Conference Calendar

Annual Conference @ La Fonda Hotel
Nov 4 – Nov 6 all-day
#1. The Power of Art in Public Places @ La Fonda Hotel
Nov 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

What is public art? Is it simply art located in a public space? Or can public art serve a deeper purpose to enliven and engage the communities in which it is located? Three New Mexico based artists working in the public art realm with an enlightened view of what public art can be will discuss their projects and outline the ways in which they engage community in their processes. Hear about the expectations they had going into their projects, and how the outcomes did or did not meet those expectations. We’ll discuss as a group the potential for public art to affect individuals and communities on a deeper level, and talk about how to work in such powerful territory while being careful to hold space for the community members themselves throughout out the lifecycle of a project.


Christy Hengst, Artist

Vince Kadlubek, CEO and Co-Founder, Meow Wolf

#2. Connecting Your Virtual Community
Nov 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Facebook has 968 million daily users. 65% of U.S. shoppers buy online and 85% do research online before they buy. Online charitable donations are growing by 5% each year. The average person spends three-five hours a day on the Internet. Instead of waiting for people to find them, businesses and organizations today need to create virtual places for people to interact in real time through the Internet. This session will explore “tools of the trade” we can use to connect with people and share case studies of organizations that are using social media to build community and connect with donors, partners and attendees.

Tools of the Trade with Robyne Beaubien, New Mexico MainStreet Promotions Program Associate

Case Studies in Action Panelists:

Matthew Chase-Daniel with Axle Contemporary, a mobile gallery that gathers crowds to new locations with social media

Linda DeMarino, Executive Director of MainStreet Truth or Consequences, a 501c3 that uses social media to build awareness of events and encourage interaction

Wendy Sandidge, Managing Director of Entrepreneurial Services and the Native Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Roger Holden, Parks and Recreation Director, Town of Edgewood, and Leader with RETRO 66 – Relive the Route

# 3. Flashes of Inspiration
Nov 4 @ 3:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Similar in spirit to the many PechaKuchaTM and IgniteTM events around the world, Building Creative Communities’ Flashes of Inspiration is a 30-minute session that will include an array of fast-paced and highly visual presentations designed to inform and inspire in only five minutes apiece. We’re inviting all conference attendees to send in submissions. Five submissions will be chosen to present their organization or community’s great program or fresh idea in exactly five minutes (strict time limits apply).

How You Can Participate

If you have an innovative program or successful initiative that you would like considered for Flashes of Inspiration 2015, please fill out our very short submission form telling us about your idea. The submission deadline is September 25. If you are interested in participating we ask that you complete the form by that time.

We are especially interested in presentations that feature creative approaches to placemaking, technology, transportation, cultural landscapes, and corridors, trails, and byways of all kinds. However, if you have an exciting activity focusing on a different topic, don’t hesitate—all entries are welcome. No activity is “too small” to count. Sometimes great things come in little packages!

If you have any questions, please contact Jenice Gharib (505-827-6492) at New Mexico Arts. We look forward to receiving your proposal!


Jenice Gharib, Grants Program Manager, New Mexico Arts

#4. Growing Creative Entrepreneurs and Their Businesses
Nov 4 @ 3:45 pm – 4:15 pm

Join us for a brief introduction on how creative entrepreneurs are starting businesses with the support and assistance of business incubators. Explore what a creative business incubator does and how it differs – or not – from traditional business incubators. Learn how you can support creative entrepreneurs in your own community.



Alice Loy, Co-founder, Creative Startups

#5 Creative Heritage Trails
Nov 4 @ 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm

Viva the New Mexico Central Railroad! Tim Rogers will outline planning approaches for trails as non-motorized transportation in New Mexico communities and discuss the ideal kinds of alignments that emerge for community trails, including a variety of natural and man-made corridors of historic and cultural interest. Focusing on trails along active and abandoned rail alignments, he will use a case study of the New Mexico Central Railroad to discuss trails as a possible agent of historic preservation and interpretation, in addition to transportation, recreation, and health.


