Museums Take Charge

Experience becomes focus of community institutions


Silver City

Museum hosts talk on the Spanish Flu of 1918 in Grant County

The Silver City Museum hosts local historian Stephen Fox, who will present a virtual slide lecture on the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918-19 in Grant County at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Register and attend at www.SilverCityMuseum.Org or join Zoom with meeting ID 872 1894 7573.

The story has many echoes of the current pandemic. The Spanish Flu came late to Grant County, not until the first week of November. The county closed, mandated masks, had only a few cases and deaths, and seemed to have escaped major damage until mid-December. A second wave then began, with some 30 new cases in Santa Rita alone, and lasted into the new year of 1919. Fox’s research in the two Silver City newspapers of that time has turned up a possible explanation of why the second wave happened. It involves John M. Sully, the general manager of the mine at Santa Rita and of the mill at Hurley, and his daughter Ruth Sully, then a student at a school in Los Angeles.

Info: 575-538-5921, or visit the museum's website.

Silver City Museum hosts online store

The Silver City Museum Store is available online at and Customers can shop over 80 book titles on local and regional history, handmade Mata Ortiz pots from Mexico and jewelry including necklaces, bracelets, and  earrings, and a variety of items with New Mexico’s iconic Zia symbol.

Both shipping by mail and free, safe pickup are available. All funds from the store support the Silver City Museum and its free public programs and exhibits, many of which are now available on the website as well.

Las Cruces

Popular exhibit, ‘Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets,’ now online

A popular exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum that explores the incredible transformation of the Tularosa Basin during World War II is now online. Visitors to the museum’s website at can view the online version of “Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets.” This virtual exhibit is more than just photographs and words. It also features videos and oral history audio files.

Visitors will learn about ranch life in the Tularosa Basin during the early 20th century and how events taking place halfway around the world brought about changes that for many ranchers were permanent. The area eventually became White Sands Missile Range, drawing some of the world’s greatest minds in science and engineering.

While the basin was used to test rockets, missiles and bombs – including the atomic bomb in 1945 – it was also used to launch America’s space program and other scientific programs, some in the private sector.

Thomas Branigan Memorial Library call for poets

In February and March 2021, the Las Cruces community is reading “When the Emperor was Divine” by Julie Otsuka for the Big Read. “When the Emperor was Divine” follows the experiences of a Japanese American family as they are incarcerated by the United States government following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

In conjunction, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library will host a virtual poetry reading. Writers are invited to submit up to three poems on themes of incarceration, historical trauma, New Mexican history, healing from trauma, Japanese American identity and creating community among differences. Poets will be selected by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Mary Oishi for participation in a pre-recorded poetry reading. 

Send submissions by Saturday, Jan. 16, to Mary Oishi at Submissions may be sent as pdf, word document or RTF. Include name, phone number and email address. Poets selected to participate will be contacted and recording arranged. Info:; 575-528-4085. 

New Mexico

Cultural Affairs Department offers variety online

Explore the latest online programming from the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), bringing the state’s unique blend of cultures into your home through its museums, historic sites and cultural institutions.

  • The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum offers a new series on its Facebook page ( called Fiber Friday. Appearing each Friday, these posts will feature museum Education Coordinator LuAnn Kilday doing fiber arts demonstrations. Check out the most recent Fiber Friday post, which involves the process of dyeing wool using a crock-pot or slow cooker.
  • Are you thinking about purchasing a new telescope? With so many types available on the market, New Mexico Museum of Space History Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola explains the differences to help novice astronomers choose the right equipment. Check out the video on the museum’s Facebook page.
  • With the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC)celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the center’s art museum has amassed two decade’s worth of exhibitions to look back on. Now available on the NHCC website, the virtual exhibition “Mira, Mira on the Wall: Reflecting on 20 Years of Exhibitions” details those exhibits further.
  • The virtual exhibit “Mexican Mirror” at the New Mexico History Museum is now available for viewing. Following the Mexican Revolution, artists came to see the ancient and folk art of Mexico in a new light. Building on the foundation of their predecessors, a new generation of printmakers of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Workshop) used their craft to promote the progressive and democratic interests of the Mexican people.
  • Family Mornings at the Museum of International Folk Art will take place Sunday, Jan. 24. This monthly interactive and virtual program is accessed through Zoom and includes a story time and show-and-tell for children to share their artwork and features grab-and-go art kits available for pick up the Friday or Saturday prior to the event. Visit the museum website to register:
  • The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is now sharing social media posts with #ImagineYourStory. This new series is geared toward K-12 students, schools and libraries to provide additional insights into Indigenous ways of learning.