FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2018
Mary Ann Hatchitt
The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) displays 2018’s featured exhibit from the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) in the Wonders on Wheels (WoW) mobile museum Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 7:30 a.m.-9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque. The WoW exhibit from MIAC offers New Mexicans a unique look at the 24 Native American tribal communities of New Mexico, told through the eyes of Pueblo, Apache and Navajo children.
This exhibit was guest curated by Dr. Jessie Ryker-Crawford (Ojibway) and Dr. Shelley Valdez (Laguna Pueblo), president of Native Pathways, a nonprofit educational company. The MIAC Native American Tribes of New Mexico exhibit was produced by a cohort of four Pueblo, Apache, and Navajo educators selected from each of the three land-based tribal groups: Melissa Henry (Navajo), Sherwin Sando (Jemez Pueblo), Mia Toya (Jemez Pueblo), and Ina Montoya (Jicarilla Apache). Program partner Dr. Carnell Chosa (Jemez Pueblo) from the Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School provided pre-program support.
WoW’s exhibit from MIAC focuses on the importance of traditional foods, plants, and animals as well as dance-music, and the arts of New Mexico’s indigenous populations. Through displays and hands-on activities, this exhibit, designed for visitors ages 4–14, shows children the natural-dyed yarns that go into making Navajo rugs and lets them feel the sheep wool while learning about weaving. Visitors will learn about the traditional clothing of New Mexico’s tribal people through a doll exhibit that features some of our state’s most talented tribal doll makers. Bows and arrows, atlatls, drums, and rattles are there to be handled and discussed. Pottery activities, an interactive tribal map of New Mexico, and videos on corn, drum making, and honoring traditional Native American ways of living are featured within this dynamic exhibit.
"We are excited to launch the Wonder on Wheels with its new exhibit from the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe,” said DCA Cabinet Secretary Veronica Gonzales. “This is an incredibly effective STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) resource to engage diverse, rural and underserved residents of New Mexico with active, hands-on learning experiences across cultural and scientific disciplines. It allows us to share the rich educational materials housed in New Mexico’s state museums and historic sites with all of our citizens, and deepen the understanding of our shared history, arts and culture.”
WoW is a specially retrofitted 38-foot RV featuring 300 square feet of arts, culture, history, and science exhibits and curriculum-based programming on wheels. The WoW mobile museum brings specific exhibits curated from one of DCA’s eight state-run museums to public schools and libraries in communities throughout New Mexico. During 2017, WoW made 115 site visits in all 33 New Mexico counties reaching 17,430 people, serving elementary schools in remote and rural communities that have little or no access to museums will be a priority. The service directly connects the resources and educational opportunities of DCA with New Mexicans statewide.
The Mobile Museum will typically spend up to two weeks at a time in specific areas of the state. The exciting interactive, hands-on exhibits provide a rich, experiential curriculum delivered by trained educators who engage students in diverse subject matters ranging from New Mexico history to folk, native and fine arts, natural history, space science and more. The WoW program is in partnership with, and, will make stops at New Mexico’s public and tribal libraries offering educational programming at each library and elementary school during the school year, and offer a family experience in the summer months. This unparalleled out-of-the-classroom experience will provide a critical museum-based educational experience to students who live too far away from or don’t otherwise have access to DCA museums and historic sites.
Curators, educators, and designers from DCA’s eight museums create the experience in the Mobile Museum. Each of the following museums will build a WoW exhibit that will travel throughout New Mexico for one year: the New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, New Mexico Historic Sites, and the NM Museum of Space History. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science provided the featured exhibit during WoW’s first year 2017.
The WoW program is made possible by the support of the J.F. Maddox Foundation, the SP and Estelle Yates Family Foundation, The Chase Foundation, and the New Mexico Public Education Department. MIAC’s WOW mobile exhibit is also supported by a generous “Learning Experiences” grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences, the National Museum of the American, Washington D.C.; and the Indian Education Division of the Public Education Department.
For more information about the Wonder on Wheels new exhibit from MIAC: http://media.newmexicoculture.org/release/667/wonders-on-wheels-ex
To request a visit from the Wonders on Wheels mobile museum, contact Jamie Brytowski, mobile museum education program, 505-476-1171, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Laboratory of Anthropology: As the 19th century closed, one of the Southwest’s major "attractions" was its vibrant Native American culture. In response to unsystematic collecting by Eastern museums, anthropologist Edgar Lee Hewett founded the Museum of New Mexico in 1909 with a mission to collect and preserve Southwest Native American material culture. Several years later, in 1927, John D. Rockefeller founded the renowned Laboratory of Anthropology with a mission to study the Southwest’s indigenous cultures. In 1947, the two institutions merged, bringing together the most inclusive and systematically acquired collection of New Mexican and Southwestern anthropological artifacts in the country. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May through October; closed Mondays November through April, closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’ Day. 710 Camino Lejo off Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87504, Phone: (505) 476-1269. Events, news releases and images about activities at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and other in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.
About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs: http://www.newmexicoculture.org/ Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs represents New Mexico’s dedication to preserving and celebrating the cultural integrity and diversity of our state. The Department oversees a broad range of New Mexico’s arts and cultural heritage agencies, which include 15 divisions representing a variety of programs and services. Among its primary functions is the management of the largest state sponsored museum system in the country. New Mexico’s historic sites and state-run museums are located across the state and include: New Mexico Historic Sites, Statewide; New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo; New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque; New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque. The Department also oversees the New Mexico State Library, Historic Preservation Division, New Mexico Arts, and the Office of Archaeological Studies. Events, news releases and images about activities in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at media.newmexicoculture.org.
About the Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School: The Leadership Institute of the Santa Fe Indian School was launched over 20 years ago based on the nonexistence of any forum to discuss the most critical policy issues that impact the Native tribes of New Mexico. Modeled after some of the nation’s top think tanks, the LI is unique due to its culturally and community-based approach and its emphasis on youth leadership development.
This MIAC exhibit was generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); Wonders on Wheels is made possible by the support of the J.F. Maddox Foundation, the SP and Estelle Yates Family Foundation, The Chase Foundation, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Indian Education Division of the New Mexico Public Education Department.