As part of the Buy Into It! effort to support the local economy, Santa Fe, New
Mexico, the state’s art commission and economic development divisions have
launched a pilot programme to help owners showcase their vacant property by
installing art displays to direct foot traffic to the potential space for lease.
Building on similar programmes already developed in Seattle and San
Francisco, the pilot programme is a creative way to address vacancies, add to the
tourism experience, while at the same time, provide opportunities for local artists.

“This is truly a great programme for everyone involved,” said Simon Brackley
from the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. “While it enhances properties in the
downtown area, it will redirect foot traffic for merchants, and potentially bring
retail clients to property owners.”

Beginning in Seattle in 2010, the programme is now part of a national wave of
community driven collaborations between business and artists to activate empty
spaces and renew economic activity in neighbourhoods.

Seattle is now running its second edition which will continue until January
2012. “This innovative programme is a great collaboration between our business
and art communities,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “Storefronts Seattle shines a
spotlight on Seattle’s creative sector, brings new life to empty storefronts and
enlivens our neighbourhood business districts.”

In the Santa Fe pilot, property owners will be asked to donate their space for
the 90 day temporary installation – from June until September and in return, have their property showcased, linked and marketed through the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission’s website, facebook and media contacts. Artists will be paid a US$500 stipend for the cost of the installation and will also be showcased in the same manner.

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