Commercial art gallery

The proposal would allow vendors at small Plaza events; officials debate place of pride

August 2 – The Santa Fe City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow vendors to sell their wares in the Plaza during up to eight smaller-scale cultural events each year, in addition to the eight major art markets and community events permitted for commercial purposes. Sales.

Which events would get the first dibs on new trade permits is still under discussion.

The proposed ordinance, sponsored by City Councilors Renee Villarreal and Chris Rivera, designates June 19 and Indigenous Peoples Day events as those that would receive priority each year. Some community members noted during a city council meeting last week, however, that Santa Fe Pride — which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2023 — was omitted from the list.

Six other events would be selected via lottery, the order says.

Villarreal wrote in an email that Santa Fe Pride was initially omitted because the city wanted to offer a different option for Pride – one of the biggest public events held in the Plaza – but decided after discussing the issue. with the organizers to add Pride to the ordinance through an amendment.

The amendment was submitted ahead of last week’s meeting, she wrote, adding that she “was happy to see people showing their support…including Pride, Indigenous Peoples Day and Juneteenth.”

City code now only allows eight major shopping events in the Plaza: Challenge New Mexico Arts and Crafts Show, 4th of July Pancakes in the Plaza, Traditional Spanish Market, Contemporary Hispanic Market, Santa Fe Girls Inc. Arts and Craft Show, Santa Fe Indian Market, Fiesta Fine Arts and Crafts Market over Labor Day weekend, and Fiesta Santa Fe.

Events like Pride and Juneteenth — recognized as a federal holiday in 2021 — must obtain annual permits to hold their events in the Plaza, but those permits do not allow vendors to market items. Only the organizer presenting an event can sell goods.

Villarreal wrote in an email that the commercial component was the main reason for the order.

“Organizations can’t even sell T-shirts without making this change,” she wrote.

Kevin Bowen, president of the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance, which organizes Santa Fe Pride, said it was difficult to get larger LGBTQ allies or supporters to open information booths or exhibits during the event. event, because they are not allowed to sell anything.

“You’re a queer artist, you want to show your work, especially in front of passing gallerists,” he said. “But they can’t sell their work. It’s a service, in my opinion, to showcase them together.”

He added: “We would like to have an artists’ section in the Plaza.”

Rivera, the co-sponsor of the order, said on Monday he had not reviewed Villarreal’s proposed amendment but was in favor of finding a way to include Santa Fe Pride on the list priority events with commercial permits.

Still, he said he wondered if Pride would fit the description of a “small” cultural event, defined in the ordinance as one that would not cause streets around the Plaza to be closed.

“Pride, for me, is a big event and could be better placed in our category of big events, with the Indian market and the Spanish market,” he said. “I agree that Pride should be an event, but I don’t know if it’s a small event or not.”

Bowen said he was grateful for Villarreal’s amendment, but was still curious how the new regulations would apply to Pride, given its annual festivities – including a parade and celebration of the Plaza – calling for the closure of streets.

His preference, he said, would be to see Pride added as a big event.

The lottery system for the other five or six cultural events with commercial permits would take place every January. Organizations hoping to compete for a permit should have presented the same city-sanctioned event in at least two of the past five years, Villarreal wrote in an email.

“The idea of ​​the lottery option is to potentially give other existing cultural events an opportunity to enhance their event by allowing vendors to make a secondary use of it,” she wrote. “Permits for small business events would not work like large business events already in place (which will not be affected by this change) which are designed to raise funds for the sponsoring organization, in most cases.”

Rivera said much of the discussion surrounding the lottery system hinged on how many smaller events would apply or “want to have a seat at the Plaza.”

“I don’t think you really know until you take it into account,” he said.

The ordinance will be discussed in four council committees, starting Wednesday with the quality of life committee, before returning to city council for a vote on August 31.