City Continues Development of Creative Tourism Initiative

Santa Fe, NM, February 12, 2010 --( The City of Santa Fe is continuing to work with artists and arts businesses to further develop the organization and promotion of workshops that allow visitors to experience Santa Fe in a hands-on fashion. Collaborations with the hospitality industry are also being explored. This initiative was created as a result of the City of Santa Fe’s 2005 appointment to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and builds upon the successful 2008 International Conference on Creative Tourism held in Santa Fe.

Forty-one artists attended a six-hour training on the development and marketing of creative experience workshops for tourists held January 16 and 30 at the College of Santa Fe campus. This training was offered as another step in the development of the City’s Creative Tourism Initiative.

Organized by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, with Bette Bradbury of WESST, the purpose of the training was to assist northern New Mexico artists interested in the business of offering creative tourism workshops. WESST is a statewide non-profit economic development organization that provides training, technical assistance and loan funds to entrepreneurs. Bradbury educated artists on the organization and marketing of hands-on workshops with the assistance of local artist Nancy Judd. Creative Tourism is travel directed toward an engaged and authentic experience, with participative learning in the arts, heritage or special character of a place.

“I am very optimistic that three factors are coming together to benefit our economy. We have a rich cultural heritage that draws travelers, travel trends indicate increased interest in hands-on experiences and connections to the authenticity of a location, and our local artists and arts institutions are providing this service as a way to generate income,” states Councilor Rebecca Wurzburger. “I was impressed by the artists who attended the training and look forward to seeing new workshops listed on the website.”

Ed Pulsifer, Vice President of Marketing for Heritage Hotels, attended the opening of the second session of the training to present ideas for collaboration between artists and the Heritage Hotel properties in Santa Fe. He said of the Creative Tourism Initiative, “Santa Fe is one of the most historical authentic cultural destinations in the world, and this organization is helping tourists experience this with a ‘hands on’ approach. We now have the ability to partner with Santa Fe Creative Tourism and local artisans to develop packages, workshops, seminars and an experience that is thousands of years in the making.”

Artists who attended the training found the information to be very helpful. “Tourists, businesses, artists and Santa Fe, everybody wins with the hands-on experience. This is what I've learned during two years of offering one-on-one print experiences in my Canyon Road gallery... My last guest, upon returning home has requested a whole week of printing with me this summer,” says artist Jennie Cooley, who participated in the training. Artists James R. and Susan Wrona Gall commented that “This workshop provided nonstop information and valuable resources.”

WESST’s Bradbury and Judd are now using the materials developed for the training to create a workshop planning template to be placed on the website. This will be a resource listing items that should be considered by people preparing and promoting Creative Tourism workshops.

The City’s marketing of Creative Tourism is centered on the website Over the six-month period of July1 to December 31, 2009, the listings on the website grew from 50 to 90. These listings are free to local area businesses that offer a hands-on workshop, class or experience that immerses the participant in the creative process.

The website is actively marketed through a blog, a newsletter and other websites. This includes marketing efforts by the businesses listed on the website, creating an even larger reach. In addition, the City is working to maintain its position as a leader in the growing Creative Tourism sector by using contacts made through various international networks.


The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission (SFAC), an agency within the municipal government of the City of Santa Fe, provides leadership by and for City government in supporting arts and cultural affairs. The SFAC also recommends programs and policies that develop, sustain and promote artistic excellence in the community. For more information contact the SFAC at 505-955-6707, email, or by fax 505-955-6671.
City of Santa Fe Arts Commission
Brent Hanifl