The Albuquerque Museum Invites Visitors Into the Homes of the Spanish American Elite of the New World

Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492–1898, is an exhibition on display at The Albuquerque Museum that explores themes from the private lives of the Spanish American privileged, focusing on their homes in the early colonial era through the nineteenth century.

The Albuquerque Museum Invites Visitors Into the Homes of the Spanish American Elite of the New World from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

The exhibition itself demonstrates the wealth and lineage of the early Spanish Americans, through the homes and the objects that adorned each room. This is not just limited to great works of art but also the luxurious textiles, sculptures and items that made up the faith, wealth and socio-racial status of the colonial Spanish Americans.

Behind Closed Doors is the first major exhibition that showcases and explores the private lives, social structures, and wealth of Spain’s colonial era elite. The exhibition is on a four-city tour with Albuquerque being the second stop. When the early conquistadors ventured into the Americas they brought an affluent heritage along with them. Much of this heritage can be seen throughout New Mexican culture but not in such luxurious and grand standings.

Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492–1898, Center Gallery of Exhibition. The Albuquerque Museum - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492–1898, Center Gallery of Exhibition. The Albuquerque Museum – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The collection primarily consists of works from the Brooklyn Museum and boasts some 160 paintings, sculptures, prints, textiles, and decorative objects. What feels like the center of the exhibition is a screen depicting the Siege of Belgrade on the front and a decorative hunting scene on the reverse, this is a piece from Mexico, circa 1697-1701. Outstretching from this piece are large satellites of paintings and objects such as a bed frame gilded in gold that catches the light with a beautiful glow. With a commanding presence a large masterpiece by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes entitled Don Tadeo Bravo de Rivero hangs in the main room. This piece captures Tadeo Bravo, who is adorned with the cross and jeweled badge of the distinguished Spanish Order of Santiago.

Don Tadeo Bravo de Rivero, 1806 Oil on Canvas By Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish,1746-1828) at The Albuquerque Museum - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Don Tadeo Bravo de Rivero, 1806 Oil on Canvas By Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish,1746-1828) The Albuquerque Museum – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Many objects in this exhibition are placed, as they would have been viewed in these early Spanish American homes of the new world. Walking though each room gives the viewer a sense of going back in time, with the rich culture and extravagant icons of social standing the Spanish brought with them to the Americas.

The Elephant’s Trumpet: A Story of a Loving Mother and the Future of a Herd

The love of family along with the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo is helping one mother elephant preserve her species that has become endangered due to habitat loss and the extreme poaching for ivory tusks.

The Elephant’s Trumpet: A Story of a Loving Mother and the Future of a Herd from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

Rozie is an Asian elephant that was born to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo in 1993 for the purpose of maintaining the species. Since then Rozie has mothered two of her own offspring and is helping ensure a future for the Asian elephant species, not just a memory.

Currently the BioPark has seven Asian elephants two of them being young males and five females counting the newest edition, Rozie’s very young calf Jazmine. The park is one of the few United States facilities to have success in breeding and raising elephants in captivity. This is very beneficial to maintaining the species since the Asian elephant population is constantly threatened by human activities in the wild.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo At A Glance. Click to Enhance. (ABQ BioPark Zoo Brochure Map)

The ABQ BioPark Zoo At A Glance. Click to Enhance. (ABQ BioPark Zoo Brochure Map)

Before Rozie’s birth the park didn’t have what it has today in the herd. Female Asian elephants are very social and often form groups that become herds; these groups are lead by the matriarch. The matriarch is the oldest female of the group. By creating the herd the park is able to allow the elephants to have the natural dynamic and social structure seen in the wild. This also helps the zookeepers understand and care for the elephant’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

Currently there are five species of elephants that are endangered and other elephant species like the African elephant are vulnerable to this threat. The biggest threat to elephants in the wild is the shrinking habitat, poaching and illegal sale of ivory. The loss of habitat means elephants are living closer to human society and a struggle for food can cause the devastation of a farmer’s crop. This puts elephants at risk for retaliation from a farmer to insure crop loss or damage doesn’t happen again. The majority of the time elephants are poached specifically for the ivory in their tusks and then sold on illegal markets, aiding to the dwindling population. The United States Congress recognized this struggle in 1997 and introduced the Asian Elephant Conservation Act, which allows funding for the conservation of Asian elephants.

Baby Jazmine and her Grandmother Alice playing in the yard at the ABQ BioPark. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Baby Jazmine and her Grandmother Alice playing in the yard at the ABQ BioPark. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

On February 11th, 2014 the Press Secretary for The White House released a fact sheet on the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The goal is to establish principles for the United States to combat illegal wildlife trade and ban the commercial trade of elephant ivory. This is to ensure that the United States is not a contributing factor to the diminishing numbers of endangered species due to illegal trade or poaching.

