FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 05, 2020
ALBUQUERQUE – The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has received a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to bolster a variety of narrative change projects aimed at facilitating dialogue and cross-cultural education as well as examining the role of institutions themselves in the work of social change during the pandemic.
With the pandemic’s illumination of long-standing patterns of inequity and a climate of social unrest regarding the persistent legacies of colonialism, racism and race-based violence, this partnership between the NHCC Art Museum and WKKF recognizes and supports the role of art and culture in shaping discourse both locally and nationally.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis adhering to the health and safety measures in New Mexico, the NHCC Art Museum is currently closed. In lieu of in-person experiences, the museum has transitioned to make online programming more accessible to the public. The museum plans to further explore innovative approaches to virtual accessibility, making exhibitions, art programs, and opportunities for dialogue available beyond the museum itself over the next year.
“The Museum remains deeply committed to supporting a vibrant culture of creative expression, and in a moment like this when so many are struggling and so many are also building on movements for social justice, this responsibility becomes even greater,” said curator Jadira Gurulé. “The museum has been engaged with issues related to racial equity for some time, but we have a lot of growing and learning to do as well. The exhibitions, educational programs, and partnerships that will be supported by this grant are grounded in narrative change and will examine racial and cultural equity from a variety of perspectives.”
The NHCC is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. As a culturally specific institution, narrative change that promotes racial, ethnic, and cultural equity has been central to the work of the Center since its inception. This grant supports the NHCC’s mission by sustaining projects that showcase Hispanic, Latinx and Indigenous art, creating space to consider the importance of cultural production by artists of color in the broader context of American art, culture, and discourse.
Mira, Mira On the Wall: Reflecting on 20 Years of Exhibitions, tentatively scheduled to open as a virtual exhibit in October 2020 when the NHCC celebrates its 20th anniversary, will be the first exhibit at NHCC funded by this grant. The exhibit is an institutional retrospective recounting the significant exhibitions that have been presented during the past two decades. It is an opportunity to review the work the museum has been a part of, to lift up important voices and stories again, and to examine what this work might look like in the future.
Two additional exhibitions and a collection of educational programs will focus on supporting Hispanic, Latinx, and Indigenous artists creating space for the artists to direct the conversation, and shift the narrative around culture, belonging, and equity in New Mexico and beyond.
Nancy Camacho, an artist based in Las Vegas, New Mexico, whose work was featured in the WKKF funded exhibition, Qué Chola (2019), spoke about the role of art and culture in narrative change and building community in an interview with Gurulé. “For me, art is about sharing my story and connecting with the stories of others,” she said. “Art can have a domino effect in helping to uncover the layers within people. I have continued communication with a number of women I met during the events for Qué Chola and it’s been intimate and personal. I’m creating a few portraits that celebrate the warriors within these beautiful and strong women that have become friends through this experience.”
“The work we do helps bridge communities by educating the public about Hispanic contributions to our society,” noted Josefa González Mariscal, executive director of the NHCC. “The NHCC reaffirms the cultural values of our Hispanic heritage, empowers the LatinX community, and gives the Latino youth self-worth and role models to follow.”
About the National Hispanic Cultural Center
The National Hispanic Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts and humanities. The Center presents mission related events throughout the year, some produced by its history, literary, performing and visual arts programs, and others by partnering with external organizations. Events take place at its 20-plus-acre campus, which includes a plaza, an art museum, a historic designated building, a library, and genealogy center. The Center is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is further supported by the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.