New Mexico Historic Sites

New manager of Los Luceros Historic Site ready to jump in

September 12, 2023


Alcalde, NM – Los Luceros Historic Site (LLHS) has found its new manager! After months of searching, New Mexico Historic Sites (NMHS) has brought on Michelle Zupan to look after the site. 

“We are thrilled to have Michelle assume leadership of our incredible staff!” said Dr. Patrick Moore, executive director of NMHS. “We are so deeply fortunate to have someone with a truly remarkable list of accomplishments and credentials in leading historic site operations join our operations. She is a perfect fit for Los Luceros and Historic Sites as a whole!” 

Though it is the newest in the NMHS family, Los Luceros is dense with Northern New Mexico history and lifeways, ranging from agriculture, ecology, art, culture, and more. It reflects the beauty of the region, as well, owed to its proximity to the Rio Grande.  

The early years of a historic site are some of its most exciting: the manager and staff must build trust and community with their new neighbors, establish traditions, and learn the nooks and crannies of the site’s stories and how to share them with the public. Zupan joins LLHS during a moment when the layers of the site’s history have become clear, and now, she has the opportunity to guide the site’s interpretation and community building efforts.  

Though she has spent the last twenty years in Georgia, Zupan grew up in Virginia and Colorado. She’s an archaeologist by training but has spent much of her career working as a museum professional. Her museum work has prepared her to tackle the many layers of Los Luceros: her stints in museums range from the Hickory Hill historic house museum in Thomson, Georgia, to the Denver Museum of Natural History. She loves bringing the past to life for people.  

“It is simply not enough to call Los Luceros a gem or a treasure,” Zupan said about her new home. “The depth and breadth of history at the site is truly extraordinary. I look forward not only to learning about it, but also finding ways to engage visitors in appreciating the unique history and beauty of this region.” 

Zupan arrives on the cusp of one of the site’s enduring traditions. On Sunday, September 24, LLHS will invite the public to pick apples and celebrate the harvest with the annual Fall Harvest Festival. But a new tradition also kicks off that weekend: the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area is bringing its first Culture & Creators Arts Festival to the grounds of LLHS across that entire weekend, running from Saturday, September 23 to Sunday, September 24.  

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Michelle Zupan

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