Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest

A hodgepodge of public programs associated with the New Mexico History Museum’s Voices of Counterculture in the Southwest exhibit offers three seasons worth of lectures, workshops, and immersive experiences. The series is supplemented by the Jack Loeffler-produced radio documentary “Voices of Counterculture,” which airs in eight parts on several New Mexico radio stations, including KSFR 101.1-FM and KUNM 89.9-FM (check station listings for broadcast schedule). After the exhibit’s opening day kicks off with a conversation between poet Gary Snyder and Loeffler at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 14, highlights from the museum’s monthly gallery talks include a discussion of “My Time as a Peyotero and Southwest Hippie” by Yvonne Bond on June 10; an Aug. 12 talk on Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki by local writer John Brandi, and a Nov. 11 lecture on the Lama Foundation community by Siddiq Hans von Briesen. Von Briesen contributes an essay on Lama’s origins to the museum show’s companion volume, published by Museum of New Mexico Press. Other contributors to the book who are scheduled to give lectures over the exhibit’s run include photographer Lisa Law, who speaks about the ‘60s on July 8, and University of New Mexico professor emeritus Enrique R. Lamadrid, who gives a talk on the history of the activist group La Academia de la Nueva Raza on Jan. 13.

Other interactive events include a day trip ($45) with the Friends of History to the Lama Foundation north of Taos, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer on July 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Earlier that week, a July 9 event on the Santa Fe Plaza marks 45 years of Sikhs living in New Mexico with yoga, live music, and children’s and folk dance performances. A symposium from Nov. 13 to Nov. 16 at the New Mexico History Museum, co-sponsored by the Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning, features scholars Lois Rudnick and Sylvia Rodríguez as well as Law and photographer Roberta Price, culminating in a ‘60s dance party at 6:45 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Center for Contemporary Arts.

Finally, in the fall and winter, a series of regional documentary efforts take place at various locales around the state. Co-curator Meredith Davidson has devised a program to visit five different towns — Las Vegas, Silver City, Taos, Dixon, and Placitas — in order to present digital storytelling workshops, a virtual walk-through of the museum exhibit, and help participants to develop personal narratives about the counterculture over two days. The archived recordings will go into the museum’s Soundcloud account for public access to what Davidson envisions as an even larger collection of storytellers from the counterculture era than is represented in the exhibit. For information on all programs and events, go to www.nmhistorymuseum.org/calendar or call the museum at 505-476-5200. 

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