Alibi V.18 No.4 • Jan 22-28, 2009 

Culture Shock

While listening to “Studio 360” on the radio this morning (thank you, 89.1 KANW, for the awesomeness of your a.m. programming), I heard an interview with the poet Dana Gioia, departing chairperson for the National Endowment for the Arts. The program centered on artists' recommendations and wish lists for President Obama (say it with me, it's not a dream). Artists of all stripes are excited by the possibilities of this new administration; a commander in chief who confessed to not being a big reader has been replaced by one who is photographed with books of poetry tucked under his arm, his hands being full with BlackBerrys. It's become rote to say that America doesn't privilege art, but that's not necessarily endemic to our national character. Aside from Roosevelt's WPA program, Eisenhower recognized the importance of “soft diplomacy,” one that privileged cultural exchange, necessitating the development of our own artistic culture. Both Kennedy and Johnson were fierce proponents of arts funding as part of initiatives toward the realization of the New Frontier and Great Society. By the '80s, however, art had come to be seen as extraneous, or worse, un-American. My hard-earned tax dollars for a crucifix in a bottle of piss? Hell, no!

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Book Profile

A Necessary History of Beautiful Things

Nancy Benson’s New Mexico Colcha Club: Spanish Colonial Embroidery and the Women Who Saved It

When the first settlers made their way from Spain to what is now New Mexico in the early 1600s, they brought with them the essentials: sheep, seeds and fine embroidery. Embroidered textiles in some permutation or another are a part of nearly every culture, and New Mexico’s traditional embroidery, known as colcha, sprang from the detailed work found in Europe and hauled over an ocean to New Spain.

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Art News

Pins and Needles

Albuquerque tattoo artists unite

The way Noel Ortiz gushes about the tattoo culture in Albuquerque, you’d think his body was covered in ink.

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EVENT HORIZON ()

Dancin' for a Cause

Blues Winter Charity Ball

Live music from Joe Daddy and Hoodoo Jeff, delicious food and photo booth to raise money for the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico.
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Courtesy of the artist

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Rocking it all Folk-style

Midwinter Ballads

Scott and Johanna Hongell-Darsee present an all new program of ballads and stories of winter, light and darkness.
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The Ghost of Christmas Presents

Holiday Toy Drive and Craft Workshop

Make laser cut reindeer, 3D printed ornaments, screen printed ugly sweaters, and more. Reservation recommended. Donate an unwapped gifts.
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Courtesy of the artist

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Navidad del Sur

Mariachi Christmas

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s acclaimed Ballet Folklorico dancers and Mariachi Aztlan bring Mexican Christmas traditions to the stage.
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Hopefully Better Than That Cringey Christmas Special

A Very Star Wars Christmas

Darth Vader becomes the director of the school Forcemas pageant after noticing the overwhelming materialism amongst everyone during the holiday season.
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EVENT HORIZON ()

Dance around the world in 64 beats

Richard Wilson's 70th Birthday Contra Dance

A special birthday dance followed with music from the SF Megaband and calling from Erik Erhardt, Will McDonald and other N.M. community caller.
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