Udall meeting
(l. to r.): AIBA students Alan Ashley, Georgeanna Leekity, Sen. Tom Udall, Daisha Holyan, Staff Advisor April Coonsis and Faculty Advisor Al Henderson.
Credit: UNM-Gallup

New Mexico Senator Tom Udall invited members of the UNM-Gallup American Indian Business Association (AIBA) to a recent Town Hall meeting to help introduce the new CREATE Act, which would benefit local artists an business owners.

The Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act aims to help New Mexican artists and others working in cultural education and tourism gain access to resources and gain support for their local businesses.

“It was a very informative meeting,” said Georgianna Leekity, associate executive officer for AIBA, “The CREATE Act is a great opportunity for New Mexico artisans, entrepreneurs, small businesses, art institutes, and museums. Everyone who is involved in arts can benefit from the Act. This will definitely boost the economy within the state of New Mexico and across the nation.”

In 2014, the University of New Mexico reported that 1 in 10 New Mexico jobs are related to arts and tourism.

The CREATE Act plans to gain support from the Small Business Administration to assist artists in obtaining financial support, grant programs that support the arts industry, revise laws to give artists more equitable tax deduction for the market value of their artwork rather than just for materials used, and encouragement of a more global influx of artwork to museums and educational institutions by expedition of visa process.

When asked about how the bill could impact her community, AIBA member Daisha Holyan said, “One of the ideas was [about] improving the financial literacy of others. The ability to know financial literacy would allow artists to become better business owners or attract investors towards the product.”