Tim Rogers, Trails Program Manager, Santa Fe Conservation Trust & Consultant to New Mexico Department of Health as “Active Transportation Planning”

Myla Vicenti Carpio, Associate Professor, American Indian Studies, Arizona State University

Hilario Romero, Professor of History, Spanish and Education, and former Director, New Mexico Educational Opportunity Center at Northern New Mexico College

#6. Maximum Impact: Mobilizing Networks to Facilitate Success for Community Arts and Revitalization
Nov 4 @ 4:16 pm – 5:30 pm

The role of network-building in advancing social change and community economic success is critical to building impact of community development projects in New Mexico and throughout the country. Moreover, cross-sector coordination in the arts and social sectors is garnering the attention and support of philanthropy and other funding institutions. In New Mexico, several networks, and network integrator organizations, are stimulating positive change around a variety of topics and particularly among rural and traditionally underserved populations. A panel of presenters will discuss the development of networks they manage towards maximizing impact in arts and social change projects.


Allison Hagerman, Associate Program Officer, McCune Charitable Foundation

Adrián A. PedrozaExecutive Director, Partnership for Community Action

Felicity Broennan, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships for the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs


Eduardo X. Martinez, Organizational Development Program Associate, New Mexico MainStreet

#7.  Connections and Transformations: Using Historic Connections to Transform Communities and Drive Cultural Tourism and Economic Success (Cultural Corridors Track)
Nov 5 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Individuals and communities are physically linked in many ways — trails, rails, highways and roads. These physical linkages have shaped and changed us, both in our experience as we travel to our destination and in the impacts these physical linkages have on the destination itself. This session will explore connections between communities along Route 66, mining communities along the Turquoise Trail, historic Harvey Houses and sustainable cultural tourism as a whole. The session panelists will share how these connections are being leveraged to drive cultural tourism and economic revitalization in the communities they pass through.


Carla Ward, Board Member, Turquoise Trail Association, and Owner, Tinkertown Museum

Ronnie Torres, Belen Harvey House Museum Employee/Volunteer

Susan Guyette, Ph. D., Planning Director, Santa Fe Planning & Research

Mark Lake, Former Executive Director, Tucumcari MainStreet


Amy Barnhart, Organizational Development Program Associate, New Mexico MainStreet

#8. Great Streets, Great Places! (Placemaking Track)
Nov 5 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am

Creative Placemaking, Tactical Urbanism, Better Blocks, Streets as Places, and similar programs are emerging interdisciplinary movements that can be dynamic processes for engaging, empowering and transforming communities.  These movements focus on the public realm as their physical areas for implementation, which include public highways, streets, parks and vacant public spaces.  In New Mexico, they often occur in the historic core of a town center.  In the process of revitalizing and re-activating these places, there can be complications arising due to transportation policies with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, or protecting the historic integrity by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.  This session will overview these movements and through examples of case studies around the state, illustrate how some of these issues are now being resolved through creative collaborations and partnerships between the local governments, state agencies, and local organizations involved in economic development and the arts, to stimulate action toward common and positive community-building efforts.


Cynthia Nikitin, Senior Vice-President, Project for Public Spaces


Bill Hutchinson, State Landscape Architect, New Mexico Department of Transportation

Barbara Zook, Architectural Project Reviewer, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Charlie Deans, Urban Planning Program Associate, New Mexico MainStreet

#9. Interpreting Our Connections (Cultural Corridors Track)
Nov 5 @ 1:30 pm – 3:15 pm

The cultural corridors of New Mexico are deeply carved through the landscapes of history, art and culture. For centuries, New Mexico roads and trails linking ancient communities also connect architectural landmarks, archaeological sites, artists, businesses, memories, myths and legends. This session will offer innovative cultural heritage tourism strategies that interpret and share rich community resources with visitors and residents alike. Blogger Jon Knudsen will describe his adventures traveling by bicycle and using the new “Off the Road” website as his guide. Kathy Hendrickson has touched an unheralded tour theme in the legacy of Fred Harvey and the Santa Fe Railroad. Mike Pitel shares a lifetime of experience offering tours of the “Mother Road” on Route 66, and Carol Cooper shares her pioneering work in creating the popular New Mexico Fiber Arts Trail.


