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Art, performances, exhibitions, workshops and other events - co-created by residents and project partners - will transform public spaces, celebrating the people and place of the district in a vibrant presentation of community stories.
A new two-year project entitled Stories of Route 66 brings Albuquerque residents from the International District together in a collaborative process of storytelling, art and design that will ultimately transform an outdoor space along the Route 66/Central Avenue corridor. This project was developed as the result of four stakeholders who wanted to apply for a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant— Littleglobe, Story of Place Institute (SoPI), UNM School of Architecture and Planning, and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA). In a meeting with the group, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry requested that, rather than one organization applying for the grant, they work collaboratively. He assigned the City’s Cultural Services Depart- ment to manage the overall project.
Working with the five groups, which now included Bernalillo County, CSD’s Deputy Director, Dana Feldman, developed and submitted the proposal to the NEA, and a grant was awarded to partially fund the project, with the requirement of obtaining matching funding within the two-year timeframe.
Under the direction of CSD Director Beatríz Rivera, Sherri Brueggemann, Manager of the City’s Public Art Urban Enhancement Program, was appointed to handle all administrative aspects of the program, including management of funds and working with the contracted organizations to ensure compliance with reporting obligations of the NEA Grant.
The Stories of Route 66: The International District Project will focus on the design of a “Story Plaza.” For hundreds of years, plazas in New Mexico have been a community’s gathering space in which to enjoy everyday life and celebrate annual events and festivals. The Story Plaza will encompass that tradition by celebrating the lives and stories of the many cultures that are represented in the District.
The first phase of the project (October 2013 - September 2015), takes place in Albuquerque’s International District (ID), which encompasses an area from San Mateo to Wyoming, Gibson to Lomas. Partners involved in the project, Littleglobe and SoPI, have spent the past two-plus years relationship-building with individuals and organizations within the district.
Residents—working with artists, designers and planners—will share their stories and perspectives through a collaborative process that will result in expression through visual art, photography, movement/dance, film, poetry and other forms. Residents will also work collaboratively to create an outline that expresses the diversity, talents, history and common values that describe the district. This process will result in a community- designed plan for the creation of the Story Plaza, led by UNM School of Architecture and Planning, a permanent physical representation that will be a gateway to history and neighbor- hood stories that celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of Albuquerque’s International District.
Both residents and visitors will enjoy a vibrant and beautiful gathering space that encourages fellowship, understanding and refuge, as well as serves as a potential water reclamation site for community collaboration.