CONTACT: Rose Eason, Executive Director, gallupARTS 8.24.18  


gallupARTS Announces an ArtsCrawl Update

gallupARTS would like to share an important ArtsCrawl update.

It’s an exciting time in ArtsCrawl’s history. This summer’s three ArtsCrawl events have been the largest and most successful ever, and gallupARTS predicts a strong finish to the 2018 season. Since 2013, gallupARTS has nurtured ArtsCrawl from its infancy to the fully grown, exceptionally successful event it is now. gallupARTS has enthusiastically dedicated an enormous amount of 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 now has an average attendance of 1,100 people per event (seeing an over 40% increase in attendance in the last two years). In 2017, gallupARTS surveyed ArtsCrawl’s economic impact and an extremely conservative estimate of how much money ArtsCrawl generates for the local economy is $80,000 annually. That’s $4,000 per hour of event-related audience spending which translates into more than a customer per minute for some downtown businesses. Some downtown businesses have reported to gallupARTS 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. $80,000 per year in revenue is also four times the cost of the event, making ArtsCrawl a very good return on investment.

Moreover, gallupARTS leverages ArtsCrawl to deliver on its mission to strengthen the region’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.

Above all, gallupARTS views ArtsCrawl’s purpose and highest and best use as improving the public’s perception of downtown. Seventy percent (70%) of event attendees report that attending ArtsCrawl has had a positive impact on their impression of downtown, noting that ArtsCrawl makes downtown feel more welcoming, family-friendly, and vibrant. ArtsCrawl encourages the community to experience downtown in a new light, discover new businesses or re-discover old ones, and to take pride in and re-invest in the community.

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, post topics to a poetry-on-demand writer, press their hands into [Steve] Marti’s clay, and check out a poetry slam led by Navajo standout Rowie Shebala. 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.

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. As gallupARTS announced last month to the City of Gallup and the Gallup Business Improvement District (BID), which sponsors the event, the 2018 season will be gallupARTS’ last season producing ArtsCrawl.

“I’m very proud to be part of the leadership that has brought ArtsCrawl to the community and downtown to such wonderful acclaim and has the wisdom and generosity to pass on the event at the height of its success,” says ArtsCrawl Coordinator and gallupARTS Executive Director Rose Eason. “We’ve established a rich legacy and solid foundation for ArtsCrawl’s continued growth and success.”

This was a difficult decision. gallupARTS’ commitment to the event has been unwavering. The 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. In 2017, gallupARTS served over 26,000 McKinley County residents and over 900 artists through 14 different art-based community programs. This year, it’s on track to accomplishing even more, executing three major federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over 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.

The City, the BID and the Gallup MainStreet Arts & Cultural District are involved in active discussions about the future of the Gallup ArtsCrawl. With four more ArtsCrawls ahead to close out the 2018 season, and with the upcoming 2019 ArtsCrawl season planning period scheduled for January and February, the event is solidly poised for a smooth transition to its next managing organization and coordinator.