- Learn - Make - Connect -
Our charitable crafting group finished filling the donation bags this morning, and representatives from Jardin de los Niños came to pick up 60 Christmas handmade bags each filled with 2 or 3 books, socks/ underwear/ hats/ wash clothes/ blankets, toys, an ornament, and a handmade toy. Many thanks to the many people and groups who helped to make this all possible!
To read more about this Charitable Crafting project see:
Cruces Creatives News
The fourth Saturday meeting of Charitable Crafting was rather quiet. It was me. Don't get me wrong, I think people should have been spending time with their families on that Saturday after Thanksgiving. Or traveling, or napping, for that matter. I - on the other hand - haven't been able to spend a lot of time sewing this semester, so that was perfect for me.
The Christmas Bags Project has been rolling along, and when I got there this morning the bag count was 32, and they are hanging up on the wall, so beautiful! Thanks to Misha, for providing some pictures that I didn't think of taking myself!
Cruces Creatives, in partnership with six other organizations, has been awarded its first grant: $30,000 for a program to identify and address obstacles to regenerative agriculture in New Mexico. An executive summary of the program follows.
Seeding Regenerative Agriculture
Farmers and ranchers can achieve many benefits by more closely following natural models. By cultivating continuous vegetative cover, minimizing tillage, and inoculating soils with the beneficial microbes in soils where the microbiota has been destroyed by conventional practices, farmers can increase crop yields, increase soil nitrogen through the work of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria, increase soil carbon, increase soil water infiltration, increase soil water retention, and prevent or reduce topsoil loss (Johnson et al. “Soil Microbial Communities,” Johnson “Carbon and Nitrogen Partitioning,” Johnson “Influence in Agroecosystems”). Similar benefits can be achieved on ranchland through soil microbiota restoration and by imitating the high-intensity, adaptive grazing practices that nature developed with wild ruminant herds.
In this proposal, we refer to these practices collectively as “regenerative agriculture,” and these practices can address water scarcity, food scarcity, climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss, and farm and ranch profitability and long-term viability. The large-scale benefits are known. The challenge now is adapting current practices. Unfortunately, the process of adapting new practices is notoriously slow in the field of agriculture—often taking decades—and the global challenges facing us do not leave us that time. In this collaborative proposal, we propose to work around or address the obstacles impeding the widespread commercial implementation of regenerative agriculture.
There are multiple obstacles to the widespread commercial use of any new farming or ranching practice: technical hurdles, such as difficulty translating lab-based agricultural research to the realities of the field or range (Parnell et al.; Kellett; Dau); economic obstacles, such as difficulty raising capital funds or uncertainty about return on investment (Hepperly 45, 48; Carr), regulatory hurdles (Parnell et al.; Hepperly 54-55); knowledge barriers, such as unfamiliarity with required tools or processes (Hepperly 50, 188-189); negative perceptions of science among farmers (Hepperly 35-36); differences in culture and professional expectations among farmers, scientists, and policy makers (Maat 187); and communicative obstacles among farmers, scientists, and policy makers.
For regenerative agriculture in New Mexico, many of these obstacles have already been removed. Each geographic area, and perhaps each farm, will have its own technical hurdles, but the major and widespread issues have been overcome, with several commercial farms and ranches around the United States having implemented regenerative agricultural approaches successfully (Byck “Soil Carbon Cowboys”; Byck “100,000 Beating Hearts”). Economic obstacles are still formidable, but they can be manageable: capital funds can be raised through loans from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and although more information about return on investment would be valuable (one goal of this project is to generate more such information), multiple pilot projects at the commercial scale will attest to the economic viability of regenerative agriculture. In New Mexico, regulatory systems do not impose direct obstacles, even though regulations could be improved by creating new policies that recognize and reward soil carbon capture.
In New Mexico, the most substantial obstacles are political, cultural, and knowledge-based. Collectively, our collaboration is poised to address each of these remaining obstacles.
