September 3: Spanish Music Comes to Questa
Local Questa area native and event promoter Jamie Archuleta had an idea. He wanted to do something never done before; celebrate our local acequia associations and our acequia culture by organizing a live music concert with local northern New Mexican musicians. That idea is now coming to fruition with the upcoming Dia de los Acequias del Norte to be held Saturday, Sept. 3,, starting at 4 p.m., at Molycorp Field in Questa.
Sponsored by the former Chevron mine, all proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to local area acequias. Darren Cordova y Calor and Mariachi Calor! will headline the show, joined by up and coming artist Makayla Antonia and the Dwayne Ortega Band from Questa.
“I wanted to give back to the community,” Jamie shared with us. “My grandfather, Gil Blas Gallegos was one of the founders of the Taos Soil and Water Conservation District. He worked closely with the acequias. My family has strong roots in the Buena Vista and Cerro areas as part of our historic local land grant, San Antonio Del Rio Colorado. They farmed off of an acequia for generations. Acequias are a fundamental part of our culture. They are a strong example of how water should be managed for the benefit of our communities. And of course, we have our strong music traditions, especially in mariachi. I wanted a way to engage the whole community, especially the youth, in taking a greater interest in our acequias. Music seemed like the best way to do that.”
Jamie has a long history in the music industry. He’s a musician himself, having played guitar with many northern New Mexican musicians since the 1990s both as a studio musician and in live performances. He studied music and Spanish at New Mexico Highland University where he also performed with the university’s mariachi band. He also has worked extensively on event promotion and marketing in the Taos area and more recently worked for Taos Behavior Health, counseling at-risk youth. Jamie is providing event management and promotion for the Dia de los Acequias del Norte as JA Productions. He hopes to support similar live music events in the future.
“If Dia de los Acequias del Norte is a success, I’d want to see if we can make it an annual event and include more local musicians in the years to come,” Jamie stated, “I’d also like to support efforts to revive our tradition of hosting annual fiestas as a way to celebrate our local culture.”
Chevron’s Public Affairs Advisor Christian Isely added, “Chevron is proud to sponsor this day commemorating our local acequias. Our acequias serve as a great example of water resource management. We value their partnership as we continue work on making the former Questa Mine’s surplus water rights available for local economic development.”
Other event partners include the Village of Questa and the Questa Economic Development Fund. “I am very excited about Dia de los Acequias del Norte,” said Louise Gallegos who serves both as Councilwoman for the Village of Questa and as Treasurer for the Questa Citizens Ditch Association. “We feel it is a perfect venue for celebrating our acequias. It’s also the right time to highlight some of our community’s goals about the use of water:
- Keep water resources and water rights local
- Promote local sustainable agriculture
- Improve food security with local produce
- Improve the operability and sustainability of our municipal water system
- Explore green carbon-free energy production”
“The Questa Economic Development Fund is a proud supporter of this event. Agua es vida. Water is life. Our acequias embody those words. Everyone from the local level to our state leadership should recognize the contribution of the acequias to our culture and water management.” said Malaquias Rael, Chairman of the QEDF.
Tickets are priced at $10 in advance, $15 at the event, with additional donations welcome. They can be purchased in advance at the Questa Visitor Center, the El Monte Carlo Lounge, on HoldMyTicket.com, or at the event. For more information, please call Lynn Skall at 575-586-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.