Spencer Beckwith

Spencer Beckwith produces arts and culture pieces for KUNM.

Scattered throughout New Mexico, in cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque, as well as in small towns like Cordova, Las Trampas and El Rito, are dozens of historic mission churches.  These adobe and stone structures date back to the 19th, 18th and 17th centuries, and many are in danger of collapse.  A new non-profit, Nuevo Mexico Profundo, is helping to maintain and restore them.  One of the founders, writer and historian Frank Graziano, joins us to talk about the organization's mission.

Budget cuts have left music education virtually absent from New Mexico's public schools.  Fortunately, local non-profits have been working imaginatively for years to offer effective musical experiences for young people.  This summer, for example, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival continues its series of concerts for kids and families.  The Festival's Youth Concerts take place on four consecutive Mondays at 10am starting on July 15 at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Passengers can board a transit bus this month to take an unofficial and eccentric ride through Albuquerque.  They become participants in a theatrical experience titled Promenade.  The concept was created by Stereo Akt of Budapest, then spread through Europe, and was brought to Albuquerque by the adventurous local theatre company, q-Staff.  Trips continue through December 2.

In the early and middle years of the 20th Century, America's path westward was Route 66 -- Chicago to L.A., a 2400-mile adventure to better times.  Later on, in the first years of the 21st Century, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Edward Keating traveled every mile of Route 66 five times over, and he documented that times had changed.  "The landscape that seemed ravaged; people on the margins, enduring life not living life," as he describes it.  Eigthy-four of those photographs make up his new book, Main Street: The Lost Dream Of Route 66.

When he was five years old, Enrique's mother left him for the United States.  Ten years later, he set off alone to find her -- a 1,500-mile journey north from Honduras, stowing away atop freight trains across Mexico.  Enrique's Journey was documented by Los Angeles Times photojournalist Don Bartletti.  The photographs won Bartletti a Pulitzer Prize in 2003, and they're on display through December at the New Mexico Humanities Council in Albuquerque.

On average, the number of people shot each year in America is over 116,000 -- that's by murders, assaults, suicide and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings and police interventions.  The statistic comes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and it's one of many points being made in Gun Violence: A Brief Cultural History, an exhibit on display through November 10 at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology on the UNM campus in Albuquerque.  

Tommy Orange received an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in 2016.   While there, Tommy worked on something he had conceived years earlier, what he calls "a multi-generational, multi-voiced novel about Native people living in Oakland," Tommy's hometown.  There There was published in June -- rapturous reviews and a wave of publicity followed.  It's now a national bestseller.

After striking it rich in the 1870's with a mine outside Silver City, prospector H. B. Ailman built a grand mansion in the downtown.  The house traded hands many times over the years, then fell into disrepair.  Restored by the city in 1967, it became the home of the Silver City Museum, whose collection documents the history of the city and southwestern New Mexico with over 40,000 historical photographs and objects.

Soon after graduating from college in 2008, Francisco Cantú joined the United States Border Patrol.  He spent the next four years as an agent, mostly in the field along the U.S./Mexico borders of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.  His very personal memoir of that time, and its aftermath, is The Line Becomes A River, Dispatches From The Border, just published by Penguin's Riverhead Books.

The great issue facing the film industry these days is inclusion.  How to increase the involvement in the industry of underrepresented communities:  African-Americans, women, Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans.  The question of inclusion is also central to Albuquerque's Pueblo Film Fest.  The fourth annual event takes place November 17-19 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

His iridescent shapes float in 3-dimensional space, an exploration of the mysteries of light.  "Some people, it puts them in a state of almost infancy," says August Muth of his holographic art.  "They can't resist the temptation to touch the light."  The Santa Fe artist's latest works are on view through November 9 at the Canyon Road gallery, OTA Contemporary