Dear ArtsCrawlers,

ArtsCrawl: Let’s Have a Ball! on December 8 will be gallupARTS’ final ArtsCrawl event. In July, gallupARTS announced its strategic decision to make the 2018 season its last producing ArtsCrawl. After five years with gallupARTS at the helm, ArtsCrawl is well-established and perfectly primed for pass-off to new entity to carry it forward.

Since 2013, gallupARTS has nurtured ArtsCrawl from its infancy to the fully grown, exceptionally impactful event it is now. gallupARTS has enthusiastically dedicated significant time and resources to increasing the structure and organization of the event so that it can maximize its potential. 

As a result of gallupARTS’ efforts, ArtsCrawl has achieved several very important goals: making a major economic contribution, strengthening the region’s creative ecosystem, creating arts engagement opportunities for a diverse audience, and building community and contributing to a higher quality of life for Gallupians.

With an average attendance of 1,100 people per event, ArtsCrawl will generate an estimated $140,000 this year for the local economy. That’s $7,000 per hour of event-related spending, which translates into more than a customer per minute for some downtown businesses! Some downtown businesses have reported doing 30 – 40% better (in terms of sales) on ArtsCrawl Saturdays than non-ArtsCrawl Saturdays, having record sales during ArtsCrawl events, and practically selling out of merchandise during ArtsCrawl.

Moreover, gallupARTS leverages ArtsCrawl to deliver on its mission to foster Gallup’s creative economy. The event is one of the few paying gigs in town for artists, musicians and performers—gallupARTS collaborates with an average of 37 creative partners per event. ArtsCrawl is also the area’s only free vending opportunity for artists and is the setting for monthly art gallery openings. At ArtsCrawl, everyone from kids to older adults can enjoy seeing, making and hearing art. The event serves up an average of 15 different arts-based activities each month, including live music, dance and theater performances, artist demonstrations, artist meet-and-greets, and art-making workshops.

Above all, gallupARTS views ArtsCrawl’s highest purpose as helping downtown regain its rightful place as the heart of our community. Over sixty percent of event attendees report that attending ArtsCrawl has improved their image of downtown, noting that ArtsCrawl makes downtown feel more welcoming and vibrant. As one Crawler put it, “Before ArtsCrawl, my family didn’t venture downtown to look at the shops or check anything out because it didn’t seem family-friendly.” Another says, “Growing up around the Gallup area, I always thought only bad things downtown. But seeing the ArtsCrawl—the families getting together, kids running around and everyone coming together and just enjoying the entertainment—it is a different story.”

The August issue of New Mexico Magazine, with subscribers nationwide, includes a rave review of ArtsCrawl in its article entitled Gallup Revival: “by the time [ArtsCrawl] kicks into gear, downtown Gallup has blossomed into a community party…Navajo, Zuni, Anglo and Hispanic participants mix together…There are belly dancers, a girl rap group, and a pile of giant Jenga pieces for kids to practice their architectural skills….Smiling, applauding, and getting along with one another, they craft a community of love.” ArtsCrawl is truly a jewel in Gallup’s crown; it’s art in all of its definitions, and it’s the people that make it happen.

So, gallupARTS would like to first and foremost thank YOU—the community—for making ArtsCrawl the incredible success that it is.

gallupARTS would also like to share its deep appreciation to its partners, collaborators and supporters for their contributions over the last five years. Thank you very much to:

– The Gallup Business Improvement District for funding the event;

– The City of Gallup and its Public Works, Streets, Fire, Parks and Police departments for the significant amount of technical and logistical support they lend to the event;

– All of the previous ArtsCrawl Coordinators, including Amy Coats, Dee Santillanes, Nitasha Manning, and Aaron Mingus, who each brought vision and energy to the event, carrying it forward with few resources and big ideas;

Millennium Media, the Gallup Journey, KGLP and Suzanne Hammons for their generous in-kind marketing donations;

– Our regular creative collaborators—including BK Taiko, Foundations of Freedom, Gallup Repertory Theater, Kevin Schemp, Lynette Curley, Lynn Huenemann, the Octavia Fellin Public Library, Padma Komaravolu, and Steve Marti—to all of the amazing artists, musicians, performers, and bands that have contributed their talents to ArtsCrawl, and to all of the community organizations, schools, and teachers who have made ArtsCrawl extra special;

– Our extremely dedicated and hard working current Ambassador corps—Alicia Palacios, Jimmy Thomas, Tera Selleck, Tasha Nez—and to our former Ambassadors Jonathan Yazzie, Maya Ross and Nicole Pete;

– Our terrific volunteers: Anne Price, April Forman, Eangielene Leslie, Shannon Gurley O’Donnell, Scarlett Selleck, the Miyamura High Key Club and the Gallup High Cheer Squad; and

– All of the downtown businesses who have gone above and beyond to enhance ArtsCrawl over the last five years: Bill Malone Trading, Camille’s Sidewalk Café, City Electric, Coal Street Pub, Crashing Thunder Gallery, Downtown Flea Mart, El Morro Theatre, Free Spirit Gallery, Gallup Downtown Conference Center, Gallup Service Mart, Jerry’s Café, La Montanita Co-op, LOOM Gallery, Nizhoni Music Therapy, One80 Productions, opo gallery, Quintana’s Music & Indian Jewelry, Sammy C’s Rockin’ Sports Pub & Grille, Silver Stallion, Southwest Indian Foundation, The Consignment Boutique, Weaving in Beauty, and Yazzie’s Indian Art.

gallupARTS’ commitment to ArtsCrawl has been unwavering. Our organization strongly believes Gallup deserves a regular event where people and families can come together, experience art, enjoy each other’s company, and take pride in their community. gallupARTS is looking forward to continuing its commitment to ArtsCrawl by taking on more fully its role as an art gallery and downtown business participant in the event and to celebrating ArtsCrawl’s continued achievements. 

gallupARTS’ dedication and contribution to downtown Gallup and the broader community will continue to grow through its ongoing myriad programs and projects and many new and exciting ones. This year, gallupARTS is on track to serving 26,000 McKinley County residents and 1,500 professional and student artists through 13 different art-based community programs. gallupARTS received and executed eight grant awards totaling $207,400 in the last year, including three major federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the next year, gallupARTS will be applying for over $150K in state and national grants to bring unparalleled arts experiences and resources to the community.

Thank you, Gallup and the surrounding area, once more for an incredible 5 years of ArtsCrawl! Help us celebrate at ArtsCrawl: Let’s Have a Ball on Saturday, December 8 from 7 – 9pm with live music, a radio production of A Christmas Carol by Gallup Repertory Theater, ballet and belly dance performances by FOF, and a dance party!

With sincere appreciation,

Rose Eason

Executive Director, gallupARTS