in a statement released by the governor’s office. “I also believe in arts as an economic driver, and I look forward to helping a new generation of storytellers prove that with me and with the state of New Mexico.”The project is a collaboration between Redford and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and the New Mexico Film Office, on a historic 148-acre property owned by the Department of Cultural Affairs called Los Luceros, northest of Alcalde, New Mexico.
Programming for 2010-2011 includes writer’s workshops, an Actor’s Lab, and “think tanks” during which strategies will be brainstormed for production distribution, and marketing.
Gov. Richardson said in a statement that the new initiative was “a great gift” from Redford to the state of New Mexico, and that it was “extraordinary for a person the caliber of Robert Redford to collaborate with state government to create a new kind of initiative that will address film and film arts as they relate to jobs and job training.”
In an “open letter” to New Mexico, Redford said he had been searching for a “new vehicle for arts as an economic driver and its potential for effecting the human condition”:
February 26, 2010
To The People of New Mexico
Yours is a beautiful State. In my youth, I began traveling this countryside. I was
searching for proper words to describe this haunting landscape when I brought Milagro
Beanfield War to the screen, and, again, when developing the Tony Hillerman series for
PBS. Like an archeologist dusting the surface of ruins at Bandelier or Chaco Canyon, I
felt sure the answers lay in the past. But this Land of Enchantment carries its past into
the present and future through story. And this is the land of storytellers.
Some six years ago, when I started conversations with the Governor about a
collaboration, I was searching for a new vehicle for arts as an economic driver and its
potential for effecting the human condition.
Like many of you, I was born in an era when Native Americans and Hispanics suffered
grievous injustices. Workers in factories were being horribly underpaid and subjected to
degrading conditions. I have witnessed the power of film and media to lift the veil on
these injustices, paving the road toward correcting wrongs. Whether in the news reels of
the past, or the documentaries and stories of today, we, as a nation, have used the power
of film as our voice, our testimony, our expression of pride, and at times, our displeasure
with the course of our nation. Let us not dismiss our accomplishments, but build from
I have also chosen New Mexico as a home for a new film institute, Milagro at Los
Luceros, dedicated to jobs training in the film arts. These programs focus on arts as an
economic driver in a state where job creation is of prime importance.
New Mexico believes in jobs training, in skills enhancement for a new generation. I
believe that artists – actors, writers, producers, directors and artisans – carpenters,
costume and set designers, transportation and camera operators, deserve the opportunity
to make a decent living for themselves and their families. Today we combine forces to
create new pathways for the film arts. What better word than Milagro to name the spirit
of this land, and the power of its people as storytellers. Let us seize this day together.