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NMSU students and faculty participate in second annual What's Art? Convention

To build Southern New Mexico as an arts economy, the Talking Stick Institute, in collaboration with the Alma d'arte Charter High School/Youth Center, will host its second annual What's Art? Convention - "Exploring the Creative and Green Economy of New Mexico," and the What's Art? Street Festival.


The event has support from NMSU, including Interim President Manuel Pacheco, Waded Cruzado, executive vice president and provost, the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, and the anthropology, sociology and women's studies departments. In addition, the event has received sponsorship from the Ford Foundation and the New Mexico Community Foundation.

NMSU students and faculty will participate in the convention and street festival to be held Friday, Oct. 2, and Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Alma d'arte Charter High School, located at 404 West Court Ave.

"We're trying to develop Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico as a recognized location for arts and culture," said David Boje, New Mexico State University business management professor.

Classes in small business consulting in NMSU's College of Business are doing service learning projects directed by Boje to bolster the business of art as an important stimulus to the Southern New Mexico economy.

Keynote speaker, John Villani, author of "100 Best Small Arts Towns in America," will share his expertise in communities creating themselves as centers of art, creativity and livability, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2. Also joining the discussion will be Sabrina Pratt, executive director of the Santa Fe Arts Commission.

Following the discussion, artists and the general public will have the opportunity to interact with Pratt and Villani.

Cuisine for the reception will be prepared by Chef Maurice Zeck from NMSU's School of HRTM.

The second day of the convention will feature workshops and the street festival from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

There will be 25 workshops to choose from, including "Tactic for Selling," "Insuring and Collecting Art," "Art in the Schools," "Various Art Forms-Hip Hop" and "Culinary and Ice Sculpture."

The street festival will feature story telling tours of the Alameda and Mesquite neighborhoods of Las Cruces, as well as Mesilla by expert historians, and activities for all ages.

Activities include entertainment, food, demonstrations, art and poetry cages, talking circles, an art gallery and art for sale booths. A mural will be created in support of environmental arts by participants of all ages, as well as an ice sculpture.

The event's grand finale will be at 3:30 p.m. and will include art created earlier in the day, street festival participants and musicians, including singing by Yolando Martinez and Karline Valentine, and drumming by New World Drummers.

Concluding the day's events, NMSU Aggie Recycling will remove recyclable materials from the park.

"This won't be just another art show, but something that can really make a difference," said event organizer Virginia Maria Romero.

Price for the reception and workshops is $30 pre-registration (before Sept. 18) and $35 at the door. The student price is $20 pre-registration (before Sept. 18) and $25 at the door.

For more information visit http://talkingstick.info, contact Boje at (575) 646-2391 or Irene Oliver-Lewis at Alma d'arte at (575) 541-0145.