Arts Briefs

Lightning Boy Foundation received a Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

Foundation awards Albuquerque organization an Art Museum Futures Fund Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque an Art Museum Futures Fund grant in the amount of $200,000. The gift will be used to hire new positions and bolster NHCC’s technological infrastructure, public engagement, and bilingual arts education programs. “With the support of the Mellon Foundation, we will be able to actively fulfill our mission to showcase the artworks of diverse Latinx artists, center meaningful community representation, hold space for untold stories, and challenge exclusionary discourse about the role of artists of color in American art in order to contribute to narrative change in the interest of a more equitable and socially just world,” said Director of the Art Museum and Visual Arts Program Tey Marianna Nunn in a press release. The funds will be used to employ the services of a web developer to update the NHCC website and work with the eMuseum database interface to create virtual exhibitions and programming; fill a public relations, marketing, and social media manager position; hire a bilingual arts educator/gallery assistant; and hire admissions staff for the NHCC Art Museum.

The Santa Fe Film Institute to provide grants and scholarships to support filmmaking in New Mexico

The Santa Fe Film Institute’s new granting program will award funds of up to $2,500 to regional filmmakers, cast and crew, and other industry professionals in New Mexico and up to $2,000 for eligible applicants in Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas. Eligible projects include films of any duration, scripts, and projects that are still in the development stage, in-progress, in pre-production, in production, or in post-production. Grant awardees will be announced in November. A grant submission link is available at granting-programs. The deadline to apply is July 26. The new scholarships are available to high school and college students within the state who are pursuing a major or minor in film studies or can show demonstrable interest or experience in filmmaking. Two film students will each receive a $500 scholarship to continue their film studies for the fall semester of 2021. The application and guidelines are available at The deadline is July 31.

The New Mexico Governor’s Mansion Foundation announces the broadcast release of The People’s House

A revamped version of filmmaker Jaima Chevalier’s short film The People’s House is featured on a rebroadcast episode of ¡COLORES! at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 7 (New Mexico PBS, channel 9.1). It is also available to stream at The 16-minute short, narrated by award-winning local author Hampton Sides, is a tour of the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion that reveals the history of the residences of New Mexico’s heads of state and offers a look at the mansion’s world-class art collection. The tour guides viewers through the interior of the Territorial-style mansion in Santa Fe and features artworks by Georgia O’Keeffe, Allan Houser, and Lonnie Vigil, among other regional artists. The revamped broadcast version features added drone footage of Taos, new music, a re-recorded narration by Sides, and new sound by Edgard Rivera of Stepbridge Studio.

Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts bestowed

The 29th annual Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts honored five artists and arts supporters in an online ceremony on May 6. Local performer Carlos Medina hosted the event, which featured performances by the Albuquerque mariachi band Mariachi Xóchitl and multidisciplinary artist and performer Theo (Satya) Kutsko, who received the Melissa Engestrom Youth Artist Award. Kutsko is a junior studying theater at the New Mexico School for the Arts and is vice president of NMSA’s Gay Straight Alliance. The nonprofit Lightning Boy Foundation, founded in memory of Pojoaque Pueblo hoop dancer Valentino Tzigiwhaeno “Lightning” Rivera, received an award for its dedication to empowering Indigenous youth and preserving cultural roots. The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival was honored with an award as an arts innovator, providing professional opportunities for artists, helping to extend the tourism season into late October with its annual festival, and helping to establish Santa Fe as a destination for filmmakers and film enthusiasts. The Culture Connects Award went to Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, a co-founding member and artistic director of Alas de Agua Art Collective, which creates opportunities for artists of color, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual and/or ally artists. Philanthropists Andrew Wallerstein and Mary Sloane received an award for their support of local arts venues and institutions, including SITE Santa Fe, the New Mexico School for the Arts, the Center for Contemporary Arts, and the New Mexico Museum of Art.

The School for Advanced Research provides funding to support projects by Indigenous artists

Through the School for Advanced Research’s new initiative, SAR Learns!, the institution provides $50,000 in grants to 16 regional Indigenous artists, including Nanibaa Beck (Diné), Jason Garcia (Santa Clara Pueblo/Tewa), Harold Littlebird (Laguna/Kewa Pueblos), Nora Naranjo-Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo/Tewa), and Kathleen Wall ( Jemez Pueblo). SAR Learns! was developed to support intergenerational learning and knowledge transmission during the pandemic. The awards, taken from re-directed grant funds, will enable the artists to launch or complete proposed projects. “As the pandemic continued to progress over the course of the last year, and opportunities to sell work continued to be limited, it became increasingly apparent how much the artist community, especially the Native artist community, was struggling,” said Elysia Poon, director of SAR’s Indian Arts Research Center, in a news release. “From our conversations with artists, we saw how this, in addition to the stress of the pandemic impacting Native communities at higher rates, heightened the need to respond in a direct way.” The recipients were drawn from an application pool of former SAR Native artist fellows. — Michael Abatemarco

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