The biggies are, of course, the art fairs: a weekend of international contemporary art at ART Santa Fe, the 9th annual International Folk Art Market, the 61st annual Spanish Market on the Plaza, and the Santa Fe Indian Market in August – all with exclusive opening-night galas. Pack a second gown or tux for the Santa Fe Concert Association’s cocktail gala at a private home with members of the New York City Ballet.
The opera season lineup includes Puccini’s Tosca, Bizet’s Pearl Fishers, Rossini’s Maometto II, Szymanowski’s King Roger, and Strauss’ Arabella. In town, enjoy free music every evening at the Santa Fe Bandstand, with shows nightly Monday through Thursday, plus noon on Monday and Wednesday on the Plaza. The wide range of performers showcases New Mexico’s diversity of musical talent. The Railyard Concert Series (and movie series) are likewise free to the public. And on Wednesday evenings, enjoy free Music on the Hill on the lawn at St. Johns College.
The New Mexico Jazz Festival takes place this month, and Lucinda Williams returns to Lensic Performing Arts. Classical-music highlights include the Santa Fe Desert Chorale Summer Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music’s 40th season, and the Santa Fe Concert Association’s Festival of Song and Festival of Dance. For live music of the current era, Sol at Santa Fe Brewing is a top spot for both local and national acts.
Hip contemporary art venue SITE Santa Fe explores the line between fact and fiction at its summer show, More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness, opening with a weekend of performances and events, including a gala preview. A visit from Judy Chicago introduces her new exhibit at the David Richard Gallery. And the SPIN Silk Festival comes to the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Theater and dance shows this month range from the “Politics Sex Religion Tour” by comics Hal Sparks and John Fugelsang, to the Broadway tribute “Doin’ It For Love,” with show-biz divas Kaye Ballard, Liliane Montevecchi, and Lee Roy Reams. The celebrated Aspen Santa Fe Ballet comes home for four shows, while The Santa Fe Shakespeare Society brings “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to the Bandshell at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Fans of anime can see classics from Tokyo’s Studio Ghibli at “Castles in the Sky,” a touring film series making a rare appearance in Santa Fe.
Not only gala parties but gourmet dinners mark high season in Santa Fe, including a series of benefits in private homes hosted by the Kitchen Angels’ Discover New Mexico series. Their talented crew creates multi-course menus around various New Mexican themes. Celebrating the Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, and Indian Market, the Santa Fe School of Cooking will host gourmet dinner parties; each event will feature a guest artist who will present diners with original works at the exclusive, intimate dinners.
Hands-on activities this summer include the workshops at the Kathryn Street Arts Festival: blacksmithing, capoeira, clay, and African dance and drumming, taught over four weeks in both short and longer sessions. You can contemplate your relationship with nature in free workshops at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Or if nature is your canvas, tour eight unique high-desert gardens in a two-day tour benefitting the Santa Fe Garden Club.