New Mexico CultureNet

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For more information, email
Alex Traube
New Mexico CultureNet

an independent non-profit organization.

New Mexico CultureNet, an independent non-profit organization, was founded in 1997. Its focus is on culture, education, and technology. CultureNet works with artists and writers, youth, educators, and students as well as arts councils, museums, and other groups. CultureNet does strategic planning with cultural organizations around the issue of using technology to increase public access to cultural information; it also builds web sites and databases for cultural organizations. At the heart of CultureNet is its web site, which is made up of many web-based projects, including poetry, painting, photography, teen arts, curricula, links, an artists directory, a New Mexico cultural events calendar, and more.


CultureNet is playing an important role in helping New Mexico artists receive greater exposure and recognition through its Artists and Artisans Directory, Artist Showcase, and Cultural Events Calendar. CultureNet director Alex Traube says, "Artists are celebrated when it is in the interest of communities and, even, arts organizations to do so. For the most part, they are not supported. We are attempting to provide some mechanisms for them to showcase their talents and reach a wider audience."

DIRECTORY: The Artists and Artisans Directory is one such mechanism whereby artists, artisans, and arts professionals can submit information about themselves and their work directly on the CultureNet web site. Once registered, artists and writers can update their listings whenever they need to do so. Right now, there is an option to have a photograph included with one's listing; in a few months, it will be possible to have writing samples as well.

CALENDAR: Artists, writers, and others can submit listings of shows, readings, book signings, etc. to CultureNet's Cultural Events Calendar-this also can be done online. At present, there are over 800 listings of events taking place throughout New Mexico; more are being added all the time. Traube says that he hopes the calendar will become THE online resource for cultural events in New Mexico.

SHOWCASE: There are several ways for writers and artists to strut their stuff on CultureNet. As mentioned above, anyone can have a photo or (soon) a writing sample included in the Artists and Artisans Directory. But there also is a monthly artists showcase, which has featured photographers, painters, and the poet, Valerie Martínez. In addition to Martínez's poems, her translations, article on Latina Poets, curricula, as well as poems of her students were included in this profile.

POEMS, CRITICISM, AND WEBSLAMS: Each week CultureNet sends out a Poem-of-the-Week to subscribers to our listserv; the poems are also uploaded to and archived on the web site. In recent months, CultureNet has been fortunate to have guest editors Greg Glazner, Arthur Sze, and in July, Rebecca Seiferle. Each guest editor presents four poems by students or colleagues and one by herself or himself in successive weeks. This brings diverse voices to CultureNet and has a fortuitous community building effect as well.

Each month, R.W. French, poet, editor, and critic, writes an online column called "Where We Live: Poetry of New Mexico." His commentaries have included Jimmy Santiago Baca, Miriam Sagan, and Valerie Martínez.

For the past two years, CultureNet has sponsored an online poetry slam, dubbed "WebSlam." Between four and six high school and middle school teams from all over New Mexico compete over three-weeks, each team member writing a new poem each week. Poems are submitted via email by the team coach, who is usually an English teacher. They are read and judged by students in an advanced technology and creative writing class, taught at the University of New Mexico by Professor E. A. (Tony) Mares. Their scores and comments are posted to the CultureNet web site within 72 hours of the poems' submission. Feedback from students and teachers has been enthusiastic.


Many will remember that the Poets-in-the-Schools program was the flagship of the NEA in the 1960s. And, the first Artists-in-the-Schools in New Mexico, in fact, were poets. CultureNet believes that poetry in the schools fosters literacy, self-awareness, pride, and tolerance. In the first of what it hopes will be many such residencies, CultureNet sponsored the aforementioned Valerie Martínez to work with 7th and 12th grade classes in the West Las Vegas Schools this past spring. This collaboration with West Las Vegas will continue in the 2000-2001 school year.


New Mexico CultureNet is engaged in a process of continual discovery. We seek and are finding new ways to work with writers, artists, educators, and youth. We celebrate the diversity of New Mexico. We practice collaboration. We learn and are ever humbled by those with whom we work. We welcome comments, suggestions, and inquiries.

Dial in, log on, and linkup to CultureNet:
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PH: 505.474-8500
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