Performance Santa Fe

Performance Santa Fe has been bringing the very best of music, dance, and theater to iconic Santa Fe locations since 1937. Now in its 86th season, the organization upholds excellence in the performing arts and brings joy and enrichment to the community. Alongside its extensive performance season, the organization runs three dynamic, exciting, and inclusive educational programs for students in the community— Arts for Life, the Masterclass Series, and the Field Trip Series. PSF’s 2022-2023 season brings 27 performances to Santa Fe and celebrates the diverse possibilities of artistic expression.

History

The year was 1937 and Columbia Artists Management’s acclaimed Community Concerts program was providing towns across the country with their first taste of high-quality, live performances from leading artists and ensembles. Locally-based partner organizations like Performance Santa Fe (then known as the Santa Fe Community Concert Association) were at the cornerstone of this innovative program to increase public awareness and appreciation for the performing arts. Its debut show in 1937 was performed before an audience of 775 people—no small feat for a city with a population of less than 20,000 at the time.

During the organization’s first two decades it was considered the only viable cultural arts organization in Santa Fe. In 1973, the Santa Fe Community Concert Association became an independent, tax exempt organization known simply as the Santa Fe Concert Association. The organization rebranded as Performance Santa Fe in 2014 to better reflect its wide scope of artistic and educational activity.

Arts Education

Performance Santa Fe recognized the importance of introducing young people to the performing arts as early as the late sixties, but it was one special performance in the spring of 1974 that solidified the organization’s focus on youth programming and education. Santa Fe’s Sweeney Center (now the Community Convention Center) was filled with an audience of 3,000 students enjoying a performance by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. An article within the March 17, 1974 issue of the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported “a show of hands at the concert indicated that about ninety percent of the students had never heard a symphony.” Performance Santa Fe has worked to shift this paradigm ever since.

Today, Performance Santa Fe offers intimate Masterclass Series events with mainstage artists geared toward aspiring musicians, dancers, and actors; supplemental classroom support via the Arts for Life mentoring program for existing chorus, band, world music, orchestra, guitar, dance, and theater programs within Santa Fe Public Schools; and Field Trip Series opportunities for local students, including every 5th and 6th grader attending SFPS, to experience matinee performances from the PSF lineup of international performing artists.

Click here to learn more about our educational programs.

Keeping the Lights On

In addition to annual ticket sales and sponsorships, grants from partners including the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, New Mexico Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts have helped supplement Performance Santa Fe’s annual programming, as have private and corporate contributions.

The Performance Santa Fe Foundation endowment provides institution-wide, long-term financial stability, while the Founders Society gratefully acknowledges the generous supporters whose lifetime cumulative giving exceeds $100,000.

Not all who contribute to Performance Santa Fe do so with money. Volunteers work alongside staff at performances and in the office to keep the organization running strong and serving the Santa Fe community.

The world is a different place than it was in 1937, but the hunger for the performing arts remains alive and well. Performance Santa Fe continues to serve its mission to uphold excellence in the performing arts and bring joy and enrichment to the community.