SANTA FE – Join the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), in partnership with Friends of the Taylor Family Monument, and New Mexico Historic Sites for a virtual celebration in honor of J. Paul Taylor’s 100th birthday. Watch the festivities at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 on the DCA and Historic Sites Facebook pages or online at www.jpt100th.com.
Taylor’s love for New Mexico, dedication to the state’s cultural heritage, and commitment to social justice have been an inspiration to many. From 1987 to 2005, he served as a state representative (District 33) in the New Mexico legislature, where he developed a reputation as a strong advocate for arts and culture, bilingual education, and assistance for indigent and disabled New Mexicans. He was also instrumental in elevating Cultural Affairs to a cabinet level department, and has served three terms as a member of the Museum of New Mexico Board of Regents.
“J. Paul Taylor is truly authentic in how much he cares about New Mexico and its people. He is deeply committed to providing for their education and health, and understands how important culture is in their lives," says Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Debra Garcia y Griego. "He continues to serve New Mexico with great humanity and humility.”
In 2003, Taylor and his wife, Mary, and their family generously donated their adobe house and two adjoining stores in Mesilla to the Museum of New Mexico as a state historic site. The Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property, as it is now called, provides an exceptional setting for visitors to understand and appreciate the history, culture, and architecture of Mesilla and the borderland area. The Taylor family’s collection of Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and New Mexican artwork, along with furniture, rugs, pottery, and textiles from around the world, was donated as part of the gift.
“We won’t be able to celebrate Paul’s birthday with him in person as has been done for many years,” says Cynthia Garrett, President of the Taylor Friends, “but we are going to make this an exceptional event anyway!”
The virtual celebration will include special greetings from family, friends, and colleagues as they talk about Taylor, the many ways he’s made a difference, and what we can learn from his accomplishments. Speakers taking part include former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, state Sens. Joseph Cervantes and Liz Stefanics, former First Lady of New Mexico Clara Apodaca, and DCA Secretary Debra Garcia y Griego. Musical recordings include performances by Orlando Antonio Jimenez and Rey Barragan and Rosa Pinera.
Participate now with others from across the country as they offer tributes, send photos, video, and birthday greetings to the Taylor Friends web site at www.jpt100th.com or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs
Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is New Mexico’s cultural steward, charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, seven historic sites, arts, archaeology, historic preservation, and library programs, the DCA is one of the largest and most diverse state cultural agencies in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs, and services of the Department support a $5.6 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.
Events, news releases, and images related to activities in divisions of the DCA can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.