THE CARLSBAD MUSEUM CRANKS UP the volume on American history with a new exhibition that looks at the guitar’s role in the growth of our country and as an instrument of change. Curated by the National Guitar Museum, America at the Crossroads: The Guitar and a Changing Nation showcases 40 instruments as well as videos, posters, and banners. “The guitar is an emblem or symbol of what’s taking place in America, whether that’s guitars played by enslaved people or those used to protest the Vietnam War,” says HP Newquist, executive director at the National Guitar Museum. “This exhibit includes guitars from the 1800s to modern-day examples to show the breadth of the guitar’s influence in American history.”

Spanish and British settlers brought guitars to the Americas. “Along with guns and farm instruments, guitars have been a part of American culture since the beginning of colonization,” he says.

The Frying Pan. The first successfully marketed and produced electric guitar was created to play Hawaiian music, not rock or blues. Shaped like a frying pan, it came to the mainland in the early 1900s as a lap steel guitar. “It was the reason electric guitars were invented—to make Hawaiian music loud enough to hear in big venues,” says Newquist.

The Rostov. This one was produced in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, when imports of American guitars were banned. “They had kids who wanted to play rock, just like American kids,” he says. “It’s a good example of the tensions going on in the world.”

The Fender Stratocaster. Said to be the second-most recognizable man-made product on Earth after the Coke bottle, it symbolizes the postwar baby boom and the rebellious teenage culture that began in the late 1950s. “For baby boomers, the electric guitar was the first instrument they could call their own,” he says. “There had never been anything that sounded like it.”

America at the Crossroads: The Guitar and a Changing Nation

November 11–January 20, 2024
Carlsbad Museum, 418 W. Fox St., Carlsbad; 575-887-0276

Find Grey Collective hats at the New Mexico Artisan Market. Photograph courtesy of Grey Collective.


Ruidoso Christmas Jubilee
November 10-12

Find Christmas decor, food trucks, gingerbread adobe homes, handmade gifts, live performances of holiday tunes, and tons of cheer here. Stats: More than 70 artisans at the Ruidoso Convention Center. Vibe: A bedecked gathering with an abundance of gift choices. Cost: $5, benefiting Lincoln County charities.

HomeGrown: A New Mexico Food Show & Gift Market
November 18 & 19
Vendors from throughout New Mexico sell their scrumptious giftable goodies at this annual market in Las Cruces. Stats: More than 60 vendors at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. Vibe: Tasty gift mecca for your foodie friends. Cost: $10/car.

Cloudcroft Christmas Market
November 24 & 25
Shop for soaps and lotions, woodwork, metal crafts, art, salsas, and more at this market, where vendors deck their booths in holiday cheer. Stats: Around 40 vendors at the Cloudcroft High School Gymnasium. Vibe: A snowy holiday shopping experience in the mountains. Cost: Free.

New Mexico Artisan Market
November 24-26

Hotel Albuquerque hosts more than 140 makers during the annual New Mexico Artisan Market, held November 24–26. Start (or finish) your holiday shopping with handcrafted hats from Grey Collective, tote bags by Cloud 9 Stitching, jewelry from Silver Mountain Designs, art by St. Jame Art, and much, much more. Vibe: It’s #shoplocal meets the Land of Enchantment. Cost: $15.

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival Holiday Show
November 24-26

Christmas carolers serenade shoppers at this Albuquerque market that includes activities for kids, a selection of fine art, gold and silver jewelry, handmade board games, and more. Stats: More than 100 vendors at Expo New Mexico. Vibe: A family-friendly bonanza of holiday fun. Cost: $10/day pass, $15/festival pass.

Catch Vicente Telles's solo exhibit at Hecho Gallery in Santa Fe. Art courtesy of Hecho Gallery.

Vicente Telles: Cobijas de Mis Madres
November 3-27

Modern santero Vicente Telles makes pigments from clay and minerals for his paintings of Catholic saints and contemporary imagery on wood, textiles, and graphic tees for this solo show at Hecho Gallery in Santa Fe.

Native American Art Show
November 4 & 5

Indigenous art gets a spotlight in the Old Mesilla Visitor Center during this two-day pop-up exhibition where artists from throughout the state show their creations.

Frank Morgan Taos Jazz Festival
November 8-11

Headlined by award-winning saxophonist Grace Kelly, this festival features musicians from throughout the country performing at a variety of Taos venues.

November 18

Dorothy, Toto, and her sparkly slippers go on an adventure in the Land of Oz in this classic tale performed by the New Mexico Young Actors at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Christmas on the Pecos
November 24-December 31

Bask in the holly-jolly glow of holiday lights along the Pecos River in Carlsbad during a 40-minute boat ride. 

That’s not all November has in store! Go to for more.