July 2014

Stories of Route 66: The International District

Artist Team and Community Participants



Artist Team Member Reflections


Judith Shaw: “As a painter, it warms my heart to be present when some of our group experience amazement and empowerment as the shapes, forms and colors flow from their hands. Little by little, our group has gone from a room full of strangers to a room full of family. Like any family, sometimes we have disagreements and problems, but with love and compassion for each other we are able to resolve them. As much as our participants have learned from the artist team about making art, we have also learned from them about their cultures, their struggles and their joys. This work is unique, intense, creative, challenging and immensely rewarding.”


Mónica Sánchez: “My background is anchored in theatermaking, which I’ve been at for the last 30 years. It is, however, the last six months that have distilled a return to process in the most basic way: not only with the why (do we make art?), which is answered in every session when some unexpected communion occurs, but also in the how, which is a constant exercise in adaptation and being present. It is this sense of process and sharing that we will present through a series of movement and images as we illuminate our shared and separate journeys, converging now as the Stories of Route 66.”


Erin Hudson: “Being a part of the Stories of Route 66: The International District allows me to be engaged in a process I love—getting to know people I normally wouldn’t and listening to their stories. Through this process, I have gained a dynamic and more complex view of what it means to be a part of the Albuquerque community. Ultimately, I have become a member of a new family, made up of a wide range of nationalities, languages, ages and abilities. Our family has a common story: we journey through the city to come together, relate, create, be witnessed, and be fully human, every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:00 pm.”


Billy Joe Miller: “Early into our Sunday meetings, Mónica put a group of 10 into a circle for an activity. First, we did some movement exercises; then, she asked everyone to sing a song from their homeland. I immediately felt uncomfortable for the group. I don’t mind singing to strangers but, sadly, it’s something that the average American just doesn’t do. I thought it wasn’t going to go over well. As she went around the circle I was completely blown away by everyone in the circle participating. And not just a song. All of them sang with passion, some beat the side of a concrete table like a drum and others performed an explosive dance. Despite over six languages, each week we learn more about each other and create together. I’m so grateful for this experience, and I’m learning so much so rapidly. There is so much potential for all of us to see something in another light and learn something new.”



Quotes from Community Participants


I like the idea of bringing people together to build relationships through art.”


I like being around neighbors of different backgrounds. The group movement activities seemed to push people into dealing with each other in different and better ways.”


Here is fun.”


I grew up in this neighborhood, and I’m excited about the coming transformation because of this project.”


I like kids. I like coming with my son. I also like the community-building.”


Porque arte sobre muchas raices y hacer art con otros personas cree una comunidad.”

Me gusta el arte y también es muy positivo para mi comunidad en el Distrito Internacional.”


So fun! I get to hear stories from other places, and songs or music.”


Thank you, for in Afghanistan [I have] no art with [other] persons.”


I enjoy hearing the many languages. I enjoy learning from one another and making art.”


I feel more connected because I meet a lot of people from different countries.”


We get to do fun stuff like making masks, drawing, and acting.”


I’ve never seen or done anything like this, and making large artworks I didn’t think was possible by people who were strangers and now are like a big family.”


 Stories of Route 66




3-5:30 pm: Premiere of five Free Little Libraries in the International District

5:30-7 pm: ID Community Portraits Exhibition. Sundowner Apartments, 6101 Central Ave.  Opening reception for an exhibition of portraits of ID residents 


10-11 am: Ribbon-cutting, International Art Garden. NE corner of Dallas and Bell in the Trumbull Village Neighborhood

11 am-3 pm: Building Bridges: Art and Immigration. SE corner of Alcazar & Central. New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice

1:30-2 pm: Garden Park Sidewalk Dedication. 7401 Copper Ave NE (Corner of Española St. & Copper Ave. in the La Mesa Neighborhood)

1-5 pm: Student Artwork Exhibition and Outdoor Barbecue on the campus of Southwest University of the Visual Arts

2-4 pm. Children’s Music and Dance. La Mesa Presbyterian Church, 7401 Copper Ave NE, 87108.

2-6 pm: Bell Street Block Party

6-7 pm: Morning Glory” (Shade Structure). Opening reception for an art installation/shade structure co-created by residents of the Int’l. District and Littleglobe. SE corner of Central and Alcazar (just east of Talin International Market in the South San Pedro Neighborhood)

7-8 pmBYO picnic dinner.  NM Veteran’s Memorial Park

8-9:15 pmTitle TBD: Short-Film Festival and Performance.  NM Veteran’s Memorial Park, north of Gibson on Louisiana



10 -10:45 am: Lion Dance and Public Walk, from Van Hanh Temple (327 Georgia St. 87108 in So. San Pedro) to Talin International Market. The walk will be led by Van Hanh’s lion dance team in a celebration of culture, history and good fortune.

11 am-3pm: Pop-Up Block Party. Empty lot on 708 San Mateo SE

Noon-2 pm: Design the ID! 5321 Acoma SE in South San Pedro. Design and develop an image representing the International District.

4-6 pm: Closing reception. Lot at Central and Alcazar. The Stories of Route 66: International District Team




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