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Trio of CityMakers Leave Their Mark of Creativity on Local Government

First-of-its-kind initiative brings local artists to the public sector to impact and inspire communities.

February 18, 2022 - The terms of three local artists selected by the City of Albuquerque's Department of Arts & Culture for the inaugural CityMakers program comes to a close as each participant completes their respective projects. CityMakers brings Albuquerque artists - and their creativity - into the public sector to support and develop projects that positively impact and inspire communities. This cohort has been working on collective and individual projects in partnership with a variety of City departments over the last 12 months.

"Artists often bring innovative thinking to challenges and inspiration to overlooked opportunities," Dr. Shelle Sanchez, director of Arts & Culture, said. "We appreciate the effort and dedication of this first cohort of CityMakers as they brought their creativity into service to our community."

Sarah Hogland-Gurulé is wrapping up her second of two Wellness Hotel dance/movement workshop residencies. As a CityMaker, Hogland-Gurulé knew she wanted to create a dance program and share it with youth who face barriers in accessing positive outlets for self-expression and empowerment. Approximately eight families benefited from her first five-week residency. Hogland-Gurulé felt it was important to connect with this underserved population and felt like this opportunity with the City was the way for her to provide direct services, in the form of her professional expertise as an artist, to the unhoused in Albuquerque.

Joeseph Arnoux is currently staging his public art project at the Alamosa Community Center Skate Park. Arnoux has secured funding to hire student apprentices to install a LandBack mural across various surfaces at the skate park to make more visible the Indigenous/Native American experience in Albuquerque. This project is scheduled for completion this spring as warmer weather is optimal for mural installations. Arnoux also worked with the Public Art Urban Enhancement Division to help amplify and diversify various calls for entry/applications for opportunities within the Department of Arts & Culture by leveraging his personal and professional network.

Initially, John Acosta wanted to raise awareness about the sobering statistics on youth detention/incarceration in New Mexico, however, his vision for his project evolved to a desire to focus less on illuminating "the problem" and more on lifting up the "solution makers" in our community. He pivoted to focus on those in the community organizing against violence. Next month Acosta will install a mural that will be the first in what he hopes to be a series highlighting champions of anti-violence in Albuquerque. He will employ two youth artists as apprentices and engage community partner, Working Classroom. Additionally, Acosta served as a site host for the Mayor's Creative Youth Corps and leveraged his network to help amplify and diversify various calls for entry/applications for opportunities within the Department of Arts & Culture.

Read the CityMakers' full bios here.

Applications are now being accepted for 2022 CityMakers. The application can be found at The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022.