Las Vegas, N.M – If you have a story to tell about your involvement in the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, Highlands University wants to hear it.
The New Mexico History Museum chose Las Vegas as one of five communities statewide to participate in the Turn On, Tune In Community Storytelling Project. Highlands is collaborating with the museum on the project.
“The purpose of this storytelling project is to help people shape their memories of the counterculture era in New Mexico into a story that will be shared with the public,” said April Kent, a librarian and head of public services at Highlands’ Donnelly Library. “It’s an exciting, valuable project because it helps us collect and preserve individual’s stories.”
The New Mexico History Museum will present a public overview of the storytelling project Sept. 22 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the university’s Student Center Theater, 800 National Ave. The local audio stories and memorabilia will be will be showcased at Highlands Oct. 5 from 6 – 8 p.m., also in the Student Center.
“If you are interested, please apply as soon as possible because space is limited for this project, which includes a workshop for participants Sept. 23 and 24 at Highlands,” Kent said.
Eric Romero, a Highlands languages and culture professor, is also involved in the Turn On, Tune In storytelling project.
“The themes presented in the 1960s and ‘70s as counterculture are still relevant today as progressive concerns such as social justice, equity and sustainability,” Romero said. “By revisiting the voices of counterculture, we reinvigorate creative and progressive thought.”
Romero said he hopes the personal narratives will empower others, including young adults, to be comfortable with diverse cultural expression.
“We are all storytellers,” said Romero, who heads the Native American/Hispano Cultural Studies program at Highlands.
Meredith Davidson, a curator for the New Mexico History Museum, said the Turn On, Tune In project intends to shine a light on the 1960s and 1970s counterculture’s relevance and how it might activate and inspire people today.
“In today’s complicated political and social environment, it is a powerful thing to look back at some of the movements and efforts from the 1960s that laid the groundwork for today’s understanding of equal rights, environmental awareness, and what it means to be an engaged citizen,” Davidson said.
Judy Goldberg, an independent radio producer and educator, said, “We want to make public the poignancy of this time period by honoring those who built that history.”
Davidson and Goldberg are co-facilitators for the project.
Other partners for the Turn On, Tune In Community Storytelling Project include Las Vegas Citizens’ Committee for Historic Preservation and the City of Las Vegas Museum.