EL PASO — Walking through a dark hall and swinging open the pair of steel gates, museum guests are thrown into a room with walls exquisitely decorated with the memories of this city’s most history-rich neighborhoods.Bright and colorful murals at the El Paso History Museum exhibit surround the viewer with quotes and representations of two of El Paso’s first neighborhoods.Neighborhoods and Shared Memories is an exhibit that shows what life was like in the Segundo Barrio and Chihuahuita neighborhoods as children grew up in the area. El Paso’s oldest neighborhoods continue to thrive in the southern part of the city with an extensive history as a place of refuge and social and economic struggle. Today, vivid murals on aged structures along the two-way streets give an insight into the cultural influences once existed.”We wanted to reach out to all the folks who had not had a voice, who were not represented in the history. The original exhibit plans for this building was that this gallery was designated from the begining to be the headquarters for the neighborhoods exhibit” says senior curator Barbara Angus.”The concept was that even from the beginning the exhibits that were created were directly by the people from the neighborhoods,” said Angus. Each wall represents one neighborhood with phrases from people who lived in the area and their memories of life there.
EL PASO — The Rubin Center serves as a laboratory for emerging artists and innovative practitioners, providing access for an audience of various diverse communities. The opening of the 2014 Annual Juried UTEP Student Art Exhibition showcased works of art and design created by undergraduate students. An opening reception was held April 10th as a part of the UTEP Centennial Celebration Open Campus Event. Over 300 entries were entered into the contest with only 98 making it for final review by guest judges CC Bursell and Tanya Abril Castro. Artwork in the museum was unique and gratifying to see.
EL PASO — On an April weekend a local high school gym was full of energy and excitement as a group of adults with special needs prepared to participate in a basketball tournament.The games were attended by members of local community centers and a crowd of some 200 fans roaring encouragement to motivate the teams to victory.Participants are in a government funded program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which allows persons with disabilities to participate and promotes healthy lifestyles that include cultural and social activities. The Multipurpose CDBG Strikers is a group of special needs students who created a team as a part of the Special Olympics.The team is coached by Edward Gonzales. Participants with the local recreation center prepared for their first game of the tournament with smiles and determination.Two teams from that center were able to participate and enjoy an awards ceremony after their tournament games at the recreation center.”I’ve coached other teams before and it’s not so much that you’re helping them out but I personally like the challenge,” said Gonzalez, “I like the idea of doing something different and helping them excel considering their disabilities if I can make them just a little bit better mentally and physically thats what I like.”Tanya Guzman a player on the Strikers team said that the coaching staff “is into it; they worked us hard; we had a good exercise.”Gonzalez said early on it was tough for him to coach the disabled young adults. “Initially, the parents didn’t seem to take it seriously and after they saw me yelling at their kids almost every practice they realized how serious we were and they jumped on board and the support turned out to be very good.”The participants are a part of a daily disability exercise program that allows them to stay active and be a part of sports, weight training, water aerobics, arts and crafts, and computer skills training. Also several field trips and social gatherings are planned by the participant’s parents committee to give them an opportunity to enjoy the city.