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‘Something for everyone’: National Hispanic Cultural Center reaches out, expands online offerings

The National Hispanic Cultural Center. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Working from home has been an adjustment for many – especially museum employees.

At the National Hispanic Cultural Center, employees have taken the reins in keeping the general public in tune with its programming.

“What we’re doing now are things that the center wanted to do for a long time,” says Cassandra E. Osterloh, NHCC librarian. “We’ve taken this time to reach out to the community even more. We have a lot going on behind the scenes.”

The NHCC website, nhccnm.org, has links to the center’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.

There are links for the art museum, El Voto Femenino online exhibit, Circo Latino, Voces, La Canoa Legacy Talks, Latinx Book Review and the podcast “La Hilacha: Words & Memories.”

Osterloh says each department will get a couple days a week to post content.

One of the newest programs is “La Hilacha.”

“The podcast is gaining traction,” she says.

Podcasts include “Poetry in a Time of Crisis: COVID-19,” “The 1918 Pandemic: What Does History Teach Us?,” “Healing Ourselves: Ancestral Traditions” and “Teens: A Conversation about COVID-19.”

The Performing Arts Department is working on uploading past performances at the NHCC.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs has started a concert series, and the NHCC has hosted a few of the concerts. Those concerts air every Friday on the Facebook page.

“We’re also working on a more virtual ‘Circo Latino’ summer program,” she says. “They’ve also created a video that goes along with it. The video gets kids excited about working from home with this program.”

The art museum is home to hundreds of pieces, and the team has been posting pictures of artworks on the department’s separate social media accounts.

“Staff members are showing off their art collections,” Osterloh says. “Staff members have also been posting some video interviews of artists that they have on file. Elena Baca has been working on doing more of those. They are trying to provide more behind-the-scenes looks at the art museum.”

Each summer, the NHCC hosts its “Voces” summer writing program for high school students. This year, the program will be done through Zoom.

“We’re having to adjust just as quickly,” Osterloh says. “We want to be able to provide all the programming that we’ve been able to do in years past. It’s going to be a little different because we’re all adjusting.”

Osterloh says the staff works to make sure that all the content available makes sense and keeps in line with NHCC mission.

“We’ve been trying really hard to have something that is family-friendly and there is something for everyone,” she says. “The past podcasts are for everyone. I’ve read a children’s book, and a number of our staff read those online. We’re trying to put a little bit of something for everyone. The past eight weeks has been saturated with content, and people will move at their own pace through our online content.”

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