Spencer Beckwith

Producer

Spencer Beckwith produces arts and culture pieces for KUNM.

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Revered as a deity by native peoples, then marked for extermination by the federal government.  Derided as a "living, breathing allegory of want" by Mark Twain, then crowned a king of cool by the Beat Generation.  New Mexico writer Dan Flores tracks the range of reactions the coyote has inspired over the years in Coyote America, just published by Basic Books.

www.hdpd.org

Through 20 years of performances and classes, an award-winning Albuquerque band has brought the distinctive sound of Scottish music to the Southwest.  The High Desert Pipes and Drums will be joined by guest musicians and dancers for a fundraising concert on June 25 and 26 at the Hiland Theatre.

www.nhsmta.com/

Each summer, the Broadway League, the national theater industry association, brings to New York talented young performers from around the country.  They compete for scholarships, recognition and possibly a pathway to the Broadway stage in the National High School Musical Theater Awards.  This year, two teenagers from New Mexico will be taking part.  They will be selected in a public performance on May 8 at Albuquerque's Popejoy Hall.

Photo courtesy of George Ancona

This month, the Jazz Journalists Association named Tom Guralnick one of its 2016 Jazz Heroes, individuals of positive influence on their musical communities.  Since he arrived here in 1976, Tom has created, or helped to create, three thriving local organizations, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, the New Mexico Jazz Festival, and Albuquerque's Outpost Performance Space.

Courtesy Janire Najera and Embassy of Spain

In 2014, Spanish artist Janire Nájera set out on a journey from New Mexico to California, following the 19th Century trade route known as the Old Spanish Trail.  Traveling in an SUV through six states, Najera documented the descendants of the Trail's first Spanish settlers.  The result is Moving Forward, Looking Back, an exhibition that has been seen around the world and is on view now through September at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center.

www.communitypublishing.org

Kids, probably from the start of civilization, have been plagued by that irritating question. And so is Samuel, a young boy who takes a day off from school to find the answer. Samuel's Story is a new multimedia book for kids by New Mexico performance poet Hakim Bellamy.

www.robbtrust.org

How do we bring Native American composers into the conversation about new music?  The University of New Mexico's 45th annual John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium, being held on the UNM Albuquerque campus from March 28 to April 1, will look at indigenous contributions to contemporary art music.  All events are free and open to the public.

www.indianpueblo.org

She spent her life in the place she was born, Acoma Pueblo.  As a very young girl there, under the guidance of her great-aunt, Lucy Lewis began to learn the traditional art of Acoma pottery.  Over the next 80-plus years, she not only mastered that art but changed it, and in the process helped to bring a new appreciation to Native Art.  On March 12, Albuquerque's Indian Pueblo Cultural Center looks at the artistic legacy of the late Luc

http://theatreandmusic.uic.edu

University of New Mexico graduate Javier José Mendoza is the founder and director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra.  In 2011, the CAO started performing music that hadn't been heard since the 18th Century -- works retrieved from the archives of churches and cathedrals in Mexico, Ecuador and other regions of Colonial New Spain.

http://music.unm.edu

Mexico, which counts him among its most prominent living artists, is honoring Federico Ibarra's 70th birthday in 2016 with a yearlong series of concerts and performances.  The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is taking part in that celebration by welcoming Ibarra for a three-day musical residency in early March.

www.sitesantafe.org

Faces Santa Fe is comprised of 65 portraits, all of Santa Fe residents, all the same size, and all painted with the same palette and in the same time frame.  On view at SITE Santa Fe through February 13, the exhibit was conceived by artist Ben Haggard as an experiment in social networking.  Ben started with friends and family, they were then asked to invite friends and family, and the project blossomed

www.folger.edu

Without it, we would not today have Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and fourteen other plays by Shakespeare.  Published in 1623, Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, known today as the First Folio, is one of the most influential works in publishing history.  An exhibit from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. brings the First Folio to the New Mexico Museum of Art in February.

www.wisefoolnewmexico.org

Now in its 15th year, Northern New Mexico's non-profit circus troupe Wise Fool is part of a growing movement across the country.  The concept of "social circus," says Wise Fool Co-Founder and Artistic Director Amy Christian, uses the circus arts as a way to "offer experiences of empowerment and engagement" to underserved communities, through both public performances and classes for kids and adults.

http://riveroflights.org

During last year's holiday season, almost 100,000 people made their way after dark through fifty acres of the ABQ BioPark, viewing more than 500 hand-made, custom-made light sculptures.  The River of Lights, a fundraiser for the BioPark Society and open to the public through January 2, is put together by a small crew of the Botanic Garden's employees, led by Joey Trujillo.

Pie Town Revisited

Nov 27, 2015
www.unmpress.com

During the Depression, photographer Russell Lee made a famous series of color images of Pie Town in remote southwestern New Mexico.  Lee was there for the FSA, the Farm Security Administration, documenting homesteaders and their families who had been uprooted by the Dust Bowl.  70 years later, photographer Arthur Drooker retraced Lee's footsteps.  The result is Pie Town Revisited, published this month by UNM Press.

