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Call for Nominations!

Doña Ana Arts Council’s 37th Annual Community Arts Awards to be held TBA

One of the most heartwarming annual events sponsored by the Doña Ana Arts Council is the tradition of honoring individuals and organizations for their contributions to the arts with the Community Arts Awards ceremony.  Those honored are actively involved in promoting and enhancing the visual, performing, and literary arts in our community through leadership, support, and advocacy. The Doña Ana Arts Council is seeking nominations for the 2023 Community Arts Awards to be held in September.

If you know individuals or organizations in the community who deserve to be recognized for their support of the arts and/or creative talent, this is your opportunity to nominate them for an award.  Nomination forms are available on line at www.daarts.orgby calling 575-523-6403, or emailing

Award categories include The Papen Family Award, the Newcomer Award, the Arts in Education Award, the Community Arts Award (individual or organization), the Art in Public Places Award, and the Cultural Heritage and Development Award. Descriptions of the awards are below.  Awards will be presented at the 36th Annual Community Arts Awards reception, date, time, and location TBD. 



The Papen Family Award

The Papen Family Award honors an individual who has demonstrated exemplary commitment to the arts through leadership, service and/or financial support.  The award, originally called the Mesilla Valley Treasure Award, and later, The Julie Papen Arts Patron Award, was renamed in 1997 to honor the late Senator Frank Papen and the Papen family, whose dedicated leadership, involvement, and support of the arts has so richly benefited our community.  Previous winners include Dr. John Glowacki, Opal Lee Priestley, Rep. J. Paul Taylor, Mayor Ruben Smith, Dr. Joseph Denk, J. Henry Gustafson, Mary Hardman Gale, Kenneth G. Melgaard, Carolyn Bunch, Emily Cohen, Dr. J. Bruce Streett, Dr. William Clark, Glenn and Sally Cutter, Heather Pollard, Denise Chavez, Dr. Thomas Gale, Mark Medoff, Irene Oliver Lewis, Judith Finch, Ruth Cantrell, Jack Ward, Keith Wilson, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Rosemary McLoughlin, Jo-an Smith, Dr. Greg Fant, Diana Seward, Dr. Jim Shearer , Nancy Ritchey, Kathleen Squires, Tom & Jerean Hutchinson, Jordan & Marian Wolle, Teresita Gonzalez-Corral, Ann Palormo, Dr. Kent Jacobs & Sallie Ritter Jacobs, Donna Tate, Norman Todd, and Diane Lee.

Newcomer Award

Newcomer Award recognizes leadership and support of the arts by an individual who has lived in Doña Ana County for fewer than five years. Past recipients include: Les Roberts & Fred Rockey, Rita Hartley, Sherry White, Cheryl Thornburg, Susan Tweit, John Hasko, S. Derrickson Moore, Barbara & Steve Eckels, Kathe Stark, Lonnie Klein, Alice Peden, Sylvia Gibson Bowers, Tom Smith, Laurel Weathersbee, Lucilene de Gues & Paco Antonio, Ouida Touchón, Cheryl & Brian Fallstead, Lanova Sheets, Mari Blacker, George & Maggie Griffin, Cynthia Garrett, West End Art Depot and Diane & Robin Fovargue, Cindy & Pat Breedlove, Nan Rubin, Marisa Sage, Cruces Creatives, Svea Peterson, and Sonya Fe.

The Arts in Education Award

The Arts in Education Award recognizes an individual whose leadership and pioneering spirit promote and shape visual, performing, and literary arts education initiatives. Past Arts in Education Award recipients include Bonnie Hosie, Karin Matray, Karuna Warren, John Schutz, Terry Alvarez, Leslie Kowalski, Constance Hasapopoulos Suter, Raul Dorn, Debra Knapp, Diane Schutz, Laurie Norman, Leslie Zerr, Corina Gabaldon, Oscar Butler, Rene Palomares and Geri Brink & Paul Hallsted, Children’s Reading Foundation of Doña Ana County, Sherry Doil-Carter, Tim Staley, Jan Archey, Sally Quillin, Patricia Brown Gill, and Wayne Huber.

The Community Arts Award

The Community Arts Award recognizes an individual or business whose motivation, service and example have made a marked impact on the cultural life of our community. Former recipients of this award are Bob Burns, Bob & Yvette Peticolas, Kevin & Michelle Self, Jose Tena, Bob Diven, Dr. Jerry Ann Alt, Ceil & Peter Herman, Jim Billings, John Pleasant, Joseph Sylvan & Barbara Toth, The Border Book Festival/The Cultural Center of Mesilla, Roy van der Aa & Robin Baxa, Larry Chandler, Jaki & David McCollum, Mike Groves, The Potter’s Guild, Doug Roby, ASTC, GFWC Progress Club of Las Cruces and Olin Calk, St. Clair Winery, Flo Hosa Dougherty and Las Cruces Sun-News, Frank Leto, Publisher, Russ Smit, Megan McQueen, ArtForms, Ron Saltzman, Kathleen Albers, and Florence Hamilton. 

The Art in Public Places Award

The Art in Public Places Award recognizes an individual who has created or placed art on permanent public view within Doña Ana County that exemplifies the highest standards and commitment to art in public places.  Recipients of this award include the City of Las Cruces & the NM Department of Transportation & Highways, Tracy Jamison, Zandra Santanova, Ken Barrick, Jackie Clark, Anthony Pennock, Glenn Schwaiger, Las Esperanzas, The Honorable Judge Robert C. Brack, Kelley S. Hestir, Joyce Macrorie, Jess Williams, Rebecca Courtney, Kathy Morrow, and the Las Cruces City Public Art Board.

The Cultural Heritage and Development Award

The Cultural Heritage and Development Award recognizes an individual or group organization which has preserved and promoted the culture and heritage of the Mesilla Valley through artistic and creative endeavors.  Recipients of this award include David Chavez and Ariana Parsons.