Our plan for change, in essence, is modeled on how beneficial adaptations can originate and spread through ecological communities: a small group, well positioned for change, adapts; the adaptation proves beneficial; the adapted individuals interact with other individuals; and the adaptation spreads. In many instances of social behavior, groups follow “tipping point” theory, and once a small, critical mass of practitioners has been reached, a new behavior can quickly spread through an entire group. Our goal is to build regenerative agriculture in New Mexico toward its tipping point.
Research conducted by collaboration team member Patrick DeSimio through the MESA Project (see “Partner Organizations”) has found that, in Doña Ana County, sizable minorities of farmers and ranchers are largely not subject to the political and cultural barriers that typically impede the implementation of sustainable agricultural technologies (2018, pp. 55 and 67). This subgroup of agriculturalists views environmental degradation as a significant threat, accepts mainstream scientific consensus on human impacts to climate and the environment, and shares a substantial technical vocabulary with agricultural scientists. Most members of this subgroup have already implemented sustainable practices on their farms or ranches. For members of this group, which we call a “Seed Group,” cultural and political beliefs are no longer obstacles to regenerative agriculture; rather, these beliefs can be motivating assets.
Consequently, when working with a Seed Group, the only substantial obstacles to regenerative agriculture are knowledge barriers (which can be addressed through training) and possible technical hurdles associated with on-the-ground conditions as specific farms. Technical hurdles always require innovation, but they can be addressed.
Our proposal is to work with members of Seed Groups—who are part of our existing networks—to implement regenerative agriculture on their farm and ranch land throughout New Mexico, to collaboratively address the inevitable technical hurdles, and to collectively design and perform economic and scientific research to accurately gauge the net economic and environmental benefits of regenerative agriculture. With the Seed Groups as models and guides, we will then collaborate to facilitate interaction and exchange between Seed Group members and other agriculturalists in their communities, promoting the spread of regenerative agriculture (a beneficial adaptation) through larger sections of the agricultural community. The goal is to reach a tipping point beyond which regenerative agriculture becomes the new normal.
Members of the Seed Groups will be drawn from our existing networks (almost 100 members of a Seed Group are already involved in the MESA Project in Doña Ana County) and through promotional materials that explicitly identify with sustainable agriculture and its benefits in relation to environmental threats.
This project plan relies on the collective expertise and abilities of each project partner. The Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research (ISAR) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a global leader in regenerative agriculture, especially the cultivation and use of beneficial soil microbes, and ISAR will provide technical and scientific support for this project. Similarly, the Sustainable Agricultural Science Center (SASC) at Alcalde will provide scientific and technical expertise on regenerative agriculture and will provide a testbed for research. The MESA Project, Acequia Madre del Rio Lucero y del Arroyo Seco, Rivers & Birds, and Western Landowners Alliance offer established connections with farmers and ranchers throughout New Mexico, as well as a wide range of resources that can support regenerative agriculture in New Mexico. The Western Landowners Alliance, with its extensive history of successfully influencing policy, will work to impact policy and facilitate regenerative agriculture. Cruces Creatives, a makerspace in Doña Ana County, will offer technical support through rapid prototyping and a broad network of community experts who can help farmers and scientists quickly develop needed technologies and equipment for regenerative agriculture. Each partner organization also has connections to policy makers, offering the chance to create an organized movement behind any needed policy changes.
Carr, Geoffrey. “The Future of Agriculture.” The Economist, June 9, 2016.
Dau, James. “From Lab to the Field, Research Takes Food Where It’s Needed Most.” n.d.
DeSimio, Patrick. “Literacies and Discourse Conventions in Sustainable Agriculture: Potentials for a Rhetoric of Cooperation between Farmers and Scientists.” Master’s Thesis, New Mexico State University
Hepperly, Jody. “Standing in the Way of Control: Small Farmers, Water Use, and Technology Adoption in Oregon.” Master’s Thesis, Oregon State University
Johnson, David C, Elliington, Joe, and Eaton, Wesley. “Development of soil microbial communities for promoting sustainability in agriculture and a global carbon fix” (PrePrint) PeerJ, January 13, 2015
Johnson, David C. “The influence of soil microbial community structure on carbon and nitrogen partitioning in plant/soil ecosystems.” (PrePrint) PeerJ, March 2, 2017.
