Children make crafts using pipe cleaners at the Martial Art club table during the 2020 Community Arts Party at Finley Gym.
Photo courtesy PAS

For 24 normal years, early February meant the Socorro Community Arts Party. Hundreds of kids engaged in dozens of art projects filling Finley Gym with the sounds of busy artists.

The 25th-anniversary celebration will be anything but normal. Finley Gym is locked and gatherings of over five people are not allowed.

“The 25th Anniversary Gala Arts Party Street Fair will just have to wait until year 26,” co-organizer Dana Chavez said.  “It will be a spectacular event, hopefully, next year, something to really look forward to!”

Still, the arts must go on – and so online they go. The good news for parents (and the sad news for children) is that the popular tie-dye event will not be offered. However, organizers Chavez and Ronna Kalish plan a fun afternoon ala COVID-19 style.

The annual event is sponsored by New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series.

The Arts Party is set for Feb. 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the list of projects is still being finalized.

David and Michael Hargather use crayons to draw pictures at last year’s party..
Photo courtesy PAS

While previous years featured up to 40 activities, this year the ideal number is about a dozen, Kalish and Chavez had pared down the list to about twice that number.

“There is no way we can do all those projects,” Kalish said, “We’re still looking for presenters and giving them some project choices.”

Folks of all ages are welcome. Participants would come and pick up a packet containing all the materials for each of the activities. Then they could choose which ones they want to attend via Zoom. A list of the Zoom meetings and links will be available at the PAS website,  nmt.edu/pas.

“Our concept right now,” Kalish said, “Is literally a Zoom meeting for each project. We’ll probably be open for five hours. Participants will enter a waiting room. And every 15 minutes or so the presenter would open up and let the new people in.”

That eliminates the need for presenters to give instructions to each person, Kalish explained, and constant interruptions.

“People can go in and out of projects as they wish,” she said.

Projects being considered will include some for the youngest artists such as play dough, cornstarch mush and slime, as well as masks, scratch art, valentines, Ojos, Mr. Squiggly color me pages, rock critters, and cork boats.

For the older set, clay creations, beaded keychains, dreamcatchers, flower fairies, lovebugs, ojos, friendship bracelets, corn husk dolls, washer jewelry, Japanese mobiles and whimsical wire wonders.

“It’s a two-way street. We need participants and we also need helpers,” Kalish said.

For more information contact PAS at 575-835-5688 or pas@nmt.edu.

NM Tech Performing Arts Series