Live performance in Albuquerque centers on Indigeneity, tradition, and a colorful community. It shares cultural knowledge and honors our ancestors. It gives us purpose and hope for the future.

We asked local artists to describe their home. These sounds, images, recipes, and letters are Albuquerque.

The sound of a New Mexico landscape flowing through air like calm mountain breeze.

by Keith Grosbeck: Creatively Amplified

Festival project: Decolonized Indigenous powwow weaves together performances from the spirit of Indian Country. Project details coming soon.

Yá’át’ééh Albuquerque,

You knew me, long ago, when we met at the doorstep of your casita—the one nestled behind the university, the casita you rented from the old Pueblo who gave her life to you when she, too, wanted to return home amongst the sky in Acoma.

Read the full letter

by Byron F. Aspaas: Diné. Táchii'nii nishłį́ Tódichii'nii bashishchiin

Yá’át’ééh Albuquerque,

You knew me, long ago, when we met at the doorstep of your casita—the one nestled behind the university, the casita you rented from the old Pueblo who gave her life to you when she, too, wanted to return home amongst the sky in Acoma.

I fell in love the night you powdered my skin with the moon. You trimmed my eyes with fleurettes and brushed my hair with strands of tourmaline, then threaded each lace into obsidian. I became your night, your obsession, your decoration. We followed the monatomic hearts into the city and crossed interstates to enter a state as we danced along the glittered vein of your precious heart. It was then, you asked me to stay, when you whispered, October’s New Moon begins a New Year—we danced like those sacred, those old Yeibichei who danced to bring winter’s cold breath; we danced our new dance and prayed all throughout the night, wishing for fall mornings to bring a brittle frost. A bloomed cactus sits upon my burgundy heart, pricked with purple night, farolitos flutter a silver strand of moths beaded into silver flames. Night drifts into a shimmer of alabaster, a cloister of abalone quakes a new day. Your eyes reflect a turquoise morning when a river of emotions flash forward.

The lone walk across the southern arroyo was quiet. The grand river licked away each printed foot along its wetted tongue. The lyric stretched across your skin, entangled itself around the bend of your bony wrists with India Ink. Tears of yesternight stained the cheeks of yesterday. Soft wails buzzed in fluorescent songs and sadness. You said, Coyotes never cry, but you wept the moment I said, Goodbye.

You stood beside me, under the purple Sandia shadows, when the sun rose just above the crest of its mountainous back. I watched your heart lift into a thousand balloons—each color pixelated against silvery clouds, each sentiment blown into rainbows of a blue luminous sky. It was the desert who draped me with brown blankets and pinned my hair with scented conifers—a trail of salted rivulets rippled a memory with tears. It’s how my heart aches for your dry touch, how my heart yearns for the waft of cedar smoke, how my heart reaches for orange sunsets tethered to chords of Route 66, how my heart aches for you.

Dearest Yootó Hahoodzodi, the heart remembers.

Ayóó Ánííníshní,
Byron

 

by Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D. (Kiowa/Sephardic): Native American Chef, Author, Photographer, Educator, Gardener