The family favorite annual Community Arts Party is right around the corner and volunteers are still needed.

“Even if you are reading this two days before the event, we need help with projects, with setup at Finley Gym on Friday afternoon and tear down after the event,” Ronna Kalish said.

Kalish is one of the original organizers of the event and works as the Community Engagement manager for the Performing Arts Series.

This year, all ages will be able to enjoy a variety of fun crafts including flower fairies, magnets, tie dye shirts, clay hand building and wheel throwing, Koinobori (Japanese mobiles), Valentine’s Day crafts, sand art, decoupage jars, treasure boxes, 3-D art, wire sculptures, leather keychains, Devil’s Claw valentine ornaments, buttons, tile painting, play dough, cornhusk dolls and more.

Participants can also enjoy local food from the Cubish Food Truck and the Wandering Scorpion food cart.

Reflecting on the last 28 years of organizing this event, Kalish said “it feels like it has become a community tradition that people look forward to year after year. This has been something I strived for in my time as the Director of the Performing Arts Series, creating traditions that strengthen us as a community. I feel that the Annual Community Arts Party is one of them.”

She credits partnerships with Dana Chavez, as the person who runs the show, and Becky Titus Taylor, who has been there since the beginning, for the success of the event.
Chavez who is the new New Mexico Tech Performing Arts director said that she remembers attending the Community Arts party when she was in high school, it was the first Performing Arts Series event that she ever attended.

“Fast forward to now, I am inheriting a beautiful community tradition where, for the past 20 years, I have been able to watch Socorro families grow, see young volunteers blossom into adults who have developed a wonderful sense of community and service through the fun and engaging outreach, that’s what we do at PAS, all thanks to Ronna’s vision,” Chavez said “It really warms my heart to see groups of people from all different areas of Socorro County come together and not only participate but help facilitate this event,”

Kalish agreed, “My favorite part is seeing so many people from the community coming together to make art, from the kiddos to the grandmas… Parents come thinking it is for the kids and then they get totally into doing the art.”

This year the centerpiece project will not be done by Becky Titus Taylor, but rather by NM Tech Teachers Education Program with Amanda Lewark leading the team. Kalish said it will be a mobile mural called “Memory Lane,” a storytelling mural about people’s life histories.

“Tell everyone you know. Please come, it is so fun,” said Kalish. “It is just the bestest, funnest way to spend a Saturday morning and afternoon with family and friends. And all for free. Wear old clothes and prepare to get art all over you, be there or be square.”

“It’s time to party at Finley,” Chavez added “I talked to a lot of folks from Albuquerque and beyond and they always marvel at the Arts Party, there aren’t a lot of events like this around. We are very lucky here in Socorro, so take advantage and come on by.”

The Annual Community Arts Party is sponsored by City of Socorro, Positive Outcomes, Walmart, NM Tech Facilities, Community Education, Fine Arts, Physical Recreation and Wellbeing Departments, Creative Industries Division of NM Economic Development Department and NM Tech student clubs.

For more information, please email [email protected] or call Dana Chavez at 575-835-5688.

Jessica Carranza Pino, Editor