FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2015
Celebrating 75 years: May 29, 1940 to May 30, 2015
On Saturday, May 30 from 1 to 5pm, Coronado Historic Site celebrates its 75th anniversary, but the site’s importance originates two millennia ago when people were living and farming in the vicinity.
This free, family-friendly celebration looks to the future and honors the site’s storied past. Reenactments, guided tours, music, refreshments, a display of classic Model "A" Fords, and a very special cake prepared by the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa’s award-winning pastry chef are just a few things that visitors will enjoy. And those attending this 75th celebratory event will also view the re-opened Kuaua Mural Gallery—at 500 years old the only kiva murals on public display with permission of their cultural stakeholders (Santa Ana, Sandia, Isleta, and Taos Pueblos)—as well as two new exhibitions, the Good Earth and The Development of Native American Easel Art in New Mexico: The Dorothy Dunn Collection on loan from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
Making a special appearance will be Albuquerque’s own award-winning slam poet Carlos Contreras, who will recite It Used to be a Village— a moving reflection of his personal experience of Coronado Historic Site.
As part of the state-wide observance of the Coronado Cuarto Centenario, marking four centuries since Capitan-General Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led his expedition to New Mexico, the site was dedicated as Coronado State Monument on May 29, 1940. And, on July 1, 2013 the site was designated as Coronado Historic Site. The significance of this site are the multiple cultures who lived here –beginning with the Tiwa about 1325 CE and continuing to the present.
Coronado Historic Site’s present-day importance also extends to its substantial outreach efforts attracting an estimated 2,000,000 visitors since its opening in 1940; nearly 3,000 student visitors each year; numerous Eagle Scout Projects; and, considerable community involvement with numerous other community-based youth programs.
Moving the site into the 21st century is the recently completed first phase of a digitization project for all artifacts associated with Kuaua and Pueblo Santiago and the renovation of the main interpretive exhibit, as well as site staff collaborating with New Mexico Highlands University’s Program for Interactive Cultural Technologies (led by Miriam Langer, PhD). All of this has been made possible with the able assistance of the largest friends group (about 400 members) in the New Mexico State Historic Sites system.
NOTE TO LISTING EDITORS:
Rediscover Coronado Historic Site: Celebrating 75 years
Saturday, May 30, 2015, 1 to 5pm
For more information the public may call 505-867-5351
Coronado Historic Site is located on US 550 at 485 Kuaua Road in Bernalillo, NM
This free, family-friendly celebration features reenactments, guided tours, music, refreshments, a display of classic Model "A" Fords, a very special cake prepared by an award-winning pastry chef from the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, the re-opening of the Kuaua Mural Gallery—at 500 years old the only kiva murals on public display with permission of their cultural stakeholders (Santa Ana, Sandia, Isleta, and Taos Pueblos)—and two new exhibitions, the Good Earth and The Development of Native American Easel Art in New Mexico: The Dorothy Dunn Collection. Making a special appearance will be Albuquerque’s award-winning slam poet Carlos Contreras who will recite It Used to be a Village.
Steve Cantrell, PR Manager
Annie Campagna Historic Site Ranger
Coronado Historic Site is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $3. A combination ticket, good for admission to both Jémez and Coronado Historic Sites is available for $5. Sunday admission for New Mexico residents with ID is free. Wednesday admission is free to New Mexico Seniors (60+) with ID. Children 16 and under are always admitted free. Coronado Historic Site is part of the New Mexico State Historic Sites, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.
A Brief History of Coronado Historic Site
Coronado Historic Site includes the partially reconstructed ruins of the ancient Pueblo of Kuaua, a Tiwa word for "evergreen." This monument is named for Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who is thought to have camped near this site with his soldiers in 1540 while searching for the fabled Cities of Gold. The Pueblo was occupied from 1300 AD and abandoned near the end of the 16th century. Excavated at the site in the 1930s is a Kiva, whose painted figures are considered the finest example of pre-contact mural art in the United States. Today, inside this kiva, you will find mural reproductions of Pueblo life depicting animal figures and human images. The Kuaua Mural Hall houses 15 panels of the original murals excavated out of one of the rectangle kivas. Native American and Spanish Colonial artifacts are on display in the John Gaw Meem-designed visitor center.