SANTA FE, N.M. – With the current racial unrest happening across the country, many are now examining social differences in the southwest and it all begins with starting a conversation. One group is working to do that through art.
“We’re looking to facilitate cross-cultural education and dialogue and really opening up space for us to learn about perspectives that maybe are not our own, but also share our perspectives as well, “National Hispanic Cultural Center’s art museum curator Jadira Gurule said.
A new $100,000 grant from the W.K Kellogg Foundation to the National Hispanic Cultural Center is helping to make that process of change a reality.
Educators are coming up with creative ways to spur the dialogue.
“Those projects will include exhibitions, they’ll include educational programming with a real focus on the important creative and critical contributions of artists of color, specifically Hispanic, LatinX and indigenous artists and what they contribute to this discourse about change and also examining the role that institutions like the NHCC can play in this moment,” Gurule said.
Even with art shows and audience conversations, educators know the narrative change won’t happen overnight.
“At the Center, I think it really means holding space to investigate the ways we tell stories about who we are, the way we tell stories about the past, tell stories about people and really be willing to look at those in the face of challenging truths and see where we can work to grow and work together and address things that aren’t serving us,” Gurule said.
There are strong populations of descendants from Spanish settlers, Native Americans and other cultures whose stories are intertwined in New Mexico.
“I think there is a significant burden there, it’s a significant challenge and I think there’s also a lot of fear involved in what these conversations can look like in the fear of telling a story incorrectly or leaving someone out and for that I just say, you know part of the process is just being willing to face those challenges and then do some creative risk-taking anyways,” Gurule said.