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Cruces Creatives Awarded $180,000 Grant to Promote Regenerative Agriculture
With the success of last year’s pilot program for the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project (http://www.crucescreatives.org/news/8088615), the Thornburg Foundation and McCune Foundation have awarded Cruces Creatives an additional $180,000 over two years to promote regenerative agriculture, which improves soil health by cultivating diverse soil microbes and sequestering carbon in the ground. In consultation with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural scientists, Cruces Creatives will be developing technologies that make regenerative agriculture easier to practice and coordinating the efforts of multiple partner organizations, including the Arrowhead Center, the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University (NMSU), and NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde.
Cruces Creatives Welcomes First Full-Time Employee
Lindsey McDonald has joined the Cruces Creatives team as the makerspace’s first full-time employee! With support from New Mexico Workforce Connections, Lindsey will be helping Executive Director Lea Wise-Surguy with administrative tasks, supporting the day-to-day operations of the makerspace, and leading the Job Shop. Welcome aboard, Lindsey!
With the success of last year’s pilot program for the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project (http://www.crucescreatives.org/news/8088615), the Thornburg Foundation and McCune Foundation have awarded Cruces Creatives an additional $180,000 over two years to promote regenerative agriculture, which improves soil health by cultivating diverse soil microbes and sequestering carbon in the ground. In consultation with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural scientists, Cruces Creatives will be developing technologies that make regenerative agriculture easier to practice and coordinating the efforts of multiple partner organizations, including the Arrowhead Center, the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University (NMSU), and NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alca
Lindsey McDonald has joined the Cruces Creatives team as the makerspace’s first full-time employee! With support from New Mexico Workforce Connections, Lindsey will be helping Executive Director Lea Wise-Surguy with administrative tasks, supporting the day-to-day operations of the makerspace, and leading the Job Shop. Welcome aboard, Lindse
Photo Boot Camp Starting Jan. 18!
Would you like to learn more about photography and how to use the Cruces Creatives photography studio? Join the Dona Ana Photography Club’s Photo Boot Camp! From 9:00 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of each month (starting January 18 and running through May) you can learn about basic techniques, explore camera functions and controls, and get applied practice with the guidance of instructors from the Doña Ana Photography Club. Each class is just $5 per person!
The content in the January-May classes will serve as a foundation for more specialized training sessions later in the year, including a Photo Boot Camp on photographic light, which will cover the theory behind lighting, and a Photo Boot Camp on how to use the Cruces Creatives photo studio and its tools to get good results. With all three Photo Boot Camps, you can get a good background in how to plan and create high-quality photos in the makerspace studio.
Registration for 4th and 5th Grade Half-Year STEAM Team Program Now Open!
Do you have a 4th or 5th grader who’d enjoy project-based learning in coding, electronics, sculpting, hydraulics, measuring, conductivity, using vinyl, and much more? Sign them up for the half-year STEAM Team program at Cruces Creatives! This is a free program sponsored by the NM STEM Outreach Center. To register, visit http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3677503.
New Mexico Arts Survey
NM Arts, one of the largest art funding agencies in New Mexico, is looking for input! Their survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/New_Mexico_Arts is a great chance to share the art needs of our community, and it’s also a chance to let NM Arts know that, with support, Cruces Creatives could do even more for the arts! If you have five minutes, please take the survey and share your input!
SeedShare on Saturday, Jan. 11!
Whether you are a beginner, new to desert growing, or a seasoned pro, SeedShare is an opportunity to collect seeds, solve problems, learn seed saving skills, and meet other growers. If that sounds good to you, come out to Cruces Creatives between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11! All seeds are free, but please take only what you will use—and If you can, please bring some seeds, seed starting supplies, bulbs, cutting, or tubers.
This free event also includes kids’ activities and a display of the new seed cleaner developed at Cruces Creatives as part of the Seeding Regenerative Agriculture Project. For more information or to RSVP, visit http://www.crucescreatives.org/event-3687040.
