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In tune: Albuquerque Museum offers livestreamed music, virtual tours of exhibits

Poet, writer and cultural strategist Ebony Isis Booth performs during a “3rd Thursday Online: Burque Noir II” show in October filmed in the “30 Americans” exhibit space at the Albuquerque Museum. (Courtesy of Liz Lopez)

Take a break and escape to the soothing sounds of local artists and aesthetically pleasing views of Albuquerque Museum exhibits the third Thursday of the month.

Cathryn McGill, of the New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee, will host “3rd Thursday Online: 30 Americans” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. It will feature livestreamed music from the Albuquerque Museum and a virtual tour of the “30 Americans” exhibition. City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Deputy Director Hakim Bellamy will lead a virtual tour of selected works from the exhibition. The event can be viewed for free at cabq.gov/culturalservices/albuquerque-museum/events/3rd-thursday-online-30-americans-1.

“(McGill) invited three other singers to join her and a house band, and they’re going to do a mix of traditional African American music, some contemporary stuff,” said Jessica Coyle, associate education curator at the Albuquerque Museum. “They’re also going to do some spoken word intermixed with music.”

The “30 Americans” exhibition features works by 30 contemporary African American artists.

“There’s two pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Coyle said. “There’s also two pieces by Kehinde Wiley, who’s the artist who did the Barack Obama portrait, his official presidential portrait. There’s also Nick Cave. He’s a fashion designer and artist who is mostly known for doing what they call ‘sound suits.’ They’re pieces for dancers to wear and perform in, but they hide the entire dancer’s figure so you don’t know if it’s a man or if it’s a woman, what the person’s race is, anything about them. So the idea is you’re able to hide yourself from the world so all you use is your performance versus anything else about you that might bias their opinions.”

There will not be a “3rd Thursday Online” event in December, but there are events planned for Jan. 21, Feb. 18 and March 18.

“January is going to be a showcase highlighting some local indigenous musicians in conjunction with an exhibit called ‘Seven Generations of Red Power,’ ” Coyle said. “It’s actually going to be a virtual exhibit, so people will be able to view that online from their homes. And then we’re going to have a group of three or four songwriters come in and perform at the museum in conjunction with that exhibition. We’re trying really hard to work with singers that are highlighting indigenous causes, indigenous rights kind of topics.”

The February and March events will be in conjunction with the exhibit “Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism.” In February, Opera Southwest will perform a highlight of the “Frida” opera it is hoping to perform the same month. Duo Las Flores del Valle will perform traditional Mexican corridos and other songs that stem from the U.S.-Mexican borderland. Links and information on the coming performances can be found at cabq.gov/culturalservices/albuquerque-museum/events.

“It will be interesting,” Coyle said. “Particularly them singing in the exhibition for both of those performances, because they’re going to be able to interact with the works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. I’m so looking forward to that exhibit. It’s going to be amazing the work that’s in that one.”

The Albuquerque Museum has partnered with AMP Concerts to schedule the music and help with the livestreams.

“We certainly miss having everybody there, inviting people to the museum and the energy that brings,” Coyle said. “We’re happy we’re still able to offer our people opportunities to interact with the great artwork, because we know not everybody feels comfortable going to places like a museum, even though we’re pretty safe and we sanitize a lot and follow all of the guidelines laid out by the city and the state. It’s nice to offer things to people and give them opportunities.”

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