Monday, April 01, 2013
A neighborhood tradition. A mural. A play. An annual event.
These are all things that can make a community unique and improve the quality of life for its residents. Bernalillo County wants to highlight those local cultural traditions as a way to improve life for residents, and to lure tourists, businesses and employees to the area.
But to do that, Bernalillo County Commission chair Maggie Hart Stebbins said the county needs to know what those cultural traditions are. As a result, the county is conducting a survey and holding a round of meetings to find out what cultural events, places and practices residents in its unincorporated areas want to preserve.
Here is the schedule of public meetings to help the county come up with a catalog of cultural treasures:
- District 1, Commissioner Debbie O’Malley – April 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center, 9800 Fourth NW.
- District 3, Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins – April 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m., NDI New Mexico, Hiland Theater, Studio E, 4800 Central SE
- District 4, Commissioner Lonnie Talbert – April 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center, 9800 Fourth NW
- District 5, Commissioner Wayne Johnson – April 4, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Highway 66, Tijeras.
The meeting for Commission District 2 was held Wednesday , although residents from that area can still submit their ideas to the county or take the online survey.
“We see this as part of our job creation efforts,” she said. “We are looking at how do we leverage our cultural assets. Quality of life is one of the top factors to attracting good employers to the area and, in turn, good employees.”
The county will take information gathered from the survey and at each public meeting, and will create a catalog of the area’s cultural highlights.
Hart Stebbins said the Gutierrez-Hubbell House and its surrounding 10 acres is a good example of a culturally significant property that the county purchased in 2000 and preserved. The house is on Isleta SW north of Pajarito Road.
It was once a private family home and is a symbol of the area’s rural homesteading roots. Juliana Gutierrez and her husband, James Santiago Hubbell, built the home in the mid-1800s, raised their 12 children there and farmed the land around it.
“It’s an amazing jewel,” she said. “But when I’m in my district, there are people who have not heard about it.”
The county will pay Creative Albuquerque $50,000 to issue the survey, conduct the meetings, organize a focus group and possibly interview residents.
Hart Stebbins represents Commission District 3, which covers central Albuquerque. She said once the catalog is compiled, it could be available online so residents, potential employers and tourists can easily see what the area has to offer. Residents can comment by filling out the online survey by March 31 or by attending any of the scheduled meetings. The survey can be found by visiting bernco.gov and clicking on the survey icon at the bottom center of the page.
Andy Lenderman, a spokesman for Bernalillo County, said the county has received 175 responses so far.
“We are thinking about things like film festivals and the acequia system,” he said. “Responses on the survey so far have included things like murals, arts and crafts done at the senior centers and oral history projects.”
To take the Cultural Assets Survey, please click here.
This article reprinted from the Albuquerque Journal.
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