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.

Our Team

Araceli Solis

Executive Director

As the Executive Director of the Doña Ana Arts Council, I am dedicated to improving the quality of life and promoting cultural, educational, and economic development through the arts. My goal is to establish a vibrant community where we celebrate diversity and welcome all the beautiful cultures in Las Cruces. Also working towards making sure everyone has access to artistic opportunities and events emphasizing an “arts for all” approach. I thrive on teamwork and believe an organization’s success is made up of the collaborative efforts of everyone’s gifts and talents. Working collaboratively with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, community, other local non-profits and local artists, the Arts Council has transitioned into “The Art Hub of Southern New Mexico,” ensuring that #ArtsForAll is a reality.

Yajaira Uranga

Executive Assistant

My name is Yajaira Uranga, and I am the Executive Assistant/ Website Manager at the Dona Ana Arts Council. I am a student at New Mexico State University, pursuing a degree in Nursing. I strive to be a reliable and integral part of the office and gallery’s administrative team, by efficiently managing tasks, providing support, and using social media to promote the Art Council’s exhibitions, artists, and events. Ultimately, my goal is to reflect positivity and professionalism to the gallery’s image and contribute to the gallery’s mission of promoting and celebrating the arts.

Nikayla Rios 

Event Coordinator

My name is Nikayla Rios, and I am the office manager at Doña Ana Arts Council. I was born and raised in our beautiful city with 2 years of administrative experience. Equipped with exceptional ability to communicate, support day to day administrative, financial, and operational functions by working closely with all of the hard working staff. My goal is to ensure you have an excellent overall experience while visiting our gallery for exhibits or events. Please feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns.




Amber Suarez

Office Assistant

My name is Amber Suarez, I am the Office Assistant/ Social Media Manager at the Dona Ana Arts Council. I am a currently attending New Mexico State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. My interest in the beautiful scenery of Las Cruces and involvement in the community has led me to the DAAC. I aim to contribute to the overall efficiency of the Art Council by implementing effective office procedures and assisting in the coordination of events while supporting the administrative team. My goal is to provide effective marketing strategies, and utilize social media to amplify the Art Council’s online presence. 

Gallery Management Team

Keslee Bennett
Gallery Manager

Sharyn Bernstein Gallery/Event Assistant

I am super excited to join the team at the Dona Ana Arts Council as the new Gallery Manager. Born and raised in Ruidoso, NM growing up in a family involved in the arts, I instantly  engulfed myself in the arts.  This led me to getting my  Bachelors Degree in Studio Art from New Mexico State University. Through NMSU I gained 5 years of experience working in a gallery/museum setting, and I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish at the Dona Ana Arts Council!

I recently moved to Las Cruces from Venice, Florida. I love my new home and am excited to join the dedicated team at the Dona Ana Arts Council. I was born in Boston and graduated from Simmons College. I have a long history working for non-profit arts organizations as office administrator of the Hermitage Artist Retreat and most recently, as director of marketing and communications for The Venice Symphony. I am a former staff writer for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and continue to work as a freelance writer and editor. I also host team trivia nights. I look forward to helping to create inspiring exhibits and memorable events at the Arts Council.




Barbara Reasoner – Emerita Board Member

Dan Lere, Board President
Federico Almarez, Board Vice President
Tom Kirschbaum, Treasurer


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 six weeks. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 


We cordially invite you to be our guest. We would be honored with your presence.


The venue is available to rent for meetings, receptions, and parties. Non-profit  organizations are eligible for special rates. We’d love to host your event here. Call 575-523-6403 for information or email