Villancicos Flamencos — Celebrating the Holidays in Spain

Thu, Dec 21, 2023, 4:00pm

Villancicos Flamencos — Celebrating the Holidays in Spain

Thu, Dec 21, 2023, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Presented by Nicolasa Chávez & Luis Campos
December 21st, 2023, 4-6pm
Hosted by the El Morro Area Arts Council (ADDRESS)

This presentation traces the history of Villancicos (Spanish holiday songs) via the lyrics and music of Medieval Spain to the present. Villancicos often represent the journey of José y María, (Joseph and Mary) and Los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings) or they represent the local villagers preparing for the wedding of José y María, or searching for the perfect gift for the Christ child. The Gitanos of Southern Spain have passed down the Flamenco versions of these songs for generations, often imbuing the characters with a local twist. This celebratory presentation combines history, storytelling, and music to bring Villancicos Flamencos to New Mexico and demonstrate their relationship to our local dramatic reenactments of Las Posadas, Los Pastores and Los Reyes Magos. Luis Campos has been a part of the New Mexico flamenco scene since its earliest beginnings. He received a Bachelor's Degree from Cuban born Maestro Héctor García at the University of New Mexico 1976. He and Nicolasa Chávez collaborated with Niño David in creating a program of Flamenco Villancicos (Flamenco Christmas songs) and he and Nicolasa have done a number of duet concerts on the same theme as well as lecture demonstrations on the Villancicos, Flamenco in general and its appearance and impact on our state of New Mexico.

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Felices Fiestas: Holiday Traditions of New Mexico

Fri, Dec 15, 2023, 6:30pm

Felices Fiestas: Holiday Traditions of New Mexico

Fri, Dec 15, 2023, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Presented by Nicolasa Chávez
December 15th, 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
Hosted by Fort Sumner Public Library (ADDRESS)

What do Medieval Moriscas dances in Spain have in common with the Matachines dances performed by Pueblo and Hispano cultures during the Holiday season? How did the tradition of Los Comanches develop into three separate traditions celebrated from Christmas Eve to the New Year and how is Los Comanches related to old European mummers' plays? How is Dar los Días in the north of the state similar to Wassailing? What is the origin of the New Mexican farolito and the empanadita? Learn this and more as we celebrate our local New Mexican Holiday traditions.

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New Mexico Humanities Council Receives Nusenda Community Rewards Grant

1 Dec 2023

The New Mexico Humanities Council is a recipient of a Nusenda Community Rewards Grant of $6500 from the Nusenda Credit Union! The grant will be used to support the Council's Speakers Bureau with its new additions of United We Stand speakers. Thanks, Nusenda Credit Union, for your support of the humanities in New Mexico!


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Highlights from Cemetery Stories

1 Dec 2023

Last month on Veterans Day the NMHC hosted a Cemetery Stories event at the historic Fairview Cemetery in Albuquerque. The event brought history to life as attendees wandered through the cemetery to hear graveside presentations by members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club; Melanie LaBorwit, Director Emeritus of the Rough Rider Museum New Mexico and David Ottaviano on Capt. James Santiago Hubbell, who left an enduring mark on Albuquerque and the Southwest. Visitors were able to engage with and learn from these historic veteran groups. Storytellers wrapped up the event and shared their personal stories about memorial, grief, loss, and life itself.

For those of you who could not join us, a video capturing the essence of the program is underway and will soon be available on our YouTube channel. Please stay tuned for updates.  

Interested in bringing Cemetery Stories to your community? Reach out to our Program Officer, Bethany Tabor, at bethany@nmhumanities.org to discuss organizing a similar event in your area. 


National History Day Judge Training Workshops

1 Dec 2023

With a population that is 48 percent Hispano and more than 10 percent Indigenous, fewer than 10 percent of the judges for New Mexico’s National History Day program are people of color. We are working to change this. Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and partnerships with universities, colleges, and school districts, New Mexico History Day will be conducting a series of intensive, 3-hour judge training workshops across the state in January and February. The workshops are designed for professional educators, who will be eligible for a $130 stipend, as well as pre-service teachers and history students. Some professors may offer extra credit for participation. Each session can accommodate up to 20 participants.

• Jan. 18-19 in Silver City
• Jan. 22-23 in Las Cruces
• Jan. 29-30 in Portales
• Feb. 5 Farmington (virtual)
• Feb. 8-9 in Albuquerque
• Feb. 12-13 in Las Vegas

For more information, including information on locations, times, and how to register, contact NM NHD Senior Advisor Heather McClenahan at heather@nmhumanities.org


Recommended Program: Did Poetry Cause the Civil War?

1 Dec 2023

"Make me a grave where'er you will, In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill; Make it among earth's humblest graves, But not in a land where men are slaves." These lines from Frances E. W. Harper's poem, "Bury Me in a Free Land," reflect the depth of her contributions as a poet and abolitionist, significantly influencing the genre of abolitionist poetry.

