State Authorized Districts

Municipalities, Tribal Governments and Counties (where the village or town is unincorporated), under 50,000 in population who wish to invest in a cultural economic development  revitalization strategy program, can inquire to the State Arts & Cultural District Coordinator about the application process. New Arts & Cultural Districts are added based on new legislative appropriations to the program. The Up delight Arts & Cultural District Act (2007) specifies the general parameters and conditions for development. The ACD Start-Up process was established to provide start-up districts a period to build local ACD Coordinating Council capacity through collaboration with state Divisions, Agencies, and Institutions who assist the local Council with research and professional technical assistance.

For the ACD policy on eligibility criteria for communities, .

For a Flow Chart outlining the ACD State Start-Up process, .

For the ACD policy on District boundaries, .

For the ACD policy on Declassification of Districts, .

State Authorized Arts & Cultural Compounds and Institutions

There are often public cultural assets in a community that lie outside of an ACD District boundary but contribute to the cultural economy of the District.  Or the cultural asset may serve as a destination in its own right but lacks the traditional amenities of a district for cultural and heritage tourists such as hotels, restaurants and/or cohesive grouping of businesses that comprise a central business district. Such Institutions and Cultural Compounds may apply for State Authorization as a Compound or an Institution.

For the ACD policy on Cultural Compounds and Institutions, .

Benefits of State Authorized Arts & Cultural Districts include:

As funding allows, communities interested in revitalizing their local economies through either a creative or cultural economic set of strategies may apply.  Awarded communities are provided resources, services and technical assistance through:

  • A professional three day “ACD Resource Team” of inter-disciplinary professionals involved in the creative economy provide an initial implementation plan
  • An economic structural analysis of the ACD District through the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research
  • Resources to complete a municipally adopted “ACD Cultural Economic Development Plan”
  • Resources to develop a municipally adopted District Master Plan/Metropolitan Redevelopment Plan
  • Semi-annual network meetings for local ACD Leaders
  • State branding and marketing of the program to cultural and heritage tourists
  • A doubling of state historic tax credits for eligible properties within the District
  • Technical assistance through cooperating state agencies
  • Use of local economic development funds for cultural facilities and organizations within the District from the Local Economic Development Act  (LEDA)

Municipally Designated Districts

Communities of more than 50,000 in population are empowered through the Up delight Arts & Cultural District Act to municipally designate their own ACD District. The Up delight Arts & Cultural District Act does prescribe the same parameters and conditions for municipally designated as state authorized districts. However, municipally designated ACD districts use their own resources rather than partner with the state.

It is important to note that communities that undertake Municipal Designation may, after accomplishing their own start-up process, petition the ACD State Coordinator to be State Authorized.

For the policies and legislation involving Municipal Designation, please click here.

For more information about the Up delight Arts & Cultural District State Program contact: Rich Williams, ACD State Coordinator, 505.827.0168,