Hispanic cultural center finding new ways to tell historical narratives

Hispanic Heritage Month

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With the current change in social climate in the United States, new questions about old narratives on how many arrived to different parts of the country are being raised.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque is now finding ways to adapt to those requests through conversation and exhibits. “We’re looking to facilitate cross cultural education and dialogue and really opening up space for us to learn about perspectives that maybe are not our own,” said Jadira Gurule, Curator at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum. “but also share our perspectives as well.”

A new $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to the cultural center is helping to make that process of a change a reality. Educators are now coming up with creative ways to spur the dialogue.
“Those projects will include exhibitions, they’ll include educational programming with a real focus on the important creative and critical contributions of artists of color, specifically Hispanic, Latin-X and indigenous artists,” added Gurule, “and what they contribute to this discourse about change and also examining the role that institutions like the NHCC can play in this moment.”

It’s those innovative ways that educators hope can address new concerns for longstanding narratives of the interactions of settlers and natives. “At the center, I think it really means holding space to investigate the ways we tell stories about who we are,” said Gurule. “The way we tell stories about the past, tell stories about people and really be willing to look at those in the face of challenging truths and see where we can work to grow and work together.”

It’s almost fitting that these narrative changes begin at the cultural center in a place like New Mexico where there are strong populations of descendants from Spanish settlers, Native Americans, and other cultures whose stories are intertwined.

One of the first art exhibits spurring change is set to open virtually in October 2020.

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