PozOrale Fall Festival
On September 30th, Santa Fe celebrated the first annual PozOrale Fall Festival and Pozole Competition. Earth Care
facilitated the community planning process for the event, which was led by southside residents with collaboration from other community organizations and sponsors. Funding was provided by the Santa Fe Arts Commission as part of its Southside Summer programming. Santa Fe Public Schools provided Cesar Chavez Elementary School as the location. Nearly 300 people enjoyed music, dance and spoken-word performances representing northern New Mexico, Native American, Eastern European and Mexican cultures. Seventeen pozole chefs competed for cash prizes and bragging rights. Alas de Aguas and other local artists worked with children and youth to create murals about community healing and transformation.
The event represented a reclamation of space—both physically and metaphorically. It was an example of a new community-led approach for City-sponsored summer events. A committee of southside residents organized and decided how to invest the available resources to create the gathering. They chose the theme, organized the participants, selected the location and staffed the event. The PozOrale Festival demonstrated what can happen when communities have places to come together in their neighborhoods to build connections and nurture civic activities that that honor their rich cultural heritage.