Jon Knudsen, blogger, bike rider, writer, traveler, and retired teacher

Kathy Hendrickson, Owner / Operator, Southwest Detours, Las Vegas, NM

Mike Pitel, Founder, TravelSource New Mexico

Carol Cooper, arts and culture consultant


Elmo Baca, New Mexico MainStreet Program Associate

#10. IN-FIELD WALKING WORKSHOP — Placemaking: Making It Happen NM-Style (Placemaking Track)
Nov 5 @ 1:31 pm – 5:15 pm


PPS’s Placemaking: Making it Happen is an educational course that builds on participants’ knowledge of Placemaking concepts and provides the tools to implement and manage Placemaking projects.   This session will be exciting and creative because it will adapt PPS’s Placemaking course to include a New Mexico-version of their Place Game evaluation tool that will be used on the Santa Fe plaza and surrounding streets.  The participants will be organized into small teams and led around the plaza by team leaders from various disciplines (Arts, Transportation, Historic Preservation, and  MainStreet) to conduct the Place Game evaluation tool.  There will be a debrief session afterwards with each team reporting back their observations and evaluations of the plaza as a public place.  The participants will learn how to evaluate public spaces and take these lessons and techniques back to their own community to begin to transform their public places into dynamic and revitalized centers.


Cynthia Nikitin, Senior Vice-President, Project for Public Spaces


Roxanne Swentzell, Native American clay artist and sculptor


Bill Hutchinson, New Mexico Department of Transportation

Pilar Cannizzaro, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Karla McWilliams, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Jenice Gharib, New Mexico Arts

Charlie Deans, New Mexico MainStreet

William Powell, New Mexico MainStreet

Roxanne Swentzell

#11. Cultural Bridges: Connecting Across Cultures (Cultural Corridors Track)
Nov 5 @ 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm

The ability to speak between cultures, to create space for a creative nexus between peoples, to build a stronger resilient community that not only embraces our past but also builds for future generations — that  comes from our ability to develop a spirit of common understanding and mutually respectful dialogue. Being a creative community relies on our ability to communicate with different cultures and bridge cultural divides. In this increasingly multicultural and multigenerational world, the importance of art and story-telling can have a huge impact on minimizing the distance between cultural “islands”. Where and how do we allow creative space to happen to build healthy, vibrant communities?  This workshop will focus on the power of artistry, history and cultural competence in building community resilience and collaboration.  The session will include a group dialogue with participants on bridging across a wide range of community and cultural issues in New Mexico.


Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, cultural worker, and Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University, Aspen Institute – Franklin Project Ambassador

Jasmine Sena y Cuffee, community organizer, poet and youth advocate

Alejandro Lopez, artist and educator

Roxane Spruce Bly, consultant in community-based strategic planning, program development and evaluation


Eduardo X. Martinez, Organizational Development Program Associate, New Mexico MainStreet

#12. Cultural Landscapes and the Arts in New Mexico
Nov 6 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am

New Mexico has an important tradition of art in the 20th century. Artists working alone or in schools have produced works of art that have helped shape the image of New Mexico. This session will explore the concept of the cultural landscape by looking at the places where artists worked, such as homes, studios, and en plein air and the subjects they chose to paint. Cultural landscapes can be expansive because they embrace both the built environment as well as features of the natural landscape. Speakers in this session will address Georgia O’Keefe and the landscapes she painted near her home in Abiquiu and Peter Hurd, who painted the people and landscapes of the Hondo Valley, where he lived. The National Register of Historic Places will be discussed as a means to identify, evaluate, and document these important cultural landscapes.


Sara Woodbury, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Roswell Museum and Art Center

Robert A. Kret, Director, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum


Steven Moffson, State and National Register Coordinator, New Mexico Historic Preservation Division