Greetings! Welcome to the NM Education Funders Southern Summit website. We’ll use this site as the central location to provide attendees with updates about the agenda, venue, and structure for the convening as the date gets closer.
Convening COVID-19 Policy
As we continue to monitor COVID-19 numbers at the local level, we have updated our health and safety requirements for attendees to include:
- Proof of vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to attending the conference on November 17-18.
- To show proof of vaccination, please bring your vaccination card or provide a digital image of your vaccination card (picture from your phone), or you may use a digital vaccine passport (via a phone app).
- To show proof of a negative test result, please write the day and time of when your test was taken on the test card, sign it, and take a picture with your phone. You can show your photo upon arrival at the conference site. Please take the test within 72 hours of arriving at the event on November 17-18.
- In addition, masks will be mandatory indoors during the conference, except while eating and drinking.
We have booked a spacious, well-ventilated venue at the Farm & Ranch Museum where attendees will be able to socially distance inside throughout the event. For larger events, we will use the outdoor space accessible from our meeting room. We will have extra disposable masks available at all conference venues and restaurants for your convenience.
Within the last year, the Thoma Foundation has expanded its historic arts-centered grantmaking to include a wider focus on education, career and technical education (CTE), college access, and entrepreneurship development. In conjunction with the recent arrival of our new Director, Holly Harrison, we are currently reviewing the Foundation’s strategic directions. As we reaffirm our commitment to creating opportunities for young people across our target geographic regions, our board has asked us to place special emphasis on the southern half of New Mexico and to take stock of the current role of the philanthropy in the educational ecosystem of this region.
To this end, we are organizing a convening that will bring together fellow funders, educational stakeholders, and nonprofit leaders in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Wednesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 18.
We hope to gather between a dozen and twenty colleagues from philanthropies and community foundations that fund bold educational initiatives in southern NM for the purpose of mapping current priorities, identifying potential gaps in funding, and exploring prospective partnerships and collaborations. Our conversation will interrogate which educational objectives and outcomes are most pressing and useful for foundations to address in our grantmaking, and how we can support the creation of high-impact statewide programs and policies through philanthropy. Taking a broad cradle-to-career perspective, we’ll explore the potential roles of place-based funders and statewide/regional funders and how we might better share knowledge and leverage resources. With the recent influx of new state money and ARPA funds allocated to education in New Mexico, this conversation feels particularly timely. We will also discuss whether to form a more durable funders’ group to continue exploring these questions after the convening.
In addition to inspiring statewide and regional funders to intensify their work in education in Southern New Mexico and spark conversations around potential funder collaborations, we also aim to bridge the gap between educational stakeholders, nonprofit leaders, and funders by encouraging open and transparent conversations about community needs, youth opportunities, and capacity building.
All events for the NM Education Funders Southern Summit will be held at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum (unless otherwise noted in the conference agenda).
COVID safety impacted our decision as much as a desire to host this event in a unique setting that speaks to the history and landscape of southern NM. Our meeting room has a 60-person capacity (which we will cap at 40 to enable social distancing) and opens to the outdoors for extra ventilation.