Downtown Albuquerque Arts & Cultural District
Albuquerque is unique among Historic Route 66 cities in that it is the only location in the US where old and new alignments of the classic road intersect. The historic flavor of those days remains, and there has been a concerted effort to preserve and restore the artistic neon signs that once lit the way through town, including new LED Neon Lighting installed along the Central Avenue (Route 66) light poles in the heart of downtown from 1st through 8th Street.
Albuquerque is New Mexico’s largest city and a gathering place of diverse arts and cultural experiences including arts galleries, significant public art, and numerous performance venues. Albuquerque is home to many events including Mariachi Spectacular, Downtown Summerfest, and other innovative activities that bring people downtown each year. The district includes the historic KiMo Theatre, Albuquerque Convention Center, and a wealth of live music venues. A strong contemporary art presence is at the forefront of Downtown Albuquerque’s Arts & Cultural District. There are a variety of galleries including 516 ARTS an independent, nonprofit contemporary arts organization, Richard Levy Gallery and Central Features Contemporary Art.
The Sanitary Tortilla Factory - a new visual art center includes art studios and gallery space.
Downtown Albuquerque is home to a proliferation of adventurous contemporary murals by local, national and international artists. Located in both prominent locations on and near Central Avenue as well as some of the back alleys, murals created by accomplished professional artists with youth apprentices bring the streets of Downtown alive. The district is a leader in the creative economy providing numerous cultural experiences, including public art and historic building walking tours; and a wealth of food selections, microbreweries and distilleries that are sure to fuel cultural visitors.
The Downtown Albuquerque Arts & Creative District under DowntownAbq MainStreet partners with several organizations to implement three key creative economy projects - the Downtown Growers’ Market, Pop-Up Retail events and tART temporary art installations.
The Downtown Growers’ Market is home to over 45 New Mexican growers offering the highest quality produce available in Albuquerque, along with a wide array of talented local artists and a mix of prepared food artisans. The weekly Growers’ Market features a live band, community nonprofit booths, a bike and valet service, and remains a huge draw for the downtown district.
tART: brings temporary art to underused and unexpected sites throughout the downtown area. The project provides year-round support for artists, existing art programs and events that encourages regular arts activity and visitors.
The Pop-Up Retail Initiative hosts pop-up shops to local artists, crafters, businesses, and entrepreneurs in previously vacant storefronts. The spaces are activated with energy, art, and people, as venues allow entrepreneurs to test market exciting ideas, products, or br
ands, while ensuring a unique shopping experience.
Through directed placemaking initiatives, Downtown Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza has become a thriving gathering spot. The program Civic Plaza Presents, includes Movies on the Plaza, ABQ Food Fridays, children’s events and programming, fun runs and marathons, and food truck events, that make downtown Albuquerque the place to experience arts and culture.
Learn more about Downtown Albuquerque: