Gov. Bill Richardson is about to have a press conference at the Roundhouse with Robert Redford
. The press is waiting around a table. Redford and Richardson are, we can only assume, finishing a cigar. No idea what the announcement is about, but state tourism officials are in the house.
I'll update when there's some news.
Redford is, for once maybe, not the biggest celebrity around New Mexico today. President Barack Obama was just in Albuquerque.
Here's the news: Redford will launch Sundance New Mexico.
The focus will be on training programs for Native American and Hispanic filmmakers, Richardson says. The operating costs will be "relatively modest...for now."
The Sundance project will be housed at Los Luceros
, which the state purchased at Richardson's urging.
Redford says his "love of the area...goes many years back." He also notes that he was an early supporter of Richardson's political career.
But he's not so clear on exactly why he's doing this now. "There's change in the air right now," Redford says, both positive and negative. "The positive has to do with arts and culture."
New Mexico Film Office Director Lisa Strout says the initiative will cost $80,000-$90,000 over the year, paid from existing funds. Richardson says it will likely cost much more over time, "but if it means expanding the Hispanic and Native American training program we're announcing today, it will be worth it."
Redford points out that other countries still subsidize art, but it' been sidelined in the US.