Alibi V.17 No.9 • Feb 28-March 5, 2008 

Culture Shock

Los Poblanos Pond   by Jane Abrams
Los Poblanos Pond by Jane Abrams

Sheltered Cradle

Part of The Cradle Project's mission to raise money for orphans in sub-Saharan Africa includes filling a warehouse with 1,000 cradles and cribs made by artists from around the world. The original warehouse space was a 20,000-square-foot building in the railyard that was once a locomotive repair shop. The lease of the space to Albuquerque Studios has changed the plan slightly.

Naomi Natale, the organizer of The Cradle Project, says everything's still moving along for the June 7 opening and a few new locations are being considered, but nothing is confirmed yet. Until then, The Cradle Project will accept submissions for the show through April 12 (details can be found at www.thecradleproject.org) and celebrate its cause at 516 Arts (516 Central SW, 242-1445) for its sister show, Giving Shelter. Giving Shelter opens on Saturday, March 1, and runs through March 29. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, March 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. with works based on refuge by 50 local and national artists.

Waaaay Out ch'YondA

Sometime last week, I received a mass e-mail from the folks at Out ch'YondA Live Artz Cooperative. It's not a rare occurrence as my e-mail address must be on their listserv two or three times, ensuring I receive everything in triplicate. This one was titled "A Plea for February," and in it were words I didn't expect. "It's been a great five and a half years," it read, "and we could keep going ..."

Could keep going.

It seems winter and the high gas prices weren't kind to the organizers at Out ch'YondA, two of them pulling together nearly $1,300 in personal funds to pay the heating bill. This hardship, among others, prompted Virginia, Mimi, Stef, Elisa and Shrayas to make preparations to close Out ch'YondA by the end of June. A few of the ladies plan to move Out ch'YondA somewhere more tropical, like Belize, where they can take the cooperative to a new level, according to the e-mail. And I hope they do. Every city, town or village needs a place to do art—a place like Out ch'YondA. And the loss of a community-driven art space is a blow.

Losing Out ch'YondA is a powerful uppercut, powerful enough to create a gaping void upon impact. At least we have until midsummer to brace ourselves.