Marisa Sage is one of our local art curators who’s brought artists from all over the world to Las Cruces. Check out this article about Marisa and learn about a few of her upcoming art show plans.
Also, Marisa, thank you for the shoutout to Cruces Creatives. We ❤️ getting to work with you and New Mexico State University Art Museum!
Hyperallergic - Meet the Art Community of the US Southwest: Marisa Sage Can Visit 20 Museums and Galleries in a Day
Catch Up on Makerspace Highlights in a Radio Interview with Peter Goodman
Cruces Creatives has done a lot since opening a year and a half ago, and in a KTAL radio interview with Peter Goodman, you can catch up on all sorts of exciting highlights that have come out of the makerspace so far. The streaming link for the interview is https://www.lccommunityradio.org/archives/speak-up-las-cruces-cruces-creatives.
Laser-Cut Luminarias Fundraiser
At the Cruces Creatives front desk through December 22, you can get laser-cut luminarias that makerspace member Trevor Bush is offering for sale as a makerspace fundraiser. The luminarias cost $6 for 12 (sand and candles not included).
Share Your Input on Las Cruces’s 20-Year Plan
Public input is open for Las Cruces’s new 20-year plan, and you can help shape the future of the city by sharing your input at http://elevatelascruces.com/news/comprehensive-plan-survey-3-available.
Public input is open for Las Cruces’s new 20-year plan, and you can help shape the future of the city by sharing your input at http://elevatelascruces.com/news/comprehensive-plan-survey-3-availa
Peter Goodman, columnist for the Las Cruces Sun News wrote about Cruces Creatives this past weekend. See the news here.
Here are a few plans in the works:
On the Radio:
On the Radio:
Facility Updates and Special Activities
Cruces Creatives is constantly changing, growing, and becoming a better place because of the great work you're doing. Here are a few updates to know about:
Last Full Week - This is our last full week before we close for the Holidays. As a reminder we'll be closed Dec 23 and through Jan 2nd.
Extra Picking Up - As the Holidays come nearer, folks are getting more rushed. More projects, materials, and tools are being left out. Please spend extra time gathering out of place items and placing.
Thanks for the incredible giving and work you do to make Cruces Creatives an amazing space for learning, making, and community.
This week a special thank you goes to John Miller, a dedicated weekly volunteer, and an excellent engineer! John recently helped with a coding project for Job Shop!
Thank you for spending your Sundays with us and sharing your talents with us!
Logic Pro X Now at Cruces Creatives!
The audio recording capacities at Cruces Creatives just took a big step up with Logic Pro X, a world class software program for recording and editing sound files! Logic Pro X is now available on the Mac Mini in the A/V Room, and future “Introduction to Audio” classes will cover the basics of how to use this powerful program.
Charitable Crafters Deliver 60+ Gifts to the Children at the Jardín de Los Niños Shelter
At special charitable crafting sessions, twelve crafters ages 4 on up were busy cutting patterns, stuffing toy bears, drawing faces on dolls, and putting the finishing touches on over 60 handcrafted stuffed animals, blankets, dolls, and hats. Thanks to this work, every child at the Jardín de Los Niños shelter got a handmade holiday present.
Logic Pro X Now at Cruces Creativ
The audio recording capacities at Cruces Creatives just took a big step up with Logic Pro X, a world class software program for recording and editing sound files! Logic Pro X is now available on the Mac Mini in the A/V Room, and future “Introduction to Audio” classes will cover the basics of how to use this powerful progra
Welcome to the December 7th issue of the Cruces Creatives Internal Newsletter. This is a place where you can see new things being planned, and a place to find facility updates and information about special activities.
The internal newsletter is published each Saturday. If you have internal news or announcements that you’d like to submit for the weekly internal newsletter, please email Lea Wise-Surguy (email@example.com) by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday.
