the Governor's Arts Award Winners

Dan and Ashlyn Perry

Santa Fe

2018 recipient, Major Contributors to the Arts

A hallmark of Dan and Ashlyn Perry's community involvement is their sense of joyfulness, as they take unabashed delight in contributing to the betterment of the lives of their fellow New Mexicans. The Perrys underscore their commitments with both time and money. Veronica Gonzales, Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Cultural Affairs, Charles MacKay, General Director of The Santa Fe Opera, and Jamie Clements, President/CEO of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, have all observed that the sheer pleasure of working with the Perrys is inspiring and that their enthusiasm inspires others to get involved as well. Dan Perry's insatiable love of opera and the couple's genuine concern and deep admiration for the performers led them to become cornerstones of The Santa Fe Opera. Perry has been a key member of the Opera board for several years, serving in various positions and working on whatever is needed most. And both Ashlyn and Dan Perry have been committed members of several Opera Gala Committees. As an arts commissioner for the City of Santa Fe, Ashlyn Perry has found a public service outlet for her love of art and design. She is a tireless supporter of Santa Fe's arts and cultural affairs, and her work on the commission includes recommending policies and programs that develop and promote artistic excellence in the community. Their big hearts and willingness to embrace a challenge led the Perrys to accept the position of co-chairs for the New Mexico Museum of Art Centennial Campaign, a $12.5 million endeavor. Their involvement in the campaign has been a major boost for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, on which Dan Perry currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees. The Perrys were instrumental in securing the major gift for the new Vladem Contemporary. "Without the Perrys, the new contemporary museum would not be possible," said Mary J. Kershaw, director of the New Mexico Museum of Art. 'Not only did they accept the challenge, they have risen to the challenge, and they have been personally active in making sure the campaign moves ahead and succeeds. Sometimes these things are more honorary positions, but Dan and Ashlyn have been truly active, and without their involvement we would not be where we are in the campaign." Kershaw also lauded Ashlyn Perry's active commitment to the Centennial Campaign's gala fundraiser in early May. "Ashlyn was instrumental in the success of the evening, and her talent for design was evident to all who attended," Kershaw said. The Perrys have been extraordinarily generous to all four of the state museums in Santa Fe: the Museum of Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the History Museum/Palace of the Governors, and the Museum of International Folk Art. For example, Ashlyn and Dan Perry were responsible for the purchase of the sculpture Valentino Tzigiwhaeno Rivera (2008-2016) for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. They are also a force behind the Museum of New Mexico Foundation's development initiatives in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas. The Dan and Ashlyn Perry Charitable Foundation supports children's charities, the arts, and conservation efforts. Their financial commitment to the economic development of the Rio Chama Valley is substantial, and through their Trout Stalker Ranch in Chama, the Perrys have aided the New Mexico Land Conservancy with hundreds of acres of conservation easement. Dan and Ashlyn Perry have fortified many educational, artistic, and child welfare organizations in New Mexico, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts, SITE Santa Fe, and Silver Bullet Productions. The philanthropic and artistic landscape of New Mexico changed for the better with the arrival of Dan and Ashlyn Perry, who moved here permanently in 2011 after being longtime visitors.