1 Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Civil Rights Journey: Passport to Discovery
Kick off this long weekend’s commemoration of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Friday, with A Civil Rights Journey: Passport to Discovery at Expo New Mexico’s African American Performing Arts Center. Catch living history character actors playing important roles like King, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks, along with educational activities for elementary, middle, and high school students, plus film screenings for adults, too. “We just want to give an educational experience,” says Beverly Gaines, associate director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission in New Mexico. “We also want to have a good time, and help people understand the importance of Dr. King and his legacy while celebrating his birthday.” The free celebration starts with a catered dinner at 6 p.m. from Bobby’s Homestyle.
MLK Commemorative March
Throw on a jacket and head to the University of New Mexico campus to join in the annual march that celebrates the incredible life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and University Blvd. NE.
Four Corners MLK Day of Service
Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday at Farmington’s First Presbyterian Church. The event starts with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day, as participants pitch in at different Farmington-area community service activities. Sign up for projects such as blood donations, cleanups, creating notes of love for displaced children, and helping food banks.
2 Read up on birds.
Catch a reading and Q&A with Santa Fe author and filmmaker Priyanka Kumar at SOMOS Taos at 4 p.m. Sunday. Her 2022 book of essays, Conversations with Birds (Milkweed Editions), has received national acclaim. “The book is about transformative encounters that I have had with birds over the last two decades,” Kumar says. “There are a handful of birds that were quite special to me, and one of those is the long-billed curlew.”
The curlew, which comes from northern California to New Mexico to breed in the summertime, has a comically long beak that reminds Kumar of something from prehistoric times. Kumar says that the curlew, as a grassland bird, represents a huge problem in the natural world: the loss of habitat.
3 Listen to emerging—and acclaimed—writers.
The Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, invites folks to its annual Evening Reading Series, presented by the college’s graduate program in creative writing. On Friday at 6 p.m., hear from Kelli Jo Ford (Cherokee Nation), a novelist and short story writer who has had work published in The Paris Review. She reads with poet Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota), an IAIA alumna who is a mentor in the MFA program, as well as Raquel Gutiérrez, a poet, critic, and educator whose first book, Brown Neon, focuses on the Latinx experience during the Trump era.
4 Eat a green chile cheeseburger.
Hit the Food Truck Rally 2023 on Saturday at Cliff’s Amusement Park in Albuquerque, where you can snack on bites from over 20 food trucks, shop arts and crafts from local vendors, and get your kids’ faces painted. “We have everything from green chile cheeseburgers to barbecue, small-batch bakeries, and some of the biggest beverage companies in Albuquerque,” says Xandria Molinari, producer of the festival, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. “What family doesn’t like to get together and eat?” Molinari adds. “It’s something that can put a smile on everyone’s face.”
5 Ponder life in the borderlands.
Vale la Pena means “It’s worth it,” and that’s the title of the new exhibition by artist Gina Gwen Palacios, opening Saturday at the Branigan Cultural Center in Las Cruces. Inspired by her identity as a Mexican-American woman, Palacios references her family history in the artworks presented in this show. “Her multimedia works use cardboard embellished with charcoal, motor oil, and fibers to create this dramatic dimensional effect,” says Jennifer McClung, curator at the Branigan.
The works illustrate memories of discrimination, migrant farm work, and life along the Texas-Mexico border, while others reference family photographs. “The theme of Mexican American migrant work is a really powerful topic that we haven’t shown in this way before,” McClung says. See the exhibition through March 25.