The courtyard outside the University of New Mexico’s Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in partnership with the UNM Art Museum, is excited to host the “Maxwell Courtyard Concert Series” highlighting local and regional artists.
“With the pandemic, our museum hasn’t been able to become more of a community space, and we really want it to be,” said Julián Carrillo, curator of education and public programs at Maxwell Museum. “So we were affected by that and what we really want to do is make a community space so that people know that this is a place where they can come and learn, but also enjoy themselves.”
The concerts are also co-sponsored by UNM’s El Centro de la Raza and the UNM Department of Anthropology.
“We thought, you know what, why don’t we do a concert series?” Carrillo said. “You know, something for each kind of generation in a way.”
The Maxwell holds the title as Albuquerque’s first public museum and looks to enable voices and create community.
“We have a really large collection of Native American art, ceramic pottery and baskets. So for a very long time, the museum has preserved those things,” Carrillo said. “But it’s really time that Native communities feel that (the) museum belongs to them.”
During the series, the Maxwell, along with the museum store, will be open and light fare and refreshments will be offered.
Next up is Lone Piñon on Aug. 25.
“They play different genres of music and resonate with multiple generations of New Mexicans,” Carrillo said. “I’ve seen then perform live, and I’ve seen how people of all ages get up and dance and really embrace them.”
Lone Piñon likes implementing older sounds into their music.
“Apart from that, Lone Piñon does a lot of research and talks to old timers, and then brings them into the repertoire so that these songs can continue,” Carrillo said. “So it’s very much about cultural heritage, and our museum is about cultural heritage and peoples of the Southwest.”
As more people are going outside, the courtyard is a perfect spot for a concert.
“Well, I think that coming from the pandemic, people are being cautious, but also wanting to get together,” Carrillo said.
“The artists will perform, and then say a few words about their music, and then we’re going to open up for audience questions,” Carrillo said. “So I think that interaction makes it unique as it is not just like going to a concert, where you see the show, you like it, and you go home. Instead, you even meet the artists and you can ask about their creativity process.”
On Sept. 30, DJ Randy Boogie + DJ Garronteed will conclude the series.
“They’re both Native American and from the Southwest; Arizona and New Mexico, respectively,” Carrillo said. “Very importantly for us, they’re artists that work with youth of all ethnicities and ages, and they’ve been proposing that we really reach out to the different cultural centers at UNM.”
The aim is for the DJs to help the Courtyard Series integrate people of all colors and walks of life.
“We’re just stewards of their cultural heritage, and I feel that with the two DJs, who are very traditional but also are innovative in their own art form is great,” Carrillo said. “I think that they can speak to what we’re trying to accomplish with the museum, which is making a space for community coming together and learning.”
Tickets are free but limited to 80 people, per event.
Non-ticketed audience members are still able to enter the museum and enjoy the music, but must either sit/stand in the portal and garden.