Moving Arts Española (MAE) has been awarded funding from the Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services Department to design and install a community garden and composting educational project at the Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center.
The Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center is being developed in collaboration with Siete Del Norte Community Development Corporation, Moving Arts Española, the Rio Arriba Community Health Council, Española Community Market, the Rio Arriba Health and Human Services Department, Four Bridges Permaculture, and the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area.
The garden will be designed to educate and inspire vibrant community participation, beautify Main Street, support recovery, and improve health across cultures and generations.
The funding provides 12 weeks of summer jobs for young people in the valley including local farming experts, design professionals, adult coordinators, MAE youth interns and adult clients from the Rio Arriba Health and Human Services Division.
Phase I of the installation is already completed. Four local business including La Cocina and Angelina’s Restaurants, the Blue Heron Brewery, and Center Market will provide kitchen and vegetable scraps, and beer waste to support the soil creation station. The City of Española will provide weekly grass clippings and a small bobcat tractor bi-monthly to turn the piles. MAE purchased a vintage “red and green” 1949 Ford truck as a planting container.
The goal of this initiative is to engage young people by teaching them on-the-job skills that include community service, organizing, and the co-facilitation of two free public educational forums on composting and straw-bale raised-bed construction.
The funding also includes the creation and installation of two large outdoor totem sculptures. One sculpture is already installed at the Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center, and one at the Moving Arts Performance Center on the Ohkay Owingeh pueblo. New York based scavenger artist Autumn Kioti led these projects over a four-day period in July. Participants collected trash, found-objects and organic materials from a one mile radius of both sites.
Moving Arts Española and the Rio Arriba Department of Health and Human Services support art as a path to complete health and recovery.