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 Dec 9 - 15, 2004 
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Culture Shock

By Steven Robert Allen

Looking for a creative way to get involved in the community that doesn't involve ladling gruel into bowls? Artstreet, a program of Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless, has open studios on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During these periods anyone can come in and make art using Artstreet's supplies.

Of course, 85 percent of the people who take advantage of the program are either homeless or in transition. Everyone, though, is encouraged to attend. As program manager Brenda Bunker says: "This is a community based project. We ask people to come in and make art as members of the community. You can work on Artstreet projects or installations, or help staff our events. It's a way for people to join with the community rather than do something to the community, if you know what I mean. That's part of our guiding philosophy."

By coming in and participating, you'll be engaging with your neighbors in a positive, creative environment designed to help those in trouble find a way out of their current crisis. If you can't donate your time, Artstreet will always take donations, either in the form of art supplies or cold hard cash to fund the nonprofit's other worthy programs, which include art shows, workshops, art therapy groups and art outreach programs. Artstreet is located at 1217 First Street NW, at the corner of First Street and Mountain. For details, call 248-0817.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) will collaborate with the New Mexico Women's Foundation to hold a Holiday Shopping Fair this Saturday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair will bring together women artisans from all over the state to sell everything from jewelry to textiles to books to music to folk art. It's a great place to pick up a one-of-a-kind handmade gift for your friends or kin. Immediately following the fair, participants are invited to take part in a short program in the center's new performance facility that will include refreshments and singing. For more information, call 766-9858.

UNM has one of the best printmaking departments in the country. Every year right before the holidays, it hosts a popular print sale of work by undergraduate and graduate students as well as Tamarind student printmakers. It's a great way to pick up low-priced prints from some of our best emerging local artists. This year, the sale will take place in UNM's new Art Building, located just west of Popejoy Hall. The shindig kicks off Thursday, Dec. 9, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 11. It's free and open to the public. For the full scoop, call 265-7795.

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