Is it a song? A painting? Is it theater? A dance? Is it cuisine? Santa Fe is all of these and more. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a magnetism. It’s a unique and captivating place where future meets past, tradition meets innovation, and art is life. All who experience Santa Fe are inspired by something they can’t quite put their finger on, returning over and over to feel it again.

The Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department’s mission is to develop and promote artistic excellence in our community. We strive to build collaborative, interdisciplinary and inclusive pathways for Santa Fe’s creators to express the beauty of their community through art. We are here to show visitors and locals alike through our Fe.mous campaign that there is no place on Earth like Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had the pleasure to get together with a few amazing Santa Feans to chat about what exactly it is that draws people to Santa Fe and what beckons their return. These “local celebrities” gave us some insight into their connections with this community. They are Fe.mous

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Monica Sosaya Halford, Spanish Market Artist

  • Monica became a part of the Spanish Colonial’s Traditional Spanish Market in 1979. She has mentored her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and the children of family friends to become a part of the Spanish Market tradition.  Monica has taken numerous awards for her Retablos and Colcha as well as the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her artwork can be found in numerous private collections, museums and offices throughout the United States. 

    Monica Sosaya Halford is well known in the Santa Fe community for her gregarious spirit, her love of life and her well attended parties. 

Brian Hardgroove, Music Producer

  • Brian Hardgroove is a record producer, multi-instrumentalist and member (on hiatus) of the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy.

    Hardgroove’s productions include the talents of Chuck D (Public Enemy), Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Burning Spear, Marc Anthony, Supertramp and The Fine Arts Militia. His most cherished work is with Demerit and Brain Failure; two of China’s premier punk bands.

    Hardgroove’s newest band is Unholy Crows. UC’s music is socially and politically astute yet artistically constructed in the mold of the legendary arena rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s.

Luci Tapahonso, First poet laureate of the Navajo Nation

  • Luci Tapahonso is Professor Emerita of English Literature (University of New Mexico 2016) and served as the inaugural Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation (2013-2015).

    She is the author of three children’s books and six books of poetry including A Radiant Curve which received the 2008 Arizona Book Award for poetry. Tapahonso will also receive the 2021 Distinguished Literary Achievement Award by the Western Literature Association at its 2022 conference. In 2020, she was an Artist-in-Their-Residence Fellow hosted by the Bosque Redondo Fort Sumner Memorial Museum and recorded a poem for Living Nations, Living Words: A Map of First Peoples Poetry for the U.S. Library of Congress.

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“A Million Reasons, Why Santa Fe”