Statewide Listening Tour - Santa Fe

Since arriving in New Mexico, I’ve been eager to spend more time in our state’s capital – Santa Fe is a hub of art, culture, and opportunity for our students. The City Different’s vibrancy was evident during my first stop at the renowned Meow Wolf immersive art experience. I met Fine Arts alumnus Conor Peterson, the general manager of Technology, and fellow alumnus Chris Clavio, who heads up IT and Infrastructure. Both gave me a unique perspective of how impactful our students can be once they leave our campus and join our communities. I also visited the Exhibit Manufacturing Facility where they are developing new and exciting experiences for visitors as the company expands its footprint to include new facilities in Las Vegas, Nev. and Denver, Colo. Many thanks to Dankia Padilla, director of Community, who shared the brief and fascinating history of the gallery with us.

I then headed to the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, where I had the opportunity to meet with the IAIA director, Patsy Phillips and learned about the educational opportunities they provide for Native artists and the impact this has on the national art landscape. Manuela Well-Off-Man, museum chief curator, then gave us a tour of the current collection, which “creates history for the future.”

The contributions and impact that UNM has on this great state are significant. Thematic to this brief visit was the need to create more internship opportunities for our students before they graduate to provide career paths that align with their studies and passions.