In the Works (a peak into Admin)
As usual administrative work has been busy keeping up with all the amazing activities y'all have been leading while setting the path for new programs, activities, Job Shops, and partnerships. Here are a few plans in the works:
· Secretary - Josh Nelson, our Workforce Youth Program Participant, has been ill this last week and out of the office. He will likely be re-joining us in the middle of next week. Feel better Josh!
· Administrative Assistant - Lindsey McDonald is officially hired and is now full-time with Cruces Creatives! The first week with Lindsey has already been a great help. Glad to have you officially on board Lindsey!
New Programs in Research:
· Private Studios - A potential location has been identified and a survey is out. If you would be interested in having a private, locked studio, please take this survey.
Programs in Progress:
· Finances - Quickbooks is being set-up to be our full-time financing system, and Quickbooks Payroll has been set-up. This month expect our finance team to be extra busy dealing with the financial switch-over and end-of-year taxes and reporting. A huge thanks to Margaret Neill, Lea Wise-Surguy and Lesa Wilson!
· Fundraising Booklet - Emma Klement has been hard at work on the fundraising booklet. It is now in it's third design and looking great!
· First Friday - We had a lovely First Friday where Mary Diesel's Holiday Tree was auctioned for $500! Karen, the purchaser is bringing the tree to the Holiday Pop-Up Art Show to share the art and cheer at her show! Additionally, if you've been eyeing a piece on the tree, she will be selling the pieces for $20 a piece with half of the proceeds coming back to Cruces Creatives! If you see Karen, please say thank you for her support!
· Holiday Tree Leaving - This Sunday Karen Conley will be coming to pick up her holiday tree. There is a roll of clear wrapping plastic under the desk to the right of the tree. Please help her wrap and take the tree out if she visits during your shift.
· Monitor Closers - As the holidays set in and everyone becomes a bit more busy, please make to sure all five HVAC units and the coffee pot are turned off, and that all doors are locked before leaving.
A special thanks this week to Steve Kanim! Steve has been with us since before Cruces Creatives opened, helping us repair and set-up the facility. He has been a weekly volunteer monitor since, and recently began mentoring students from Las Montañas High School students who are interested in wood working. Thank you Steve for being a dedicated volunteer and sharing so much with the community!
On Thursday, October 24th, I attended the Introduction to Audio Recording training where I was taught the different uses of various recording equipment and microphones by Patrick DeSimio, a co-founder of Cruces Creatives who helped set up and equip the audio room. For those who have been considering this training, I would definitely recommend it as a peek into the world of audio recording and your first step into it.
Prior to the course, I had thought that this would be an easy training and that the information would not be all that new to me as I had bits and pieces of knowledge already; however, I would most certainly find out I was wrong. This training would prove to be eye-opening as I learned about the different types of recording equipment and their uses, focusing on the physical elements such as the mics and cables and the digital elements of a digital audio workstation (DAW).
I first learned about microphones, primarily in regard to dynamic mics versus condenser mics. This was particularly interesting to me as I had dealt with dynamic mics in my own life without even knowing they had a specific name, and it was fascinating to know how they differ from condenser mics and what factors go into choosing a microphone. Dynamic mics, according to DeSimio, are durable and have a low sensitivity to sound, mainly picking up sound only from the area directly in front of them. This type of mic is particularly known for creating a grittier sound that complements rock music and similar genres well. The condenser mics have a broader frequency range and are also more fragile but produce cleaner recordings. Condenser mics are good for studio use by people with some experience in recording as they have settings to ignore unwanted background noise, while dynamic mics were better for more public use, such as on a stage, particularly in regard to karaoke and open-mic-nights.
DeSimio then transitioned into speaking about the different kinds of cables used, along with how to operate the mixer/preamp. Once the cable connected the mic/instrument to the preamp, the box would then amplify the signal to a usable level – without it, the signal is too weak to be used with a DAW.
