Projects & Partnerships
The Northern Río Grande National Heritage Area is built upon the collaboration of energies and efforts of the many organizations and communities that are contained within its boundaries. Its essence reflects the culture of creativity that is endemic to the area, a culture that blends creativity with the day-to-day living experience.
In the last five years the Heritage Area Board and staff have promoted collaborative projects often funded through our grants program. The distinguishing factor defining a project is its size and scope, and its level of generated community involvement. The Heritage Area provides different levels of funding, but our involvement is generally greater, including providing technical support and coordination of partnerships. The community organization will lead in actual work on the project, and in stimulation of community support.
A recent and ongoing project with the City of Española pairs several non-profit organizations, the City government, and funding partners to create and develop a regional food hub within an abandoned commercial building on the City's main street. A building is rehabilitated, a new agricultural enterprise is created, a community neighborhood is rejuvenated, and a community becomes engaged in a development effort.
The food hub will provide a new focus on stimulating the agricultural communities in the Rio Grande valley and surrounding farming communities, and provide a new market for local farm products. The Heritage Area involvement along with the New Mexico Community Foundation is to provide funding for creation of several murals on the building to initiate the building renovation and to trigger community interest and response to the project. Involvement in the creation of the murals includes area artists, youth and children from area schools, and members of the general public.
Each project contributes to the long-term development of the community in which the project is created, and serves to support the Heritage Area goals. Other projects we have funded include:
Collaborative fiber arts exhibition with Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project.
ACEQUIA SANCOCHADA PROJECT
TILE MAP OF THE EMBUDO VALLEY
Embudo Valley Library and Community Center
LUZ ES VIDA
DE LA TIERRA LAND ISSUES CONFERENCE
The week was filled with exciting lectures, fieldtrips, workshops for youth and adults, as well as a churro product marketplace in Taos, Española, Abiquiu, Santa Fe and Tierra Amarilla. Highlights were three field trips to working farms in Abiquiu and Terra Amarilla to learn about living with the Navajo-Churro Sheep, and to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art to view archival pieces made with Churro wool. Lectures explored sustainable and holistic husbandry of the Navajo-Churro, What makes the Churro Navajo, and Spider Woman’s Gift – Early Navajo Classic Textiles and all lectures offered the possibility to learn and exchange practices and knowledge.
2015 TAOS RIVER AND LANDS CLEAN-UP PROJECT
In 2015 they focused on Miranda Canyon, a large illegal dumping site in Taos. Volunteers pulled over 28 tons of waste from the Canyon and 1.14 tons from 6 other sites around Taos and Questa. In addition, a total of 280 pounds of materials were recycled, and thousands of miniature liquor bottles were cleaned up from roadsides.
COMIDA de CAMPOS PROJECT
In alliance with the Northern New Mexico College we have addressed preservation and protection of heritage weaving practices and traditions, preserving the Rio Grande style of weaving that has been practiced in Chimayó and other northern communities. We have been successful in obtaining a memorial from the State Legislature and in generating a study effort with the State to define protective practices. We are considering other strategic alliances with other educational institutions to promote educational efforts in historic preservation, cultural documentation, and industry practices.
We have developed an alliance with the State Historic Records Advisory Board to target historic records archival practices among the pueblos, county governments, and individual community organizations. In addition to providing small grants to support records archiving practices, we have also assigned an individual Board member to provide consultation, training, and guidance on records management and archiving practices. We are considering creating an area symposium/training workshop on records management with area educational institutions.
We are creating partnerships with Santa Fe County, Rio Arriba County, and Taos County to create and implement joint cultural and economic development efforts in each county. In Santa Fe County we are creating a virtual artists' marketing initiative that will promote individual artists on the Heritage Area website. With Rio Arriba County we are working to create a regional multi-cultural interpretive center, that will support presentation and promotion of the cultural heritage of Northern New Mexico. In Taos County we are evaluating participation in restoration of a significant cultural property within the Town of Taos in partnership with the County.