Community Arts Awards Recipients to be Honored
at Doña Ana Arts Council Gala October 1
By Cheryl Fallstead
For the 30th year, the Doña Ana Arts Council (DAAC) invites the public to join them in celebrating local supporters of the arts at the Community Arts Awards Gala. The celebration will be held at DAAC’s new Arts & Cultural Center in Mesilla’s Bulletin Plaza at 1740 Calle de Mercado on Sunday, October 1, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
The event will include award presentations to those who were selected in three categories: the Newcomer Award to Nan Rubin of KTAL Radio, the Public Service in the Arts Award to City Councillor Greg Smith, and the Papen Family Award will be presented posthumously to community volunteer and arts supporter Ann Palormo, who passed away in November 2016. Recipients will be honored for their dedication to the arts in the Mesilla Valley.
Newcomer Award recipient Nan Rubin moved to Las Cruces to retire near family in 2013, but found herself almost immediately involved with a group determined to get a community radio station on the air. She has forty years of experience as a community media activist and as the person with the skill set to make it all come together. KTAL radio went on the air in July of this year, thanks in great part to Rubin’s knowledge and commitment. She previously built stations in Cincinnati and Denver as well as helping create AIROS, the American Indian Radio On Satellite program distribution service. She also co-founded organizations that support community radio.
Greg Smith is no newcomer to the area. His family has lived here for three generations and is deeply rooted in the community, as is that of his wife, Allison Kuper Smith. Those who frequent art events in the area know they can expect to run into the Smiths somewhere along the way, whether it is a theatrical performance or an art opening. His love of art was likely sparked by his mother, artist Jo-An Smith. Along with serving as mayor pro-tem for the city of Las Cruces, Smith serves on well over a dozen other boards, including the Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley, the Historical Preservation Coalition, and the Paleozoic Trackways Foundation.
Ann Palormo will be honored posthumously with the Papen Family Award for her decades of dedication to the arts (and many other causes) in Las Cruces. She moved to Las Cruces in 1989 to serve as the development director for KRWG-FM and became involved in many other organizations, including DAAC, El Caldito Soup Kitchen, Las Cruces Press Women, and the American Association of University Women. She served two terms on the board for the arts council, including during the busy period when the Rio Grande Theatre was being renovated, and was a dedicated volunteer at the annual Renaissance Arts Faire, for years helping to organize local bakers who would whip up delicious goodies for the artists’ breakfast. She put finishing touches in the effort last year while in the hospital awaiting surgery. She will be greatly missed at this year’s faire, as she has been all year from her post making meals at El Caldito.
Entertainment at the gala will be donated by the popular local band Oldies but Goodies, who will play swinging tunes from the 1950s on the adjacent patio, providing plenty of room for dancing. Dance demonstrations by NMSU DanceSport will get the crowd on its feet and onto the dance floor. There will also be delicious appetizers donated by Hacienda de Mesilla, La Posta, Lorenzo’s on University Ave., Paisano Cafe, and Salud! de Mesilla, as well as wine from St. Clair, beer from High Desert Brewery, finished with dessert from Caliche’s.
Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 at the door) and may be purchased by calling 575-523-6403 or in person at the DAAC offices and Arts & Cultural Center, 1740 Calle de Mercado, Suite B-D, or at www.daarts.org.