Johnson, David C. Presentation “Soil Microbes: Their Powerful Influence in Agroecosytems.” California State University Chico.” September 29, 2016
Kellet, Abby. “Taking the Lab to the Field.” Farmers Guardian, 2016. https://www.fginsight.com/vip/vip/taking-the-lab-to-the-field-10568
Maat, H. (2011). “The History and Culture of Agricultural Experiments.” NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 57(3-4), pp. 187-195
“One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts.” Vimeo, uploaded by Peter Byck, 12 June 2016, https://vimeo.com/170413226
Parnell, J. Jacob et al. “From the Lab to the Farm: An Industrial Perspective of Plant Beneficial Microorganisms.” Frontiers in Plant Science 7 (2016): 1-12.
“Soil Carbon Cowboys.” Vimeo, uploaded by Peter Byck, 27 November 2013, https://vimeo.com/80518559
We’re almost there!
As a community this year, we’ve raised over $250,000 to establish and equip the makerspace. If we can raise $50,000 more, we can bring the makerspace through its startup period and establish Cruces Creatives as a permanent resource for everyone in Las Cruces. We’re already 5/6 of the way there!
If you appreciate the makerspace and what it does for the community, please contribute.
This is the most impactful time for you to give
Why Your Help is Important
Cruces Creatives is on track to be entirely self-sufficient in 2019.
Since the opening on June 26, 2018, just a little over four months ago, there’s been rapid growth:
If we can maintain this growth (and there are plans in place to increase it), Cruces Creatives will, by 2019, be able to pay for all of its expenses using revenue from memberships, programs, and events.
The current donations of $250,000 in tools, time, and money have made Cruces Creatives a mighty special space. With the Home Stretch Fundraiser, your contributions can bring Cruces Creatives through the remainder of the start-up period and turn the makerspace into a permanent asset for Las Cruces.
Now is the time when your support will make the biggest difference
The first Cruces Creatives Trunk-or-Treat was a wonderful success! At least 400 kids and families came through the doors to do crafts, face-painting, shadow puppetry, and games, photo shoots, bouncy-house jumping, go through our decorated trunk-or-treat cars, and more.
Just a few of the amazing costumes that came through!
Trunk-or-treat and shadow puppets!
Bounce-house - have to burn some of that candy off!
Crafts and cotton-candy from a caldron!
Makerspace made decorations all over!
Even the in-house made arcade system was in the holiday mood!
Games and more
And always the end of night supplies
It was a wonderful night. A great big thanks to the many volunteers who made this event possible and to all the families who made it out.
Just some of the many volunteers who made this year's Trunk-or-Treat possible - thank you!
If you are interested in helping next year's Trunk-or-Treat event, or if you'd like to help at other special events, please reach out to Jordon Kopreski, our Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com
Trunk or Treat
Looking for a safe place to Celebrate Halloween with your kids? Come to Cruces Creatives for games, movies, Teal Pumpkin treats, photo ops, popcorn, cotton candy, and more—plus, use the private parking lot to trunk or treat. For more information, visithttps://crucescreatives.org/event-3099105.
International Folk Music Awards Artist of the Year Performing at Cruces Creatives
Folk music duo Ordinary Elephant, Artist of the Year atthe 2017 International Folk Music Awards, will be sharing songs and insightsinto songwriting from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. Tickets areavailable by donation at the door and at https://crucescreatives.org/event-3098771.