Have you ever wondered why poetry is important? Pondered what its purpose is? Some of us are never the same again after reading a poem that strikes a chord with us, speaks to us directly. Consider the role of poetry as a transformative force for change. In the 19th century, abolitionist poetry was a potent tool in the fight against slavery.

The New Mexico Humanities Council is offering a compelling program that explores the power of poetry, with a special emphasis on the Civil War era and abolitionist works. Take advantage of this program and book "Did Poetry Cause the Civil War?" – An insightful FREE program available to communities and schools. Presented by Jake Fournier, this talk traces the voices of the abolitionist movement and the critical role of abolitionist poetry in the antislavery movement, exploring how debates on slavery's future spurred change and influenced New Mexico’s journey toward statehood.

Explore this and more topics on our website, where you can find our 'United We Stand' speakers series. These presentations are part of the National Endowment for the Humanities' new initiative, United We Stand: Connecting through Culture. The initiative aims to build a more inclusive and understanding society by exploring historical factors that have created societal divisions, prejudices and conflict. The initiative relies on the humanities’ unique ability to foster cross-cultural understanding, civic engagement and empathy.

For a comprehensive list of UWS Speakers and their programs, as well as how to book a speaker, please navigate to the catalog. Simply click on "Browse Programs," then select 'United We Stand' under the Series Name section.

Lynne O’Hara, Program Director for National History Day, pictured right, with Amy Page, social studies teacher at Moriarty High School and 2022 national NHD teacher of the year.

Lynne O’Hara, Program Director for National History Day, pictured right, with Amy Page, social studies teacher at Moriarty High School and 2022 national NHD teacher of the year.

Empowering Educators with National History Day Workshops

1 Nov 2023

Lynne O’Hara, Program Director for National History Day, visited New Mexico in October to conduct teacher workshops in Albuquerque and Farmington. Lynne’s dynamic program included lessons on how to analyze primary sources and how to evaluate NHD projects. A total of 24 educators participated, representing not only Albuquerque and Farmington school districts but also Las Cruces, Hobbs, Santa Fe, and Shiprock.

Ellen Duemling, a 6th grade teacher in Albuquerque commented that she received “lots of good ideas that I can use immediately in my classroom,” while Julie Ornelas, the teacher support specialist for social studies with Albuquerque Public Schools was pleased to see how the program can help teachers meet state standards.


New Mexico’s History Day program is committed to assisting teachers throughout the state to bring this project-based educational curriculum to their districts, schools, and classrooms. NHD has proven to help students develop career- and college-ready skills such as primary source research, source evaluation, public speaking, and critical thinking. For more information, contact New Mexico National History Day Senior Advisor Heather McClenahan, historyday@nmhumanities.org.


United We Stand Now Open for Booking!

1 Nov 2023

Please visit our new and improved catalog of Speakers to learn about the United We Stand Speakers' programs and book one today! To find the United We Stand Programs, click “Browse Programs”, search by Series, and use the drop-down menu to select “United We Stand”.

This special catalog of Speakers is part of NMHC’s response to the “United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture” initiative launched by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The “United We Stand” initiative seeks to use the humanities to hold back the rising tide of hate and hate-based violence in the U.S.

The humanities help us develop the skills needed to find connection. They help us develop critical thinking skills, practice compassion, and encourage curiosity. They encompass the past, present, and future; they encompass both the individual and communal human experiences. The humanities allow us to learn about people who are different from us while simultaneously finding common ground. In the words of NEH Chair Shelly Lowe, “Combating hate not only requires us to identify the root causes of that hate but also to identify our inherent capacity for love, acceptance, empathy, and belonging.” We cannot combat hate-motivated violence without one another.

Carlyn Pinkins

Carlyn Pinkins

Sammi Carillo

Sammi Carillo

Join Us in Welcoming Our Talented New Staff Members

1 Nov 2023

It’s a pleasure to introduce our latest members who recently joined the NMHC workforce. Get to know Carlyn Pinkins, who is on track to earn her Ph.D and who brings prior experience with us and Sammi Carillo, a skilled graphic designer who is expanding our social media presence. We extend a warm welcome and look forward to the positive impact they continue to make!

Carlyn Pinkins
Grant Writer and Development Coordinator

Carlyn is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of New Mexico and the Dr. Charles E. Becknell, Sr. Fellow at the Center for Southwest Research. Her research interests are African American history in the Southwest and Twentieth Century North American Indigenous history. Her roles as graduate assistant have included teaching assistant, writing consultant, copyeditor, grant writing, and conference organizer. When she’s not pursuing academic research or professional endeavors, Carlyn is a big soccer fan, supporting Liverpool FC and New Mexico United. She also loves taking trips around Albuquerque and beyond on her scooter and playing trivia with her friends.

