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Statement on Race, History & Healing Project

It has been a month since the peaceful vigil at Tiguex Park was overshadowed by violence on the grounds of the Albuquerque Museum. Since that day, the Albuquerque Museum and Public Art within the Cultural Services Department, along with the Office of Equity and Inclusion, have been diligently working to build a process to support a community-led dialogue called the Race, History & Healing Project as a way to move forward.

Facing the history of violence has become an urgent call in our city, our state, our nation, and in the world. Museums like many other institutions are asking fundamental questions – How do we confront our own history? How do we move forward as an institution? How do we take care of each other and our communities? The Albuquerque Museum is one of our city’s cultural hubs. In this hub you will find art, history, exhibitions, programs, education, music, and gathering spaces at our Museum. We also still have work to do to meet the current moment in a way that sheds light on the dark corners of the past.

While La Jornada is not part of the Museum’s art collection, it was placed at the entry of our Museum. It is clear that our diverse community needs to revisit the purpose of these statues. La Jornada may be contextualized as part of Acoma and Pueblo history thanks to Nora Naranjo Morse’s earth work, Numbe Whageh which is a response to La Jornada. Context is no longer enough. We need to do the important work of establishing a process of acknowledgement and healing.

The Museum is also a place of convening, where community comes together to share dialogue and to engage with a history that is not a static, settled narrative. The Museum can be a place where one finds beautiful objects but also confronts tragic narratives. As part of our community, we are committed to listening, to community process, and doing the work that promotes healing. We hope that all interested parties will join in the discussion because each individual voice shared with a larger group helps bring us closer to collective healing.

Those interested in joining the discussion or hosting a meeting as part of the Race, History & Healing Project can email their desire to do so to [email protected].

July 23, 2020