CNN Hero Roger Montoya of Moving Arts Española was honored by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham with a statewide proclamation declaring Tuesday, Oct. 29: Roger Montoya Art as Medicine Day.Courtesy/CNN
ESPAÑOLA ― The Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham honored CNN Hero Roger Montoya, co-founder of Moving Arts Española, with a statewide proclamation declaring Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 “Roger Montoya Art as Medicine Day”.
The City of Santa also has declared through a formal proclamation Nov. 1, 2019 as its own “Roger Montoya Art as Medicine Day”. Rio Arriba County declared Sept. 24 as “Roger Montoya CNN Heroes Day”,
Furthermore, Gov. Lujan Grisham has appointed Montoya to the Human Rights Commission at the Department of Workforce Solutions. Created to enforce the New Mexico Human Rights Act, the Commission investigates claims of discrimination. Montoya’s appointment will require Senate confirmation.
“These proclamations and appointment further affirm our community is at the core of our mission and the no one creates alone,” Montoya said.
Drawing upon his memories of his grandmother’s healing wisdom and ancestral remedies to nourish the community, Montoya drives home the point that these proclamations are from the heart of matriarchal healing. By bringing home his training and his using the community’s, historical wisdom, much like his grandmother’s, “we’re able to transcend the residue of trauma.”
“By transmuting the practice of art to activate healing not only in body, but in community, and beyond––when you nourish the community through art, you heal historical, cross-generational trauma, Montoya said.
Moving Arts Española’s upcoming ¡Recuerdos! Revelry & Remembrance event Saturday, Nov. 2, “invites and binds us all in remembering the wisdom of our ancestral memory.”
Montoya has worked tirelessly to preserve the region’s cultural heritage through community advocacy, youth empowerment, combatting poverty, food inequity, substance abuse, environmental concerns, homelessness, and the stigma of HIV/AIDS through “Art as Medicine.” Montoya is the co-founder of the Arts in the Schools Program, Moving Arts Española, La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Sciences, and is a founding team member of the Early College High School Dual Credit initiative.
Montoya is one of 24 CNN Heroes in the world, but not yet one of the Top 10 Heroes. CNN will today announce the top 10 finalists. The final 2019 CNN Hero of the Year will be decided through online voting beginning in early November, with the winner announced Dec. 8 on live TV at an event in New York City.