González + Sisneros Studio

The walls of its two 15-foot-tall steel sentinels are patterned with lace-like cutouts that hold images of flora and fauna, and its structure is inspired by an ancient Mayan temple in Chichen Itza.  New Mexico artists Cristina González and Jacob Sisneros created Warriors Repose for Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center, located in the historic Barelas neighborhood.

www.burchfieldpenney.org

She made her first visit to Taos out of curiosity in 1917.  The morning after her arrival, Mabel Dodge Luhan signed a six-month lease on an apartment.  From that day onward, she worked tirelessly on her new mission -- bringing the world's attention to the magic of Northern New Mexico and particularly to its Pueblo culture.  A new documentary, Awakening in Taos: The Mabel Dodge Luhan Story, premieres on November 18 at the Lensic Center

Musicians from around the country will travel to New Mexico this month for workshops and performances celebrating an instrument that was popular with Americans on the move in the 18th and 19th centuries.  That instrument acquired a lot of nicknames over the years -- the hog fiddle, harmony box and lumberjack's piano -- but it's known today as the dulcimer, and it comes in a variety of shapes and produces a variety of sounds.

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com

In his most recent book, Falling Upwards: How We Took To The Air, biographer Richard Holmes tells the stories of the "first aeronauts," the men and women in Europe and America who pioneered the science and art of ballooning in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The paperback edition of his "unconventional history of ballooning" was published last year by Vintage Books.

www.acrylicmind.com

A new exhibit in Santa Fe is attempting to tease out the qualities that make Georgia O'Keeffe's work instantly recognizable.  "O'Keeffe in Process," on view through January 17, 2016 at the New Mexico Museum of Art, looks at the artist's emphasis on color, line and form, and the techniques she used to achieve those elements. 

www.flickr.com

With financial assistance from the state government, small cities and towns across New Mexico are putting their historic movie theaters, many of which were abandoned for years, back into operation.  Since 2013, New Mexico MainStreet's Historic Movie Houses Initiative has supplied funds to renovate the theaters' unique architectural details and to install updated projection and sound equipment. 

http://www.visitnc.com/

A disillusioned soldier in the Civil War deserts from the Confederate army and journeys home on foot to the mountains of North Carolina.  A new opera based on Charles Frazier's 1997 bestseller Cold Mountain  is having its world premiere this month at the Santa Fe Opera.  

www.santafeselection.com

The "Santa Fe Style" was a compromise.  Developed in the second decade of the 20th Century, immediately after New Mexico became a state, it was a way for the city to "look American" while at the same time retaining its distinctive architectural elements.  Architectural Historian David Rasch of the City of Santa Fe's Historic Preservation Division explains why a debate continues to this day over what exactly defines the Santa Fe Style. 

http://7-themes.com/

On a trip to the United States in the 1970s, French composer Olivier Messiaen fell in love with Bryce Canyon.  Hiking into the red rock, listening to the Canyon's native birdsong and then looking up into the blue Utah skies inspired Messiaen to write a grand orchestral work, Des canyons aux étoiles.

www.wwnorton.com

Night at the Fiestas, published this spring by W.W. Norton, brings together ten short stories by New Mexico native Kirstin Valdez Quade, who last year was named one of the five most promising writers under 35 by the National Book Foundation.  The stories appeared earlier in various national publications, including The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The O.

http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com

He has spent his life photographing the people and landmarks of his native Northern New Mexico,  documenting the festivals, rituals and pastimes of the area's Indo-Hispano culture.  Miguel Gandert's photographs and films will be part of the multimedia installation Memory + Emergence, a collaboration with poet Levi Romero and arti

Image by Javier Fergo

UNM dance professor Eva Encinias Sandoval has spent her life with flamenco.  Its fierce energy, she says, is the "cultural expression of a people who had no voice" -- the persecuted gypsies, or Romani people, of Spain.  Eva and her Albuquerque-based organization, the National Institute of Flamenco, have been working for almost 30 years to promote an art form that's largely unknown to American audiences.  For seven days in June, celebrated dancers, singers and musicians from Madrid and Andal

www.santafeopera.org

He was barely 30 years old, and virtually unknown in the music world, when he succeeded in 1957 with an audacious idea:  creating an opera company on a hilltop in an out-of-the-way location in the Southwest.  John Crosby carefully guided The Santa Fe Opera for the next 45 years.  Writer and critic Craig Smith, author of "A Vision of Voices: John Crosby and The Santa Fe Opera," the founder's first full-length biography just published by

www.aloveoflearning.org/programs/lifesongs

Months of creative collaboration between local artists and the elderly culminate in a musical performance, Dancing By Moonlight, on May 9th at the Lensic Center in Santa Fe.  Since 2007, the Lifesongs program has been working with patients in local care centers and hospices to document the voices of our elders and their insights gained at the end of life.  Originally created as an outreach program of the Santa

www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/

Every spring, the City of Albuquerque commemorates its founding in 1706 with live performances representing the City's cultural heritage.  Musician and historian Chuy Martinez, Events Supervisor for the Cultural Services Department, discusses how he has organized the musical performances for this year's Fiestas de Albuquerque, which will be offered free to the community on Saturday afternoon, April 18, i

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