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Celebrating African Americans and the Arts: Black History Month 2024
As February dawns upon us, I am filled with immense enthusiasm as we embark on a journey to celebrate Black History Month, especially African Americans’ incredible contributions to the world of the arts.
This year’s theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” is a poignant reminder of Black artists’ profound impact on the cultural landscape, shaping our nation’s artistic, musical, literary, and performance traditions. It is a celebration of their creativity, resilience, and the enduring beauty they have bestowed upon the world.
Throughout history, African American artists have carved out spaces for themselves and their communities, even when faced with adversity and discrimination. They have used their voices and talents to tell stories, evoke emotions, and challenge societal norms. Their artistry has become a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change, inspiring generations to dream, question, and believe in the power of artistic expression.
In our incredible and arts-driven state of New Mexico, we have many opportunities to witness the contributions of African American artists who have enriched our local communities. Their talents and creativity have woven themselves into the vibrant tapestry of our diverse cultural heritage.
Throughout history, African American artists in New Mexico have played a vital role in our artistic and cultural scene, contributing to the distinctive blend of traditions that make our state so remarkable. From visual arts and music to literature and dance, their artistic expressions have left an indelible mark on our communities, enriching our lives and deepening our cultural understanding.
As educators in New Mexico, we have the privilege and responsibility to ensure that African American artists’ legacy is recognized and celebrated within our classrooms and throughout our communities. There hasn’t been a better time to support our students in embracing all the contributions of local artists who have shaped our cultural identity and continue to inspire us with their creativity. I am grateful for the work that Public Education Department’s Black Education Act Bureau and our Identity, Equity & Transformation Division do year-round to lift up the voices and accomplishments of all New Mexicans.
Join the celebration of Black History Month by participating in any of the different events, exhibitions, and performances that showcase the beauty of African American artistic expression in New Mexico. I encourage you to actively participate and engage your students in these enriching experiences, fostering a love for the arts that reflects the diversity of our state.
This Black History Month, may the arts serve as a bridge that unites us within the rich cultural mosaic of New Mexico. Let us celebrate the vibrant tapestry of African American artistic heritage, both in our nation and within our state, and honor those who have shaped our cultural landscape.
NMPED’s Education Technology Call Center
Assistance is just a phone call, text, or online form away. The ETCC is a collaborative effort between the NMPED and the New Mexico Regional Education Cooperatives Association (NMRECA). The statewide call center provides education-related tech support services to New Mexico public school and charter administrators, staff, and students and their family household members.
Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Portal
Staff, students, families, and community members can report school-based incidents of racism to the Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Portal by simply filling out the on-line submission form: bit.ly/ARAOHotline
PED Little Lending Library
Look though books, grab a book or leave a book. The New Mexico Public Education Department’s Little Lending Library is located on the east side of the PED building at 300 Don Gaspar in Santa Fe. The library was designed by students from the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School in Albuquerque.
988 is a free nationwide helpline for emotional, mental or substance use crisis. 988 calls, texts and chats are answered by trained, compassionate behavioral health professionals who know community mental health and substance use resources. Learn more here.
For information about New Mexico’s COVID-19 Watchlist, visit NMED here, where you can search by city or school name.
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Rooted in our Strengths
Students in New Mexico are engaged in a culturally and linguistically responsive educational system that meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of ALL students.
Equity, Excellence and Relevance
The New Mexico Public Education Department partners with educators, communities, and families to ensure that ALL students are healthy, secure in their identity, and holistically prepared for college, career, and life.
Dr. Arsenio Romero
Secretary of the Public Education Department
Dr. Candice Castillo
Deputy Secretary of Identity, Equity and Transformation
Deputy Secretary of Teaching, Learning and Innovation
Assistant Secretary of Policy, Research, and Technology
Assistant Secretary of Indian Education
Director of Finance and Operations