One year after Las Cruces approved the Public Art Master Plan and several months dormancy because of COVID, public art is back on the City agenda! The City has hired as a new staff member and the Public Art Board has been reconstituted! Art Board Chair Tina Ballew and Public Art Coordinator Ceci Vasconcellos joined Nan Rubin to bring us up to date. In addition to getting ready to install the new artwork designed for City Hall, the Art Board is preparing to solicit artists for several commissions at city buildings and is launching an initiative to inventory the public art all around Las Cruces.
The lack of affordable and accessible broadband in New Mexico is an issue that Nan Rubin has covered extensively on Cafe con Leche. As this legislative session contemplates some new legislation to support expanded broadband service throughout the state, Nan invited Lori Martinez from Ngage New Mexico and Erica Sarova from the Center for Community Analysis, to talk about the importance of their campaign #ConnectNM in advocating to support this legislation.
The first and only test in New Mexico of the atomic bomb was conducted at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity site on the northern end of the White Sands Proving Grounds. Farmers and ranchers and their families throughout the region knew something was up, and although they did not know what they were seeing, many got up early that morning and witnessed the blast. Elva K. Österreich, writer at the The Las Cruces Bulletin and Editor of the Desert Exposure supplement, spoke with Nan Rubin about her new book The Manhattan Project Trinity Test: Witnessing the Bomb in New Mexico and shared some of their powerful firsthand accounts.
Although COVID has forced the Downtown Las Cruces Partnership to cancel its most popular events, including the New Year’s Chile Drop and the Zombie Walk in October, the DLCP has been busy continuing to support downtown business. Community Coordinator Susan Greenwald visits with Nan Rubin to bring us up to date on their activities supporting the creative economy with new programs, including Downtown Artists-In-Residence and establishing the Arts and Culture District.
There is a lot of activity out at the Las Cruces International Airport lately, including upgrading the runways, adding signage and landscaping, and a brand new BBQ restaurant about to open. Airport Administrator Andy Hume visited with Nan Rubin to talk about the improvements and effort to combine the airport with the West Mesa Industrial Park as a growing economic engine for the city.
The Children's Reading Alliance promotes children’s literacy in Doña Ana County and runs programs that place books in the hands of families. Executive Director Jennifer Alvarado talked with Nan Rubin about adapting their current reading programs to reach children and parents in the time of Covid.
Nan Rubin's guest on Cafe Con Leche was Daisy Maldonado, who was just honored by the civil rights group Muslim Advocates. At the Muslims Making Change national honors ceremony, Daisy was recognized with the Civil Society Award for her long-standing dedication to organizing communities in the colonias of Doña Ana County, as Executive Director of the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County.
In the era of Black Lives Matter, when a spirit of confronting our long history of racial prejudice and economic inequality is spreading, the death of Congressman John Lewis reminds us that the struggle for civil rights goes back a long way. 1964 was the year of Mississippi Freedom Summer, a campaign that saw 800 mostly white college students descend upon Mississippi at great risk to set up Freedom Schools and support voter registration. In a program special, Cafe con Leche presents Nan Rubin's interview with Jim Kates, a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer and partner in Zephyr Press with Leora Zeitlin, on the 50th anniversary edition of Letters from Mississippi: Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers and Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer . KTAL Radio, Cafe con Leche, Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. and midnight.
NOTE: The Las Cruces Space Festival has been postponed based on restrictions from the New Mexico Department of Health and may be held October 4-10th to align with International Space Week.
For the third year, the Las Cruces Space Festival is coming Monday March 30th through Saturday April 4th! There will be activities for the whole family and special broadcasts here on KTAL-LP. Alice Carruth, Executive Director of the Festival, is Nan Rubin's guest to let us know all about the events planned for the week!
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