Santa Fe Pro Musica names new executive director

Santa Fe Pro Musica announced on Jan. 20 that Mary G. Madigan will step into the position of executive director, effective Feb. 17. She was offered the appointment after a nationwide search. Madigan is currently the director of Composers Now in New York City, a nonprofit that supports living composers, and she’ll be relocating to Santa Fe to start her new leadership role. “The founders, board, and staff of Santa Fe Pro Musica greeted me with their authentic joy and deep commitment to the organization,” Madigan says. “We will be considering what it means to be a classical music organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2020 and the future.”

Madigan has an extensive background as an administrator for music organizations and festivals. She was director of programs for the nonprofit Meet the Composer; promotion manager for the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes from 2001 to 2008; and director of special programs at the Mannes School of Music at the New School in New York from 1999 to 2001.

Madigan succeeds Elizabeth Harcombe, who left the position in December after serving for four years. In April, Pro Musica plans to announce a change to its artistic leadership as well, naming a successor to composer Thomas O’Connor, Pro Musica’s co-founder and artistic director. — Michael Abatemarco

Experienced arts administrator takes helm at New Mexico Arts

Michelle Laflamme-Childs has been appointed as the new executive director of New Mexico Arts, the state art agency that is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. She started the position on Jan. 28.

Laflamme-Childs has more than 25 years of experience in senior management and in arts administration and development, serving most recently as program director for the 1% for Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts. Before joining DCA, she worked in administration, marketing, and then as deputy director of the Santa Fe Art Institute. Laflamme-Childs has overseen and served on art juries and selection committees in and out of New Mexico, and she was recently elected to Americans for the Arts’ national advisory council.

“I’m honored to be appointed as the executive director of New Mexico Arts,” Laflamme-Childs said in a news release. “I look forward to using the experience I’ve garnered to further engage artists, galleries, nonprofits, and our many program partners. I’m passionate about working in our many diverse communities and creating access to the arts for all New Mexicans.” — Jennifer Levin

Santa Fe artist included in Los Angeles billboard project

Photographer Ellen Jantzen will see her photomontage To Have and Have Not rise above West Hollywood, California, as part of The Billboard Creative (, an annual public art project now in its sixth year. Jantzen is one of 34 artists chosen from an international pool of submissions, selected via a blind jury process. To Have and Have Not is part of her 2015 series Unity of Time and Place and shows a fire burning in a leafless wood. The image of a bonfire on her parents’ property in rural Missouri was taken shortly after her father’s death. A circle appears in the middle of the image, which Jantzen says represents unity. The Billboard Creative started in 2012 as a way to showcase the work of underexposed artists and turn billboard advertising into exhibitions accessible to everyone in Los Angeles. Jantzen’s is located on Fairfax Avenue, between Romaine Street and Willoughby Avenue. The billboards are on display through the end of the month. — J.L.

Local groups earn national funding

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded eight Art Works grants to Santa Fe arts and culture organizations for special projects and public programming that rise to the highest level of excellence and integrate the arts into the community. In this first round of 2020 grants, the NEA has approved $27.3 million for arts projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and

Puerto Rico.

The Lensic Performing Arts Center received $25,000 to support Lensic Hocus Focus, an arts education program for young people with autism and special needs. The organization has previously brought magician and special educator Kevin Spencer into Santa Fe classrooms, where he uses tricks and showmanship to teach social, cognitive, and motor skills. In 2020 Spencer will perform a two-week residency during which he will work with children, lead professional development sessions with teachers and school therapists, and perform a sensory-friendly magic show at the Lensic on March 28.

The Santa Fe Film Institute received $15,000 in support of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. This is the first time the Santa Fe Film Institute has received NEA funding, which will be used for artist travel and honoraria, as well as filmmaker awards. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival will produce its 12th film festival in 2020.

Six other Santa Fe organizations received NEA Art Works grants.

▼ National Dance Institute/NDI New Mexico, $10,000 to support staff salaries for a pre-professional dance program

▼ Parallel Studios Inc./Currents New Media, $20,000 to support free and low-cost community engagement programs during the Currents New Media Festival

▼ Santa Fe Art Institute, $35,000 to support artist residency programs

▼ Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, $35,000 to support artist fees for the annual festival

▼ Santa Fe Desert Chorale, $20,000 to support a choral music festival

▼ Santa Fe Opera, $80,000 to support the 2020 world premiere of M. Butterfly by composer Huang Ruo and librettist David Henry Hwang

— J.L.

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