we’re open from 12 noon to 5 p.m.


Please stop by tor a visit!


The venue with a  baby grand piano is available to rent for meetings, receptions, and parties. Non-profit  organizations are eligible for special rates. We’d love to have you here. Call 575-523-6403 for information.