How is the project operated?
How long has it been in existence?
What was your motivation?
Located in the beautiful mountain town of Peñasco along State Road 75, the high road to Taos, stands the Peñasco Theatre hand built in 1940 by Amado Roybal. Its 16 in. adobe walls were crafted from the dirt in the backyard. From community gathering place to old time movie theatre to youth circus/visual art workshops and live performance space, the Peñasco Theatre Collective, a group of performers and visual artists that call the theatre home, continue the tradition of utilizing the arts to bring people together in a mutually respectful culturally diverse environment.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
How are programs funded?
Grants and donations.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Myself, Alessandra Ogren, as summer curator and the Theatre Collective for year-round programming.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
25+ show during the Summer Season, and classes October through May.
What kind of events are usually organized?
We host year-round arts programs including youth summer arts workshops, in-school and after-school circus arts programs, circus classes for adults, community events, professional performances, and artist residencies.
How is your programming determined?
Based on the needs of the community.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
I try to balance the needs of the community with the needs of the visiting artists. We have a great artist-in-residency program that draws many artists to come and create new work in the the theatre.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Its all a work in progress!!! Our biggest challenge is funding, and getting more people for the Summer Season shows.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We hope to be a vibrant and inspiring artistic venue and outlet for people’s creativity. We also hope to expose local people to art that they would not normally have contact with.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
I am most excited to see the growth of the Summer Season and the residencies. That was the vision when I bought the theatre, and I am excited to see that growing.
Images courtesy of Peñasco Theatre. Photos by Rebekah Tarin, unless otherwise noted.
Nancy Zastudil (New Mexico: regional editor) emphasizes an expanded notion of curating, organized under the title of The Necessarian. She is co-founder of PLAND (Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation); the Taos Coordinator for ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness; and a visual arts contributor to A+C Magazine Houston. www.thenecessarian.com