Governor Bill Richardson and Robert Redford Announce “Sundance in New Mexico”

Date May 13, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Author Editor

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Performing Arts

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Unique collaboration will offer world class programs for local Native American and Hispanic Filmmakers

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today announced a new collaboration between Robert Redford and the State of New Mexico that is currently referred to as “Sundance in New Mexico.”  The initiative will partner with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the New Mexico Film Office to create and expand upon training programs in film, arts, and the environment.  These programs will be designed specifically for New Mexico’s Native American and Hispanic filmmakers. The Governor was joined by Mr. Redford at a news conference today at the State Capitol in Santa Fe.

“This marks a new level of commitment on the part of Bob Redford and my administration in supporting the underrepresented voices in our culture, to job creation through the arts, and to the power of partnerships built on mutual goals and aspirations,” said Governor Richardson.  “The Redford and Sundance names are held in high esteem around the globe, and are synonymous in most people’s minds with innovation in the arts, advocacy of the environment, and public policy reflecting both.  This is a tremendous opportunity for New Mexico’s Native American and Hispanic filmmakers, and for the state as a whole.”

My love of New Mexico goes back many, many years,” said Robert Redford. “My commitment to this state began with The Milagro Beanfield War.”

Sundance in New Mexico will be based at historic Los Luceros in Northern New Mexico, a cultural treasure located along the Rio Grande that is owned and operated by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.  In use as early as 1350 by the Tewa people of Pfioge Pueblo, Los Luceros ultimately was pivotal in the development of commerce and government in New Mexico.

“We are pleased that this collaboration will allow the Department to fulfill its dual mission of protecting the state’s cultural heritage, while providing educational programs that will benefit the people of New Mexico,” said Stuart Ashman, Secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Robert Redford has a long history with New Mexico, dating back to the 1988 movie The Milagro Beanfield War.  The actor-filmmaker is also well known for his environmental activism.

Mr. Redford founded the Sundance Institute in 1981, a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre.  It is internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists.  Sundance – the place – in the mountains of Utah, also reflects Mr. Redford’s lifetime commitment of bringing together the arts and the environment.

“During these tough economic times, it is imperative to create partnerships which allow film and arts initiatives to not just survive, but to flourish,” said Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. “This opportunity is an honor and a gift to the State of New Mexico.”

The costs for Sundance in New Mexico will be covered with existing appropriations for the operation of Los Luceros.

In his remarks, Governor Richardson recognized New Mexico Speaker of the House Ben Lujan for his leadership and ongoing dedication and support of Hispanic and Native American filmmakers in New Mexico.

For more information on Sundance in New Mexico contact Kathleen Broyles - (505) 476-5604 or email loslucerosnm@gmail.com.

Photos provided by the State of New Mexico.

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