Grow­ing plans: Lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions look to the fu­ture

Pasatiempo - - PASA REVIEWS -

The five-year-old New Mex­ico School for the Arts plans to sub­stan­tially in­crease its en­roll­ment af­ter it moves to new digs at 500 Mon­tezuma Ave. That ad­dress holds the 88,000-square-foot San­busco Mar­ket Cen­ter, which the school’s non­profit part­ner, NMSA-Art In­sti­tute, re­cently pur­chased for $7.3 mil­lion. NMSA-Art In­sti­tute Board Chair­man Ned Ben­nett (owner of the Zane Ben­nett Gallery with his wife, Sandy Zane) said, “The ac­qui­si­tion of the San­busco com­plex is the cul­mi­na­tion of years of search­ing for a suit­able lo­ca­tion for a home for NMSA.” The school’s theater depart­ment chair­man, Joey Chavez, added that the San­busco spa­ces — which in­clude Cost Plus World Mar­ket; the empty Bor­ders book­store space; and more than a dozen mer­chants and restau­rants — will pro­vide the school with a per­for­mance fa­cil­ity and ex­hi­bi­tion stu­dios, as well as class­rooms.

NMSA opened in 2010 with an en­roll­ment of 138. It now serves 215 teenage stu­dents from nearly 40 New Mex­ico com­mu­ni­ties, and the school plans to grow to serve 300. A state­ment from NMSA said the NMSA-Art In­sti­tute “has a lot of plan­ning, per­mit­ting pro­ce­dures and fundrais­ing to com­plete be­fore San­busco can be con­verted into a high school cam­pus, and at this time we do not have a pre­cise sched­ule of when the Art In­sti­tute will trans­fer own­er­ship to New Mex­ico School for the Arts.” The or­ga­ni­za­tion expects to launch a fundrais­ing cam­paign in early 2016. A new per­form­ing arts/lec­ture hall is next on St. John’s Col­lege’s wish list. The build­ing will prob­a­bly be sited against the hill adjacent to the Faith and John Gaw Meem Li­brary, but the tim­ing of the con­struc­tion project is un­known. For now, the col­lege is fo­cused on en­dow­ment. “We did a mini-cam­paign that ended in June,” said Vic­to­ria Mora, se­nior vice pres­i­dent for de­vel­op­ment and alumni re­la­tions. “We raised $32.5 mil­lion on a $20 mil­lion goal. It was a test, in a way, be­cause in the next sev­eral years, the whole col­lege — the An­napo­lis and Santa Fe cam­puses — will be em­bark­ing on a very large, com­pre­hen­sive cam­paign.

“The re­cent cam­paign in Santa Fe, which was to cel­e­brate our 50th an­niver­sary, was a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to test whether peo­ple, af­ter 2008, were ready to start open­ing up and giv­ing. We pre­sented it as an op­por­tu­nity to build en­dow­ment. Of the $32.5 mil­lion, a lit­tle over $22 mil­lion went to­ward that. And I think we’re bet­ter than $20 mil­lion in cash al­ready. Some of it was pledges, but a good deal of it came in cash.” Mora said the funds came pri­mar­ily from alumni of St. John’s Santa Fe, but other donors were friends of the col­lege and key alums from the An­napo­lis cam­pus.

En­dow­ment build­ing will be a key ob­jec­tive of the larger cam­paign to come. En­roll­ment saw “a small de­cline” dur­ing the global fi­nan­cial down­turn; two im­por­tant goals to­day are in­creas­ing the school’s vis­i­bil­ity and ac­cess to fi­nan­cial aid “so that any­body who really wants to be here can come,” Mora said. She added that St. John’s is also pri­or­i­tiz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­tern­ships, “so that when stu­dents do come, they also are ex­plor­ing ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties even as they’re do­ing this in­cred­i­bly won­der­ful, pure form of a lib­eral-arts ed­u­ca­tion.”

The Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter has nowhere to build ad­di­tions, but that doesn’t mean cap­i­tal cam­paigns are un­nec­es­sary. “We are be­gin­ning to ex­plore a cam­paign that will be for our ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams and all of our com­mu­nity pro­grams, but it will also be about pre­serv­ing the build­ing,” said gen­eral man­ager Bob Martin. The Len­sic, a his­toric land­mark, will be eighty-five years old next year. The build­ing is in good shape since a com­pre­hen­sive, $8 mil­lion re­fur­bish­ing pro­gram car­ried out in 2000 and 2001, but it still needs a lot of at­ten­tion.

“We usu­ally have to put in over $100,000 ev­ery year for im­prove­ments and new tech­nol­ogy,” Martin said. “It’s about keep­ing it state of the art and in great shape. In our op­er­at­ing bud­get ev­ery year, a big chunk is for day-to-day oper­a­tions, and that’s ev­ery­thing from util­i­ties to in­sur­ance to up­keep and new equip­ment. Tech­nol­ogy is chang­ing so fast, and when a group comes in, we have to be able to ac­com­mo­date the light plot they need to put in or what the sound en­gi­neer wants. Also, the HD sys­tem that we use for The Met: Live in HD has to be up­graded.

“For us, more than dreams of ex­pan­sion, our cap­i­tal needs will be fo­cused on the pro­gram­ming we do, hav­ing 10,000 kids com­ing to see the theater, our in­tern­ship pro­gram, and just main­tain­ing the space. We get some sup­port from the city, the [Santa Fe] Arts Com­mis­sion. We will look for any grants that may be avail­able, but it really will de­pend on in­di­vid­u­als in the com­mu­nity who feel that the Len­sic is im­por­tant enough to main­tain.”

Martin said the cap­i­tal cam­paign will be for about $6 mil­lion, to be raised over five years. — P.W.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.