1 Celebrate Juneteenth.
Spend Friday evening at the Rio Grande Theatre, where the third-annual Juneteenth Jazz Arts Festival takes the stage from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday’s concert features the Billy Townes Group and Colin McAllister Group, but other performers like Nat Reeves and the Lush Life Quintet play other venues in Las Cruces throughout the weekend. Hosted by the Branigan Cultural Center and Derrick Lee, New Mexico’s music commissioner, the concert celebrates Juneteenth and jazz in equal measures. “Jazz history is American history,” Lee says in a press release. “The music is rooted in the traditions of improvisational expression, storytelling, and community, and has a rich history that has shaped our nation.” The event is free to attend.
So much is happening around Civic Plaza during NM Juneteenth this weekend. The free festivities include live musical performances Friday to Sunday from The Baylor Project, DJ Malcom X, Terra Watts, and the Cameroonians of NM Drums; an appearance by The Chocolate Factory Drag Artists; food, workshops, and more. Find a full schedule online.
The Santa Fe Plaza is the place to be on Sunday afternoon as Juneteenth on the Plaza celebrates Black history and freedom with vendors, music, and dancing. The highlight is a lively set from Sister Nancy, a legendary dancehall DJ from Jamaica. Juneteenth on the Plaza also includes vendor booths, poetry readings, workshops, and more. It starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.
2 Examine an artist’s force fields.
Catch an artist talk and opening reception on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Roswell Museum by Mexican-American artist Dina Perlasca. She introduces her solo exhibition, Campos de Fuerza/Force Fields, which features work that takes inspiration from the concept of force fields and delves into the many ways in which humans protect ourselves.
“This show touches on our need to feel protected and safe," Perlasca says. "It’s about things my family does for protection—things as simple as a wall outside our house, or plushie toys that make my kids feel safe.”
The exhibit features eight new works, including ceramics, fiber art, papier mâché, painting, drawing, and soft sculpture. “I get inspired by Mesoamerican art and architecture, and also Mexican and Brutalist architecture,” Perlasca says. “The work feels both ancient and futuristic at the same time.”
As Perlasca prepares to debut her first solo show in a museum, she reflects on her hopes for the folks who come and see it. “I hope they walk away and start investigating their own lives,” she says. “I hope they start noticing their aesthetic preferences and what mechanisms they put into their own lives to protect themselves.” Perlasca will collaborate on a community mural during a workshop in August, when participants will examine the force fields in their own lives. See the show through August 27.
1011 N. Richardson Ave., Roswell. 575-624-6744. roswell-nm.gov/1259/Roswell-Museum
3 Have a beer and boogie down.
Part beer festival, part concert, Party in the Pines takes over Wingfield Park in Ruidoso on Saturday and Sunday. Catch performances by groups like honky-tonkers Mike and The Moonpies, singer-songwriter Jake Smith, a.k.a. The White Buffalo, and local favorites Doso Dirtbags. Brewdoso (the beer and wine portion of Party in the Pines) features beverages from more than a dozen of New Mexico’s wineries and breweries, including Marble Brewery, Bonito Valley Brewing Company, Noisy Water Winery, and Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery.
“We’ve got beer, wine, and food from all over New Mexico,” says Kerry Gladden, public information officer for the Village of Ruidoso. “We also have vendors from around the state.” The third prong of Party in the Pines is a tattoo expo that brings more than 120 tattoo artists to the Ruidoso Convention Center, starting Friday. Buy tickets to the outdoor party online, or at the door.
4 Sip wine in the mountains.
Since 2005, Vino in the Valley has invited visitors to greet summer with a glass of wine in the northern mountain town of Red River. It happens again this weekend, offering live musical performances; bicycle clinics, where families can brush up on bike skills; paint and sip classes, and tons of regional vintners with delicious varietals to sample. Wine booths are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Buy tickets here.
5 Connect with New Mexico’s Mexican heritage.
Western New Mexico University hosts Fiesta Latina this weekend, a four-day event that began in 2017. “As a university, we are out to educate people and give them new experiences,” says Alexandra Tager, director of cultural affairs at the university. “This festival was conceived as a way to connect New Mexico with its Mexican heritage. People can delve into art and music and crafts. It’s small and intimate, so people can really learn about the history.”
Look forward to a juried artisan market with traditional makers from Mexico, a tequila tasting, a ballet folklórico performance, and live music from headliners like the Villalobos Brothers, hailing from Veracruz, and Jerry Dean, the son of Al Hurricane. Kiddos will be stoked to see a puppet show about La Llorona at the Silver City Museum. Many of the events are free to attend, and you can buy tickets to others here. Find a full schedule on the event’s webpage.