The Downtown Albuquerque Arts & Cultural District is an initiative of DowntownABQ MainStreet and is made up of roughly 30 blocks in and around the Central Avenue corridor. The district began operations in December 2016.

There are eight Arts & Cultural districts around New Mexico. Arts & Cultural districts increase tax revenues, profitability of surrounding businesses, and property values.

Current Work

The Arts & Cultural District highlights and supports the high concentration of creative economy found in downtown by:

  1. Promoting existing arts and culture programs and projects in the district
  2. Unifying downtown resources and partners
  3. Strategic Planning
  4. Identification of funding opportunities

You can also view the district’s FAQs (frequently asked questions) (.PDF), which answers some of the common questions people have about the district, including how it was created, how we are funded, and ways to get involved.


Grant will pay artists to fill empty windows in Downtown Albuquerque – (KRQE – 9/8/17)

Grant program to pair ABQ artists with Downtown businesses – (Albuquerque Business First – 9/5/17)

Eye on New Mexico: The Future of Downtown’s Arts District – (KOB-4 TV – 7/9/17)

Albuquerque “Feed The Heart” Art Series to Host Free Events – (AP Wire – 6/20/17)

Free programming series to come to Downtown Arts & Cultural District – (KRQE – 6/20/17)

Albuquerque’s creative scene can benefit business – (Albuquerque Business First – 6/15/17)

ABQ arts get a cut of multimillion-dollar funding – (Albuquerque Business First – 6/14/17)

Interactive maps showcase Albuquerque’s points of interest – (KOB-4 TV – 6/9/17)

Three Partnerships Share in ‘Grant Giveaway’ – (Albuquerque Journal – 4/7/17)

New interactive map aims to attract people to Downtown Cultural District (KRQE-13 – 3/15/17)

Downtown ABQ arts will hit the grindstone this year (Albuquerque Business First – 3/9/17)

Group on the long road to grow city’s creative sector (Albuquerque Business First – 3/8/17)

Downtown Albuquerque Launches Arts & Culture District (KRQE-13 News – 1/20/17)

Downtown Arts and Cultural District designation approved by city (Albuquerque Business First – 2/18/16)

Plan for Downtown Arts and Cultural District gets new life (Albuquerque Business First – 10/30/15)

Reports, Data, and Presentations 

NOTE: these items are provided as references only, the district is not an author nor do we endorse any specific findings or recommendations listed within each report or data source

Creative Workforce State Profiles 2017 – data and reporting compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts and Bureau of Economic Analysis

NM Arts & Cultural District Annual Report 2016 (.PDF) – data and reporting compiled via the New Mexico MainStreet program and delivered to the NM Arts Commission (2017)

Building on the Past, Facing the Future: Renewing the Creative Economy of New Mexico (.PDF) – data and reporting compiled by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (2014)