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City museums offers online programs during stay-at-home time


Reporter’s note: City of Las Cruces Deputy Director Rebecca Slaughter and Museum Administrator Jennifer Robles assisted with this story.


The governor’s stay-at-home order doesn’t mean you – or your kids or grandkids – have to be bored. The Las Cruces Museum System (LCMS) has a lot going on online, including #LasCrucesCares.

Exhibit proposals sought

LCMS seeks proposals for exhibits with themes of cultural and historical significance relating to the borderlands region, along with submissions from artists (solo and group) from formal and informal scholars and organizations. Proposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. To apply, complete the form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LCMS2021. Applications must include a brief (no more than four paragraphs) narrative and should include an artist statement or group mission, eight-10 jpg images of proposed work or work of similar style and quality and linear and/or square footage needs. Exhibits will run for six- to 12-week periods.

Make art at home

Through its Artventurous At Home program, LCMS provides creative arts and crafts challenges that kids can do at home. Visit “Museum at Home - Activities for Kids!” on Facebook. It also links through the Las Cruces Museums Facebook page @LCMuseums.

Here, for example, is the program’s second arts and crafts challenge for April: Make a piece of art from scrap paper. For this challenge, use at least one paper product; the rest of the items can be anything found at home. When you are finished, take a picture and post it in the comments to show our community your creation(s), making sure to include a description of your art as well as the materials you used.

There are other links on the museum’s Facebook page with science, art and learning that children can do at home.

Join the foundation

The Foundation for Las Cruces Museums supports the Museum of Art, Branigan Cultural Center, Museum of Nature and Science and the Railroad Museum. The cost is $40 for an individual, $60 for a family and $25 for a full-time student or senior age 65 and older. You can be a supporter for $100-$249, a patron for $250-$499 or a benefactor for a donation of $500 or more. Visit www.foundationlcm.com/membership/ or email info@foundationlcm.com for more.

Take the survey

LCMS is conducting a community survey. The city is creating a strategic plan for the museum system, and community input is vital to the development of museum goals, priorities and strategies. You can play in integral role in the plan’s development by participating in the online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LCMSCommunitySurvey2020 or www.surveymonkey.com/r/LCMSCommunidadEncuesta2020.

Follow the creation of new exhibits

City of Las Cruces Quality of Life Department Deputy Director Rebecca Slaughter and other museum staff are continuing to design future museum exhibits from home during the stay-at-home order. “I can design and plan out the exhibits right from the computer,” Slaughter said on the museum’s Facebook page. “I can see what works and what doesn’t before I set foot in the workshop and begin making anything.” Slaughter said she does a “Takeover Tuesday” on the Facebook page every week to give virtual visitors a behind-the-scenes look at what museum staff are up to.

For example, LCMS staff (following public health orders, of course) are using “a little plywood, rope and a lot of imagination” to bring a luchador wrestling ring to Branigan Cultural Center for an in-the-near-future exhibit.