Having previously served as the outreach coordinator for National History Day in New Mexico, Carlyn is excited to assist the New Mexico Humanities Council continue its mission once again. Her efforts will focus on helping the Council raise matching funds, write project grants for its team members and partners, and assist the team with various administrative tasks.

Carlyn can be reached at carlyn@nmhumanities.org.

Sammi Carillo
Marketing & Communications Assistant

Sammi received a BA in Studio Art with a second major in English from the University of New Mexico. She worked for the  local newspaper the Corrales Comment for 6 years doing a little bit of everything, from writing articles and managing ad traffic, to customer service and bookkeeping. Sammi has owned her own freelance graphic design business, Oh Boy! Sam, since 2018 working with small businesses and nonprofits. One of her biggest inspirations, both creatively and in general, is Jim Henson (creator of the Muppets).

In her role at NMHC, Sammi is most excited about promoting the organization’s events which give people all around the state more access to the humanities and different cultural perspectives.

Sammi can be reached at: sammi@nmhumanities.org.

Photo courtesy of New Mexico Music Commission.

Photo courtesy of New Mexico Music Commission.

In Memoriam: Claude Stephenson

1 Oct 2023

We were deeply saddened to learn of Claude Stephenson’s passing last month.

Stephenson was a talented musician and the State Folklorist from 1991 to 2014. He contributed to the research of the music of the Matachines Dances of New Mexico and played in several Matachines fiestas. 

To commemorate the state’s Centennial, he produced a series of 2-minute radio spots called Centennial Journeys that highlighted some of the significant moments and overlooked chapters in New Mexico’s history.  

We will always be grateful to Stephenson’s outstanding contributions to New Mexico. Among those of us at the NMHC who had the privilege of collaborating with Claude, it was said that “he brought a lot of light into this world with his music.” He left New Mexico a richer place, and he will be missed dearly. Que en paz descanse.

Listen to Claude Stephenson’s Centennial Journeys HERE, and read one of his essays about New Mexico’s Matachines Dances: HERE.

Regina Bouley Sweeten

Regina Bouley Sweeten

Chelsea Jones

Chelsea Jones

NMHC Welcomes Governor Appointed Board Members

1 Oct 2023

We are pleased to welcome Regina Bouley Sweeten of Portales and Chelsea Jones of Socorro, N.M., to the New Mexico Humanities Council board of directors. They come with a wealth of experience in the library field, exemplifying the vital role that libraries play in our communities.

They join 18 other volunteers in service. Their terms began in June.

Regina Bouley Sweeten is the Archives and Special Collections Librarian at the Golden Library of Eastern New Mexico University. She has been working at ENMU's library since she moved to New Mexico in 2016. She holds BA and MA degrees in English from Sam Houston State University and an MLS from Indiana University. In her position, Bouley Sweeten supports researchers learning about New Mexico history and science fiction, and she tries to provide opportunities for students to utilize primary sources.

Chelsea Jones is the Library Director for the City of Socorro Public Library. She lives with her husband, stepdaughter and dog in a historic home next to Socorro Plaza. In addition to working with people at the library, she also serves on the Socorro Beautification and Literacy Committees. During her educational career, she earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. Prior to her career in Socorro, she was a librarian for the San Bernardino County Library System working in nine libraries throughout Southern California.

We asked our new board members how NMHC's mission and work motivate them. Here’s what they had to say:

"By learning about the past, we can better understand ourselves in the present and how we can shape our world in the future.  I am  excited to use my appointment as an opportunity to serve the communities of Eastern New Mexico and the humanities needs of all New Mexicans."Regina Bouley Sweeten

"Over the past eight years I've fallen in love with rural New Mexico culture and community.  The New Mexico Humanities Council mission resonates with me and the enriching interactions I’ve experienced in my career. I enjoy exploring the diverse human perspectives that the humanities programs provide. The council motivates me to conduct a deeper reflection of my community programs to advance the connections Socorro has with its history and culture."Chelsea Jones

Officers of the board of directors include: Arif Khan, Chair; Miriam Langer, Vice Chair; Maresa Thompson, Secretary; and Elva Osterreich, our Treasurer.

For a full listing of Council board members click here.


Hometown Heritage™ Market Grant Program

1 Oct 2023

William G. Pomeroy Foundation (WEBSITE)
Accepting applications on a rolling basis

The Hometown Heritage™ grant program commemorates people, places, things or events that are historically significant to the larger community and beyond with historical roadside markers. Markers help preserve important historical milestones, educate the public, encourage pride of place and promote tourism. This nationwide program seeks to capture local history, especially for those in states without marker programs or for subjects which may not qualify for the applicant’s state marker program. Learn more about the Hometown Heritage™ Marker Grant Program here.

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