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NMHU Hot News

Media Arts Named Program of the Month for NM Volunteerism

Media Arts Named Program of the Month for NM Volunteerism

The New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts Program was named the New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism program of the month in January.
 
The commission manages the state’s AmeriCorps program, which puts the university’s media arts graduates and students to work In New Mexico museums and other cultural institutions where they are making their mark using the latest multimedia technology. 
 
The students chose their own motto for their AmeriCorps service: Enriching communities through technology, one museum at a time.
 
Since the Media Arts Program received a $190,722 AmeriCorps grant in 2010, its graduates and students have landed real-world jobs in New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs sites across the state like the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque and the Museum of New Mexico Press in Santa Fe. 
 
“We think we are the first AmeriCorps program in the nation to have a specific focus on media arts students working in cultural institutions,” said Mimi Roberts, Cultural Affairs media projects director. “The Highlands media arts students have fresh ideas and bring a contemporary aesthetic to the multimedia projects they are producing for our New Mexico museums. Their work is fantastic, and we get such positive feedback.”
 
The students are creating interactive exhibits and websites, producing videos and documentaries, creating graphic designs and original print materials, and digitizing museum collections and exhibits to post online.
 
“We’re working very hard to make our collections and exhibits more accessible online and the Highlands students are playing and important role in this initiative,” Roberts said.
 
The AmeriCorps grant is part of an ongoing partnership between media arts and the Department of Cultural Affairs that focuses on cultural technology.
 
 “With these AmeriCorps positions, our media arts students are telling the story of their own culture, so they are on the front lines of cultural preservation,” said Miriam Langer, who heads the university’s Media Arts Program. “They are highly skilled in design technology and are very committed to using their expertise to serve New Mexico museums.”
 
The students are considered AmeriCorps volunteers and receive living allowances, education awards, and training during their job assignments.
 
Taos native and 2010 media arts graduate Angelo Mitchell started his AmeriCorps service in October at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
 
“Angelo’s print and graphic designs are fabulous and we’re looking forward to the video projects he will produce this spring — he’s impressive,” said Shelle Sanchez, educaton director for the National Hispanic Cultural Center. “We’ve had a long history of Highlands media arts students creating high-quality design projects for us. They come prepared with great technical skills, project management ability, and professionalism.”
 
“It’s gratifying to use my design skill set to help the center, and it’s given me the opportunity to think more about community service,” Mitchell said. “The most beneficial part of the AmeriCorps service is the interaction with design professionals who are at a high-level in the field. It’s a good transition from school to the work place.”
 
Other media arts graduates and current students placed in AmeriCorps positions in New Mexico cultural institutions include:
 
Jason Valdez, graduate, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe
Melissa Marquez, graduate, Roswell Museum and Art Center
Michael Jackson, graduate, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Albuquerque,
Eric Maldonado, graduate, City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Collection
Carlos Mendivil, graduate, Museum of Art Governor’s Gallery, Santa Fe
Jeana Francis, graduate, Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos
Jonathan Lujan, undergraduate, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe
Ben Jeremiah, undergraduate, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
Paul Conley, undergraduate, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Office of Digital Initiatives