47th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Showcases New Mexico Native Talent
Lisa J. Ellwood
October is Balloon Fiesta time in New Mexico and this year marks 47 years of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (AIBF). This year’s theme is “Carry Me Away” and more than 500 hot air balloons will feature throughout a variety of events running from Saturday, October 6 through Saturday, October 14. Among the highlights: Pilots from all over the world have been invited to fly in the popular event and nearly 100 balloons will be participating in the Special Shape Rodeo.
2018 is also the fourth year that Native event producers Emergence Productions (EP), Emmett Shkeme Garcia and Melissa Sanchez, have partnered with AIBF to showcase Native performers from across New Mexico on the Main Street and North Main Street Stage.
“We truly enjoy facilitating opportunities for our Native people and are sending special acknowledgements to our participating groups who are happy to share New Mexico Native American Pueblo culture through songs and dances for this world audience,” says EP. “This event opportunity isn't easy one, with the very early hours and traffic, however it is truly an opportunity like no other and once we're all ready to go and start to make our way through the crowds - it's a fun and magical time.”
The AIBF Native American dance performance schedule is as follows:
Jemez Seasonal Dance Group (Oct 5 & 6 Times: 8:30-10:30a/5-7p)
Photo courtesy Jemez Seasonal Dance Group / EP
Cellicion Zuni Dancers(Oct 11 & 12 Times: 8:30-10:30a)
Photo courtesy Eternity Image / EP
Acoma Rain Dancers(Oct 11 & 12 Times: 5-7p)
Photo courtesy Acoma Rain Dancers / EP
Sky City Buffalo Ram Dance Group (Oct 13 Times: 8:30-10:30a/5-7p)
Photo courtesy Sky City Buffalo Ram Dance Group / EP
Emergence Productions is also pleased to announce that 16 year-old Ymelda Erin Corzi, (Diné/Tesuque/Kewa) will make her second appearance at the Fiesta. Corzi, who is from the tiny community of Brimhall, New Mexico, will sing the National Anthem during the Opening Ceremonies on October 6th at 6:45 am.
Photo courtesy Ymelda Erin Coriz / EP
Running concurrently with the AIBF, Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) hosts its 9th Annual Balloon Fiesta Week. The nine-day celebration of Pueblo art and culture includes artist demonstrations, 40 traditional Native dances, a book signing, workshops on Native art and jewelry, and the only all–Native American art show in town during the Balloon Fiesta from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Scheduled dance groups include the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers, Zuni Olla Maidens of Zuni Pueblo, Sky City Buffalo Ram Dance Group of Acoma Pueblo, and the Oak Canyon Dancers of Jemez Pueblo.
White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers, White Mountain Apache Reservation. Photo courtesy Joel Wigelsworth / IPCC
Southern Slam Dance Group, Zia Pueblo. Photo courtesy Joel Wigelsworth / IPCC
Zuni Olla Maidens, Zuni Pueblo. Photo courtesy Joel Wigelsworth / IPCC
A full program of cultural and educational events are also on offer as part of the 2-day 6th Annual IPCC Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival on October 6th and 7th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. IPCC visitors will be able meet, speak to, and shop directly from 50 carefully selected Native artists. The festival showcases high-quality, handcrafted Indigenous crafts including jewelry, pottery, paintings, rugs, and sculptures.
Courtyard Vendors. Photo courtesy Joel Wigelsworth / IPCC
The IPCC’s museum exhibits range from the*“We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story”* permanent exhibit to rotating temporary ones in its South Gallery delving deeper into aspects of Pueblo life. Meanwhile, the Artists Circle Gallery features Turquoise Kaleidoscope, a new solo show by painter and designer Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo).
“The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is based in Pueblo hospitality, and we welcome the opportunity to introduce visitors from around the globe to our people, our history, our traditions,” says Vice President of Operations Monique Fragua (Jemez Pueblo). “From Pueblo pottery, jewelry, and traditional dances in our courtyard to our interactive museum and Native sourced, Pueblo inspired restaurant, there’s a memorable cultural experience for everyone.”
The IPCC is located at 2401 12th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104. Admission to the 6th Annual Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival and the week’s special cultural events are all included in normal IPCC admission:
- Members: Free
- Adults: $8.40
- Seniors (62 & over): $6.40
- Military (Active & Retired): $6.40
- New Mexico Residents: $6.40
- Students/Children (ages 5-17): $5.40
- Children under 5: Free
- Groups (15 or more): $5.40
Photo courtesy IPCC
Follow ICT Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/IconicImagery
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