EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The state of New Mexico is working to fill a void in the area’s music industry that was impacted from stoppages and closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year in January, the New Mexico Music Commission launched the Rural County Outreach program in 30 of 33 counties across the state. Commissioners in these counties will serve as liaison to identify two music-related service projects to fill.

In efforts of supporting rural counties in their recover, commissioners will do some research to learn more about the music industry in their adopted counties. This includes compiling a list of key music industry stakeholders, monitoring the music scene and reporting major events to the music commission with the purpose of promoting local events via social media, and facilitating at least one Student Musician Spotlight nomination in each county, officials said.

The projects and research, planning, and communication will be conducted remotely/virtually.

The service projects are designed to complement the commissioner’s unique skill set, expertise, experience and plan to be delivered virtually each calendar year.

Here are some examples of possible service projects:

•   Present a master class, clinic, sectional to students at a local school, college, or university
•   Instruct a workshop, clinic in partnership with a local 501(c)(3) arts organization
•   Deliver a performance assembly for a local elementary school
•   Emcee/Narrate a community virtual event or PSA
•   Perform/speak on a local radio, television, or podcast program
•   Sponsor/Host an online fundraiser with proceeds benefiting a county-based music organization
•   Produce an online performance in partnership with a local music organization, band, or school ensemble
•   Sponsor a competition and perform with/feature the winner on social media
•   Sponsor a competition and deliver free private lessons to the winner
•   Co-write a song with a local songwriter/band
•   Perform with a local band
•   Produce a music video of a local musician, band, or school ensemble.

“The New Mexico Music Commission’s Rural County Outreach Project is vital to ensure that remote areas of our state have exposure and access to music education,” said Commissioner Neil Swap of Silver City, “In isolated areas of the state, these events could be the only exposure students have to music and will hopefully lead to establishing music education programs in every school. New Mexico students deserve access to music education.”

“I look forward to giving the gift of music to our rural communities,” said Commission Chair Carlos Medina of Coruco. “Music heals, uplifts and fosters unity.”

The counties that are not included in the Rural County Outreach project are Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and Sandoval. The Music Commission’s Production Committee will produce Art2Art events in these three counties instead.

Officials said the New Mexico Music Commission is administratively attached to New Mexico Arts, the state arts agency and a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information on the Rural County Outreach program, visit http://www.newmexicomusic.org/resources/rural-county-outreach/

For more information on the Student Musician Spotlight, visit http://www.newmexicomusic.org/nm-showcase/student-musician-spotlight/

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