"Recent research indicates that New Mexico hasn’t reaped the full economic benefits of its substantial arts community. A new grant may offer some help in that regard."- Albuquerque Journal (1/13/2015)
In January 2015, The Loan Fund received a $200,000 joint seed investment (grant) from the Kresge and Surdna Foundations to develop a two-year pilot program in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, now known as CreativeFund. The program offers services specifically designed for creative entrepreneurs, including affordable microloans, workshops, and one-on-one consulting services.
Community need for the CreativeFund
New Mexico is both defined and dependent on its creative economy, which has an employment base equal to the state's construction industry and 50% larger than the state's manufacturing industry.
Within the creative economy:
- There are over 6,000 independent visual artists, writers, and performers across New Mexico, accounting for 1% of the state's workforce-- a higher concentration than all but three other states.
- Most independent artists are low-income, with an average income of $17,513.
- Many arts and creative entrepreneurs are unable to access credit through banks and credit unions, or even our normal lending guidelines.
We built CreativeFund to help creatives succeed:
- Providing affordable adaptive credit, personalized one-on-one consulting services, and targeted workshops.
- Partnering with arts organizations in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas that not only serve as referral sources but can also provide services to help the creative entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses.
Through the first 24 months of the program, over 200 arts and cultural entrepreneurs in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe have received services through the CreativeFund. Additionally, creative entrepreneurs in both the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas have received loans to grow their businesses.
Nancy Zastudil, gallery owner, Albuquerque Gary Vigil, musician, Santa Fe Bryce Green, furniture maker, Albuquerque
Next steps for the CreativeFund
CreativeFund's seed investment is designated for the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. Going forward, The Loan Fund intends to turn CreativeFund into a statewide program to assist arts and cultural entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico, including Native entrepreneurs.
CreativeFund 2017-2018 projected services and impact:
How YOU can help grow the CreativeFund
Our goal is to raise at least $500,000 in grants and contributions to fund CreativeFund for two years as a statewide program to help build New Mexico's creative economy.
If you believe in helping underserved, mostly low-income artistic and cultural entrepreneurs to grow the creative economy, we ask that you kindly consider providing your support (any level would be greatly appreciated):