After I had practiced setting up the cables and preamp, it was time to practice with the digital audio workstation. According to DeSimio, most DAWs are essentially exactly the same with perhaps just a few design differences, meaning that the free, easily-accessed DAWs can very well produce the same quality content as more expensive options. DeSimio suggested that one should consider GarageBand or Audacity as free DAWs that can complete tasks without issue. We discussed the potential uses of such tools, such as audio-books or podcasts where one might want to change the voice of a particular fictional character or add some variety to the sound of one’s voice to maintain interest from the listener. Utilizing the knowledge presented, I was able to practice a bit with maintaining sound levels within the DAW as DeSimio recorded a bit of Robert W. Service’s poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” using a dynamic mic first and then a condenser mic to show the sound difference.
There is a lot of skill that goes into sound production, not only in knowing how to practically work the equipment, but also in how to use it creatively and innovatively to create audio productions that catch attention and produce the desired effects. From taking this training, the main lesson I gathered is that in deciding what sound equipment to use or invest in, the biggest factor is the main context within the technology will be used. Considering which situation different microphones or equipment will be used in can greatly impact which items are used and what factors one needs to consider in setting them up.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about them while discussing the world of audio recording and its uses with DeSimio, who was more than happy to answer questions along with explain a few tactics used in making sure one can actually record well. There was a great deal of information that I had never even heard of in the training, and it was fun to be able to experiment and see how some of my favorite content in audio-books, songs, and performances is created.
On November 1st, Cruces Creatives showcased a new art gallery and an open-mic night for the public. The art exhibition, “The Distance Was Very Frightening” by artist Mónica Martínez-Díaz, was a beautiful and contemplative work on love, and it was an honor to be one of the first to view it. In addition to the main art exhibit, this Art Ramble also featured a holiday tree, decorated with miniature paintings and hand-made ornaments that Cruces Creatives put up for auction to raise funds. Combined with the fantastic music from the open-mic, November’s Art Ramble was fantastic.
“The Distance Was Very Frightening,” incorporating captioned photographs and a pink-and-red color scheme, was dedicated to the duality of love and how people tend to express it. This was explained by Martínez-Díaz when I had the brief pleasure of talking about the exhibit with her during the event. Martínez-Díaz expressed that the collection was inspired by an observation of how the vocabularies for love, hate, and obsession tend to be very similar, to the point of being near-interchangeable, and so the artist engaged in a study of how phrases could be switched around (for example: “This romance feels like sadness / this sadness feels like romance”) to mean something different despite using the same words. The second set, pictures of an arm in different positions, contributed to this notion in a more abstract way that is better left to the viewer to decide. Using the colors of pink and red on the walls and on the picture frames, the exhibit takes advantage of the viewer’s associations around Valentine’s Day to get them thinking about romance as they look at the art.
“Every explicit duality is an implicit unity.”
The holiday tree was also a thing of beauty, decorated with miniature paintings in wooden frames and stuffed hearts decorated with beads. Each ornament was hand-crafted by a volunteer at Cruces Creatives, making the holiday tree near priceless when one considers the love and time poured into it. Bids, starting at $200, came in to buy the tree for one’s own home, a treasure that will grace the lucky buyer’s house for years to come. Even for those not interested in a holiday tree, there were a few jokes and remarks that each ornament could make a gift to friends and family, accomplishing all shopping in one fell swoop. No matter what the winner of the tree does with it, it was certainly gorgeous to look at as it stood, glittering, in Cruces Creatives’ lobby.
The music, of course, was amazing as it always is when we gather together at the Cruces Creatives stage, featuring folk songs, country songs, and a few more modern songs at the very end of the night from various singers. After the deep-contemplation and appreciation brought on by Martínez-Díaz’s exhibition, it was relaxing to be able to sit and listen to songs sung from the heart, both traditional songs and original pieces, whether I was in front of the stage or in the lobby talking to other attendees.
Cruces Creatives has again kept its record of being able to create a homey environment while showing off various kinds of art. I look forward to next month’s Art Ramble when the feelings of the holidays have really begun to settle in, and when, for those who celebrate it, the need for a holiday tree no longer seems so far off (at least, of course, for the few of us who have not started to celebrate since the end of October 31st).