Knitting for the Absolute Beginner, FREE for Members / Open to all, Oct 18
Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 19
Weekly Community Bike Shop, FREE, Oct 20
Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 20
Introductory 3D Printing, Oct. 24
Improve Your Handwriting (On the way to Calligraphy), Oct 25
Trunk or Treat & More, FREE, Oct. 26
Weekly Community Bike Shop, FREE, Oct. 27
Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 27
Charitable Crafting Project, FREE, Oct. 27
Introduction to Audio Recording, FREE for Members, Oct 18
Intro to Bikes and Bike Tools, FREE, Oct 20
Basic Textile Lab Safety Training, FREE for Members, Oct 20
Advanced Textile Lab Safety Training, FREE for Members, Oct 20
Basic Wood Shop Safety Training (pre-HVAC), FREE for Members, Oct. 24
Intro to Bikes and Bike Tools, FREE, Oct. 27
Front Monitor Training, Oct 20
Back Monitor Training, Oct 23
Members get 10% off all paid events, entry to member-only events, plus access to tools, space, community and more.
LAS CRUCES, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018-- The Cruces Creatives makerspace is proud to announce that it has formally become listed as a vendor with the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR). With this listing, people receiving services from NMDVR can have an annual membership to the makerspace included as part of their work plan.
Micah Pearson, Cruces Creatives volunteer team member and community mental health advocate spoke about the partnership. “From the outset our mission has been to connect our members with the necessary tools, skills, training, and community to turn their ideas into reality. Realizing this synergized with the goals of [NMDVR], we reached out and quickly found that both of our organizations, and more importantly the community at-large, would benefit from our collaboration.”
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a State and Federally funded program designed to help eligible individuals with documented disabilities find suitable employment. VR is a voluntary program, and services persons who want to work. With a long history of success and proven methodology for making the best fits, time and again, NMDVR is committed to helping their clients succeed. As of 2017 8,821 New Mexicans received vocational rehabilitation services including: medical treatment, guidance and counseling, training and job seeking skills and received an average 210% wage increase after successful rehabilitation. (Source: 2017 NMDVR annual report http://www.dvr.state.nm.us/uploads/FileLinks/48fe3884b4b04d5c9942fc99ddaf9bd1/2017AnnualReport.pdf)
If you or someone you know are already receiving or could benefit from the services of NMDVR and feel that they could also benefit from the wide variety of skills training and tools available at the makerspace, call the Las Cruces DVR office at (575) 437-6550 ask about adding a Cruces Creatives Membership to your work plan today.
Recently the Velo Bicycle Hub, located in Cruces Creatives, was featured on News 22.
Check out the video.
The Hub is featured between 6:00 - 8:15.
Recently the Velo Bicycle Hub, located in Cruces Creatives, was featured on News 22.
Check out the video.
The Hub is featured between 6:00 - 8:15.
Fall is officially in the air, with the Autumnal Equinox. Time to get crafting for Christmas!
October 10th is also our next meeting. So I hope you can join us cutting out tote bags, or sewing one up! Did I say our goal was 50? It is! Do you need more inspiration? How about this bag made of linen and cute Winnie the Pooh fabric!
From the blog Createlivity, written by Dina Honeycutt
CRUCES CREATIVES·FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
LAS CRUCES, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 --The Cruces Creatives makerspace is proud to announce that it has begun production on a new documentary web series, “Maker Docs,” which highlights local artisans and creators. The episodes will be released over the course of the next year.
While the series will feature members of the makerspace, it will not be limited to them. Lea Wise-Surguy, Executive Director of Cruces Creatives and a Producer on the project spoke about the series. “Making things is a fascinating and intrinsic part of the human condition and we’re excited to share the stories of the talented and skilled creators in our community.”
The team at the Makerspace has tapped Micah Pearson, a local author, artist, and community advocate to write and direct the series in his directorial debut. The pilot has completed principal photography and is currently in post production with additional episodes to be filmed in the coming weeks. The first four episodes will be released online on a regular schedule to be announced at a later date, with the following episodes to be released as they are completed.
The film series is a part of a larger initiative by the makerspace called “Meet the Makers.” The goal of the program is to raise awareness around the skilled and creative talents living within Las Cruces and its surrounding territories through promotional materials and events such as their inaugural Heritage Festival held earlier in the year.
More information regarding the makerspace, their “Meet the Makers” initiative, and their numerous educational programs can be found on their website (https://crucescreatives.org) or their social media pages (https://facebook.com/crucescreatives, https://instagram.com/crucescreatives).