Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Dale and Sylvia Ball

Dale and
Sylvia Ball


Honored October, 1999

Dale and Sylvia Ball

As owners of a local bank in the 1980s, Dale and Sylvia Ball immersed themselves in Santa Fe. They served on the boards of the Santa Fe Opera, the Orchestra of Santa Fe, the Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and other organizations.

They were instrumental in establishing the Girard Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art. They started a “computers in the schools” program. They first brought storyteller Joe Hayes to spin his wondrous tales at the tepee outside the Wheelwright Museum, beginning a tradition that has continued for decades.

But only after selling the bank, moving away and then returning in the 1990s did they undertake their most monumental project: the Santa Fe Conservation Trust.

Restless in retirement, Dale and Sylvia were approached by a group exploring the feasibility of establishing a local land trust. They knew little about such things, but after studying the concept, they got involved. When the Santa Fe Conservation Trust began in 1993, Dale was its president and executive director, and Sylvia was its administrator. Working from their spare bedroom, they published a newsletter and recruited members.