FLOWERS by Amanda Dannáe Romero

The City of Albuquerque’s Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) has selected four local artists for a year-long paid artist residency. In partnership with Artists At Work, a workforce resiliency program for artistic civic engagement, and THE OFFICE, a performing arts,  film curation and production company, Albuquerque will serve as a cultural hub for the groups. 

The four artists selected were: Dale Ray Deforest, J P 제피, Amanda Dannáe Romero and Billy Joe Miller. According to a Department of Arts and Culture press release, “Each artist selected will receive a living wage salary of $32,500 (using the MIT Living Wage Calculator for their respective region as a guide), plus healthcare benefits.” 

“ As many artists can attest to, it is a difficult task to be able to fully allocate our energy to the many areas of life that we dedicate ourselves to. Artists often have to maintain our respective crafts while finding monetary support through other avenues such as teaching and working across various disciplines. The fact that this residency financially supports us to not only work with a local social impact initiative but to continue our current practice, is imperative,” said Romero, who is not only a working artist and musician but also a performer, curator, gallery director, writer and community organizer.

The artists were selected out of a pool of 74 applicants. “Seventy-four applications were received by the City and an ad-hoc committee of local artists, City staff, and local organizational partners scored applicants based on a unique rubric then met to discuss top candidates,” the press release stated. 

According to city arts and culture marketing manager, Tanya Lenti, the “unique” rubric was created by DAC staff members, adapting the application into two categories for the review committee. 

“Information from the application that could be assessed with yes or no scoring, as in, ‘yes, the information requested was provided in the application’ or ‘no, the information requested was not provided in the application,’” Lenti said. Information from application responses was also scored on a scale of 1-5 for their completeness. 

“Each application was thoroughly reviewed, including all additionally submitted materials, and each question was scored and then the ad hoc committee of a diverse group of local artists, organization representatives and city staff members met to discuss applications and recommend four finalists,” Lenti said.