Active Frontier & Native American Community Projects:


  1. Agua Fria Village
  2. Village of Cuba
  3. City of Española
  4. Mimbres Valley
  5. Red River
  6. Tortugas Pueblo

Completed Frontier & Native American Community Projects:


  1. Santo Domingo Pueblo
  2. Ojo Encino Chapter of the Navajo Nation
  3. Tierra Amarilla
  4. Tijeras
  5. Madrid
  6. Sunland Park


  1. Conchas Dam
  2. Folsom
  3. Laguna Pueblo
  4. Lordsburg
  5. Picuris Pueblo
  6. Pojoaque Pueblo
  7. Taos Pueblo


  1. Cimarron
  2. Rodeo


  1. Eagle Nest
  2. Mountainair
  3. Santa Clara
  4. Santa Rosa
  5. Springer
  6. Tularosa
  7. Villanueva


  1. Anton Chico
  2. Aztec
  3. Carrizozo
  4. Cloudcroft
  5. Edgewood
  6. Galisteo
  7. Magdalena
  8. Questa
  9. Tularosa


  1. Carrizozo
  2. Columbus
  3. Hurley
  4. Lordsburg
  5. Madrid
  6. Moriarty
  7. Santa Clara
  8. Wagon Mound

Frontier & Native American Communities Initiative

The Frontier & Native American Communities Initiative is a community-driven, asset-based economic development program created by the Legislature in 2013 and coordinated through the New Mexico MainStreet Program (NMMS) to provide support to rural and Native American communities under 15,000 in population that may currently not have the capacity or resources to start or operate a full-fledged MainStreet Program.

Through a competitive application process, rural community stakeholders in partnership with their local governing body identify an economic development project within a town center, village plaza, courthouse square, or historic/traditional commercial corridor they want to implement with support from NMMS.

Proposed projects must demonstrate job creation, business development, leverage private sector investment, or enhancement of a community’s economic environment.

Selected communities receive professional services and technical assistance from New Mexico MainStreet to implement and complete the proposed project within a 12 to 18 month timeframe.

The number of communities designated each year is contingent upon the New Mexico State Legislature’s annual appropriation for the New Mexico MainStreet Program.

Services and resources provided to the applicant community by NMMS and our Revitalization Specialists will be tied to the Main Street Four-Point Approach® (Economic Vitality, Promotion, Organization, and Design) and the following NMMS’s Economic Transformation Strategies:

  • Build Capacity for Local Economic Revitalization and Redevelopment:
    Develop local leadership and capacity to implement projects and initiatives that accelerate community-appropriate economic growth and revitalization.
  • Enhance the Entrepreneurial and Creative Economy:
    Build on the existing commercial base, arts, culture, advanced technology and creative assets in New Mexico MainStreet communities, support entrepreneurial and creative endeavors through assessment, education, planning, and collaboration.
  • Create Thriving Places:
    Increase economic viability through revitalization and creative placemaking to transform our downtowns, squares and villages to help them reach their full potential through great public spaces, buildings, streets and pedestrian areas.

New Mexico MainStreet will provide free professional services to selected communities but please note that these initiatives are not a grant program, and direct funding for selected projects is not necessarily part of the services or resources provided.

NMMS will work with funding partners to identify potential resources or small seed grants, however, the local community is expected to either have in-hand or identify local financial resources to complete the proposed project.

Applicant communities accepted into the project-based initiatives are not considered a State Designated MainStreet Program but receive temporary status within the NMMS Network over a 12 to 18 month time frame while they develop and complete their project.

Some participant communities, however, have used the initiative to build local capacity, develop a track record, and prepare their community to seek State MainStreet District/Program designation.


  • Frontier & Native American Communities Initiative communities must be under 15,000 in population and applicants should consist of a partnership between a group of local stakeholders and a local government partner which may be an incorporated municipality, an unincorporated village or town, Tribal/Pueblo Government, Council of Governments, or Land Grant Governments.
  • Applicant communities are encouraged to engage not only their local governing body, but also their county government, regional Council of Governments, and where applicable, Land Grant or Tribal/Pueblo government.
  • The applicant community cannot be currently designated by NMMS as a MainStreet, Arts & Cultural District Program, or MainStreet Accelerator Community.
    Applications are reviewed and ranked by New Mexico MainStreet professionals. The selection process is very competitive, and it is highly recommended that applicants attend the pre-application Zoom Meeting to be hosted by NMMS on April 16, 2021 at 11:00 am.
  • Only one application for one project per community will be accepted.
  • Professional technical assistance through NMMS is targeted to that one designated community economic development project. The scope of the project should be specific. Additional professional assistance on other projects and activities will not be considered until the original project is complete.
  • Designated Frontier & Native American Communities are expected to fully participate in the program of services as a partner. A stakeholder group of volunteers is required to implement the project. The New Mexico MainStreet program, or its contractors, are not responsible for implementing or funding the community-based project.
  • Communities participating in NMMS project-based initiatives are encouraged to have their task group participants attend project related New Mexico MainStreet trainings, Annual Winter Conferences, and/or Summer Institutes to assist with building their local capacity to reinvest in their local economy.
  • An annual calendar of New Mexico MainStreet trainings is provided on Access to those trainings and workshops is available to community stakeholders at the same low cost as MainStreet and Arts & Cultural District organization affiliates.
  • A community’s period of participation in the project-based initiative should not exceed 18 months beginning on the date technical assistance for the selected project is initiated. Communities demonstrating successful implementation of their selected project and attendance at NMMS trainings during their first project period, may apply for a second project when a new application round is released.
  • Communities may only participate in two consecutive rounds of the initiative. It is expected that communities receiving support for a second project are building local capacity and planning to apply for the NMMS Accelerator process that leads to MainStreet designation.
  • Projects selected must conform to all state regulations and guidance for economic development support, including the state constitution’s “anti-donation clause.”
    The project requires partnership resources from the municipality and stakeholders. Depending on the project, the municipality could be expected to explore dedicated sources of funding through one of the state-enabled financial revitalization tools or other federal and foundation sources to support the effort in implementing the project.
  • Additionally, where applicable, the state assistance team may recommend the adoption or amendment by municipal ordinance any one of several financing tools created by the state as municipal enabling legislation to finance the project. Such legislation could include the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA), Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district, or other state redevelopment and revitalization tools appropriate to the scope and scale of the proposed project.
  • New Mexico MainStreet professional contractors and staff will also assist the Frontier or Native American Community in reviewing a number of financing options from federal, state, foundation and other fundraising sources once an estimated budget for the project has been developed. This could include the Economic Development Department’s FundIt program and eligible funding through NM Finance Authority and NM Mortgage Finance Authority.
  • Professional design services provided are conceptual. Projects requiring a licensed architect, engineer, or construction documents may be ranked lower than projects that can be self-initiated.

Eligible Projects

The focus of New Mexico MainStreet’s project-based initiative programs are to develop and implement catalytic projects considered to have substantial economic impact. As such, applicant communities should select their proposed project based on its contribution to the local economy and to a sound and proper balance between preservation and development. The community’s choice of a catalytic project has significance not only for the potential redevelopment of the selected project but can have a positive spill-over effect, stimulating interest and action for additional projects. Revitalization is an ongoing, incremental community effort.

Please see the comprehensive list of potential projects below that qualify for this initiative.

For more information, contact Daniel Gutierrez at (505) 629-5270 or Lucas Pedraza at (505) 412-3963.