Faces & places

Amy Summa, who recently retired from her position as arts coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools, has joined the ARTsmart Board of Directors. Summa has worked closely with ARTsmart to enrich Santa Fe’s youth through visual arts for over 14 years.

She built the visual arts program in the public schools from the beginning, following years of being president of the parent-teacher organization at her children’s school and other volunteer work in the schools. She was awarded the Art Education Advocacy Award from the New Mexico Art Educators Association in 2012 and received the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2016.

• • •

New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes recently announced the retirement of New Mexico MainStreet program Co-Director Rich Williams. Williams directed New Mexico MainStreet, which fosters economic development in the state by supporting local MainStreet revitalization organizations, for more than 16 years.

The program saw tremendous growth during Williams’ tenure, from 2003-19: local MainStreet organizations grew from nine to 30.

In 2018, the New Mexico Municipal League presented Williams with the Amigo de las Ciudades award, which is given out rarely and recognizes exemplary service to communities. The New Mexico Municipal League noted his tireless work to move proposals and policies forward that benefit communities.

Daniel Gutierrez is serving as interim director of New Mexico MainStreet until a replacement for Williams is hired.

• • •

Four local authors recently won awards for their new books, announced their marketing firm, PenPower Book Marketing Services.

Lamy author and photographer Marc Romanelli’s The Imagination Warriors (Little Roman Press), with illustrations by Santa Fe artist Odessa Sawyer, is a 2019 Silver Award Recipient in the juvenile fiction category from the Virginia-based Mom’s Choice Awards, which honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The book is deemed to be among the best new books for families and young adults, a news release says.

Santa Fe and Nara Visa author and illustrator Connie Perez’s Home on the Rocking R Ranch (Rocking R Books) is a 2019 Gold Award Recipient from the Mom’s Choice Awards — a top honor in the Children’s Picture Book category. The book introduces children to the day-to-day tasks of working a ranch. Perez is a native New Mexican rancher and retired elementary school teacher. She is already working on her second book in what she plans to be a Rocking R Ranch series. Writing helps her cope with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, according to a news release.

Santa Fe and Las Cruces author Kent F. JacobsHopi Tea, a Murder Mystery (Sunstone Press, Santa Fe) is a 2019 Silver Award recipient in the West-Mountain Best Regional Fiction category from the Independent Publisher’s Book Awards, also known as the IPPY Awards. Jacobs, a physician and arts advocate, served Native American patients in northwestern New Mexico, including members of the Hopi, Zuni and Laguna pueblos and the Navajo Nation and Apache nations. His inspiration for the book began with a deep curiosity about Native American rituals, according to a news release on his award. He and his wife, Las Cruces painter Sallie Ritter, received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2014.

Traveling Light by Santa Fe author Candelora Versace is a 2019 recipient of the Bronze IPPY Award in the West-Mountain Best Regional Fiction category. According to a news release, the book follows several friends in Santa Fe and Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1994. Versace, a freelance journalist for over 20 years, has written about Santa Fe’s arts and culture, culinary arts and tourism industry. She also has published poetry, essays and creative nonfiction, a news release says.