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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Museum puts forth sustainability efforts through their community workshops

Hosting a wide range of activities, the New Mexico State University museum helps to contribute to both the environmental and economic sustainability on the NMSU campus and the communities of southern New Mexico.

University Museum Public Programs Coordinator Dyanna Morkun helps community children make rain sticks during a Saturday Family Workshop. The workshops are part of the museum's contribution to sustainability on campus. (NMSU courtesy photo)

The Saturday Family Workshops, offered by the University Museum, are held nearly every Saturday during the fall and spring semesters and are open to all campus and community members, which often involve the recycling of everyday materials.

Each workshop is focused on an art project related to exhibits being displayed in the museum. Art projects are made with recycled materials used in creative ways and often, the materials are easily accessible and inexpensive items.

"Learning to make things with one's own hands instills a sense of self-reliance that is a healthy alternative to the practices of excessive consumption and passive reception of mass-produced entertainment which dominate many aspects of modern American life," said Monte McCrossin, NMSU associate professor and museum director.

The Saturday Family Workshops contribute to the 2009 Year of Sustainability in which all colleges and departments at NMSU are committed to making sustainability issues a priority and helping to preserve natural resources.

In conjunction with the spring 2009 museum exhibits "Neanderthal," "Kip Ruin," and "Temple of the Warriors: Rebuilding a Maya Monument," workshops have included making Neanderthal masks using paper plates, painting pots with a southwestern design and making edible graham cracker Mayan temples. The projects are incorporated as part of the ongoing tradition of ideas and practices of previous public program coordinators, educators, and volunteers of the University Museum.

The workshops are created and staffed by Museum Public Programs Coordinator Dyanna Morkun and Museum Educator Gaea McGahee along with a group of anthropology and history graduate-student volunteers.

Saturday Family Workshops are already being planned for the fall 2009 semester that will incorporate exhibits "Creating Beauty: Dine Weavers Speak," an exhibit on Navajo rugs, and "Gorillas in the Lens: The Legacy of Dian Fossey."

For more information on the University Museum's workshops call (575) 645-5161.