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The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center - which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary - hosts traditional Native American dances, such as this White Mountain Apache Crown dancer, every weekend.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Jason Morgan Edwards

Founded in 1976 through a collaborative effort by the 19 Pueblo Indian Tribes of New Mexico to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  As part of its  anniversary celebration, the IPCC will unveil a major renovation and new permanent exhibit, We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story.   

The new exhibit will open to the public on April 2nd, with a special preview gala scheduled for April 1st.  

IPCC Cultural Engagement Officer Travis Suazo (Laguna, Taos, Acoma) says of the new exhibit, “The renovated museum is the culmination of years of working with our Pueblo communities to create a modern museum that does justice to our living culture.  What this new exhibit says is ‘We are here, we have always been here.’ It gives visitors the tools to understand and learn from our history of strength and resilience.  

As part of the new exhibit, visitors will be able to hear stories in Pueblo languages from artists and elders, and interact directly with the art and artifacts.  They will be able to experience traditions passed down for generations and learn how Pueblo people live in balance, respecting the land and all living things. As a special treat for the children, there will be hands-on activities in the activity area, “Grandma’s Kitchen.”  

Even though it is anchored in Pueblo tradition, the exhibits within IPCC are not limited solely to the Pueblos. Navajo, Apache and several of the other southwestern Tribes are prominently displayed.

The IPCC was built on land that was part of the Albuquerque Indian School, deeded to the 19 Pueblos by the US. Department of the Interior. The central building’s semi-circular shape was modeled after Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, one of Pueblo peoples' great architectural achievements. It has developed into a leading artistic and cultural institution; a much-needed educational resource; and a gathering place for Pueblo people and all tribes of the Southwest.

Continuing the celebration through April, IPCC will host an expanded American Indian Week: Pueblo Days, April 25th thru May 1st. Visitors during that week will enjoy 30 traditional Native American dance performances; a weekend arts market with 50 Native artists selling handcrafted work; and daily museum tours and demonstrations.  

Throughout the summer, there will be a lecture series, The Counter Narrative: An Indigenous Perspective. The Center's visitors will have many opportunities for in-depth panel discussions with learned scholars, lecturers and authors from across Indian Country.  On August 28-29, 2016, the IPCC will mark its August 28, 1976 grand opening date with a special birthday celebration. There is another big gala celebration/fundraiser scheduled for early September, with proceeds going towards the funding of IPCC's programming initiatives and continued outreach/education.

To learn more, please visit: www.indianpueblo.org and  www.facebook.com/IndianPueblo.


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