Application Guidelines

The application for the 2017 Progressive Arts Fair is now closed! Artist will be notified of jury decisions by June 20. The festival takes place on September 17.


Our selection panel reviews each application with the following in mind:

  • Artistic merit of the work being proposed, based on samples provided. We want our audience to be genuinely moved and inspired by the work that they experience.
  • Originality of the work. We look for artists with a willingness to experiment with showing and performing work free from the requirements that are often laid out by traditional art markets, performance venues, and gallery environments in the context of Santa Fe’s arts landscape and in the larger world.
  • Our desire is to feature artists who are emerging, underexposed, and/or on a unique path. We look for work that embodies interactivity, cross-pollination, social impact and/or community connection above the cost-benefit analysis that so often drives the creation of opportunities in the arts.
  • Feasibility of the proposal given the level to which the concept has been developed, the artist’s assessment of their own capabilities, and other relevant factors.


The festival is free to the public, and we do not take a percentage of artist sales. The stipends that we are able to provide (listed in artist categories below) come entirely from community donations and sponsorships and are relatively modest.


We can usually pay for gas money and/or airfare for artists traveling from within the United States. For bands, helping with travel costs is most feasible if you are building a tour around your performance at AHA. For artists traveling from elsewhere in the world, we can make a contribution to airfare costs but usually cannot pay the costs in their entirety. We will discuss your travel costs with you upon your selection.

Festival format

The event is held in the Railyard Plaza and is laid out as follows:

  • Music performances take place on two stages (under the water tower and near the entrance to the Farmer’s Market building off Paseo de Peralta).
  • Between the stages, under the shade structure that runs parallel to the railroad tracks, is a row of art-market-style booths where artists create immersive and participatory environments as well as sell their work.
  • Performance art and dance performances take place throughout the festival, throughout the day.

Application categories


Future Scars on the main stage in 2016. Photo by Jonny Leather.

There are two stages on either end of the event; a north stage near the water tower and a south stage near the entrance to the Farmers Market building on Paseo de Peralta. We can pay music performers a minimum stipend of $50 per band member ($100 for solo performers).
Onstage performances must be one hour or less in duration including setup and breakdown time. We also accept applications for music performances that occur off-stage, which have more flexibility around duration. This option is recommended for artists with minimal tech needs and maximum self-sufficiency.

Visual Arts

Bean Bag Bop by Marty Two Bulls. Photo by Laura Shields.

Artists may apply for a gallery-style sales booth, in which you display and sell your work, or a booth with an emphasis on something other than sales (these generally feature interactive, participatory, or interdisciplinary works). You may also apply to show or install your work outside of a booth, but this will require you to be relatively flexible around where and how it is displayed or installed.

For sales booths, we do not charge a fee but we do accept donations to support the continuation of the festival.

For non-sales booths and booth-free actions, we can provide a $200 stipend to offset materials and other costs.

Standard booths are 8-foot x 8-foot U-shaped booths, though there are alternate formats available (see illustration on our Application Tips page). You do not need to indicate which booth format you want when you apply–this will be discussed upon your selection. The booth walls are nine feet high, made of wood, and covered in white paper (unless you request otherwise). The booths are located in the Railyard Plaza next to the Farmers Market Building, under the roof / shade structure that runs parallel to the railroad tracks.

Performance Art & Dance

FREDLUNDGILJE at the 2016 festival. Photo by Laura Shields.

Performance art and dance can take place on stage (for one hour or less in duration including set-up and breakdown), in a booth (must run for the duration of the 8-hour+ event), or as a pop-up (where there is more flexibility around duration). We ask for lots of details about the performance you envision and your technical needs so we can make sure that everything fits together cohesively. If you are flexible on certain details it is very helpful for us to know this, as sometimes fitting everything together requires some compromise or creative problem-solving. You can view information about the overall event space on our Application Tips page.

We try to pay performers a minimum stipend of $50 per group member or $100 per solo act but in the case of flash mobs or very large groups, we may not be able to pay $50 per member. These details will be discussed upon selection.

Repeat applications

We are committed to maintaining a balance of new artists that have not participated in the festival before with artists that have participated in previous years. If and when previous inclusion becomes a factor in the selection process depends on the whole body of applications received in a given year. Artists whose applications are not selected in a particular year because of previous participation should not assume that this will be the case every year and are in fact encouraged to re-apply. Artists selected to participate in consecutive years are most often applying with an entirely new concept or body of work to showcase.


The application is now closed. Selected artists will be notified in mid-June.

Additional support

View our application tips and contextual information about the event space, booth formats, and more here.

We are happy to answer any additional questions you might have as you are preparing your application–please email and you will be directed to the right person.