Thursday, May 07, 2009


Pasatiempo, the arts and entertainment mag for The New Mexican, is one of eight recipients of the 2009 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

I'll take a tiny bit of the credit for that. Terrell's Tuneup, my weekly music column has run in Pasa almost every Friday for more than 20 years. (I know the governor reads my music column sometimes.)

Here's what the Department of Cultural Affairs had to say about us:

Pasatiempo, Santa Fe’s ubiquitous arts and entertainment weekly magazine, has been covering northern New Mexico’s active and high impact arts industry for nearly three decades.

Pasatiempo is published by the Santa Fe New Mexican, the city’s locally owned, independent daily newspaper since 1849. The New Mexican has supported Santa Fe’s many arts organizations and cultural events from its very beginnings, most especially under publisher Robert McKinney and now through the leadership of his daughter, publisher Robin Martin.

Pasatiempo is locally produced and uses no syndication or wire services for its editorial content which each week includes a mix of stories and reviews for music, dance, theater, books, films, architecture, restaurants, galleries and museum exhibitions.

“Pasatiempo editor Kristina Melcher, associate editor Robert Nott, art director Marcella Sandoval, and a staff of dedicated and skilled writers, take on, every week, a dizzying array of articles,” said Richard Gaddes, the recently retired director of the Santa Fe Opera, in his letter supporting the nomination. “It has been noted that an average issue of Pasatiempo has the same amount of editorial material as does a Sunday New York Times Arts and Leisure section.”

Not only does Pasatiempo cover arts events with feature stories and reviews, it also serves as an advocate and important watchdog, making sure that organizations live up to the promises they make. The magazine’s writers and editors are not afraid to point out when promises are not met, and the result is a healthier arts industry and a more appreciative audience.

“Santa Fe’s vibrant arts scene has achieved international prominence, but it’s impossible to imagine how that level of recognition could have occurred without the steadfast support for the arts demonstrated at the local level by Pasatiempo, its astute and hardworking reporters and editors, and the New Mexican’s enlightened and committed management,” said Jon Bowman, the executive director of the Santa Fe Film Festival, in his nomination letter.

“Every other week, another newspaper folds,” Bowman said. “Against such a backdrop, where the very survival of newspapers appears in doubt, the thoughtful and nurturing coverage, as well as dedication toward the arts exhibited by Pasatiempo, becomes all the more singular – even heroic and inspiring.”

Gee, nice words from Bowman even.

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