Finding Affordable Healthcare with the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange

While the Health Insurance Marketplace is busy enrolling many Americans for healthcare coverage before its March deadline, the Congressional Budget Office released their budget analysis and the projections of the Affordable Care Act.

Finding Affordable Healthcare with the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange on Vimeo.

The national Health Insurance Marketplace or Healthcare.gov launched on October 1st, 2013 with a bumpy start, causing many issues for those who tried to enroll online. Since then the healthcare exchange has signed up more than 2 million Americans as of December 31st, 2013. This total comes from both state and federal ran exchanges and the numbers are rising with the looming March deadline. With the current open enrollment ending on March 31st, 2014 the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is educating New Mexicans and helping them find real plans that work for them.

New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange or nmhix is helping New Mexicans get the access they need to find quality healthcare. This means no more preexisting conditions, being denied coverage for preventative care and not being stuck in a job just for healthcare coverage. The insurance exchange opens the door to options most individuals have never had before. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in State Health Facts has New Mexico listed with 425,900 uninsured individuals. This has New Mexico ranking in at one of the highest states for the uninsured.

Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer for New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Debra Hammer, Chief Communications Officer for New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange (nmhix) (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Debra Hammer the Chief Communications Officer for nmhix stated in an interview, “When we talk about preventative health these are healthy people, we want to keep them healthy.” Continuing Hammer also stated, “When you start younger, you develop those healthy habits that keep you healthy in the end.”

Finally, A Simple Way To Get Affordable Health Insurance. (Healthcare Resource, nmhix Brochure)

Finally, A Simple Way To Get Affordable Health Insurance. (Healthcare Resource, nmhix Brochure)

The Congressional Budget Office or CBO recently released a nonpartisan analysis that is a budget outlook with projections for the Affordable Care Act or ACA. This analysis has some calling the Affordable Care Act a tax that will cause the loss of 2.5 million jobs over the next ten years. While the CBO’s Analysis of Health Care back on January 29th, 2014 states on page eight that even after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented the predominate federal spending for healthcare will be that of older people. Exchange subsidies and related items make up only a small fraction of the CBO’s projections of the ACA for 2023.

The Affordable Care Act was passed to lower healthcare spending in an environment that increased healthcare costs and lowed the quality of coverage. In a recent report healthcare spending is the lowest on record and this slow in cost growth has persisted through the recession that took place 2007-2009. This report also states that the ACA is a contributing factor to this continued slow in cost growth.

Local Holocaust and Intolerance Museum Combats Hate Through Education

Hate and intolerance have been a part of an unfortunate world history and even current modern events. The Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico is helping Albuquerque and the world remember these injustices; in hopes to prevent future acts of hate and genocide.

Local Holocaust and Intolerance Museum Combats Hate Through Education from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

While hate and intolerance are words that seem ugly on their own, they can become something tragically worse. These words are actions that can become violent and damaging to everyone involved. Unfortunately these are words that are not out grown even though they are not words known to a new born. In a Tolerance for Teen’s factoid it states that, an individual is not born with hate for a whole group of people for any reason other than one’s own bias. But instead this form of hate is a learned behavior. Since this is a learned behavior it means hate and intolerance can be avoided.

The word “hate crime” wasn’t really in use until after World War II, in which a government attempted a racial genocide. The Holocaust was a period of time from January 30th 1933 until May 8th 1945. During this time more than six million Jews and five million others deemed as inferior by Hitler and the German Nazi regime were systematically exterminated. Some of the five million included homosexuals, mentally or physically impaired, Gypsies, religious groups and anyone who really opposed the Nazi regime. Even before the Holocaust there was the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century by the Ottoman government. The Ottomans also attempted a systematic extermination, by forced deportations and massacres of the Armenians in what is now modern day Turkey.

Harold L. Folley, volunteer at the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Harold L. Folley, volunteer at the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico in Albuquerque. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Additionally the United States has also had moments of hate and intolerance, from slavery in the 17th to 19th centuries to modern intolerance of sexual orientation, race and religion. The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors some 1,007 known hate groups operating across the United States. In the 2012 statistics released by the FBI in the Offense Type by Bias Motivation report, race has the highest total offenses. The total offenses motivated by sexual orientation and religion combined do not even total the offenses committed on a race bias. While the majority of hate crimes in the United States are race motivated, the offender is mostly driven by the desire for excitement.

The Holocaust and Intolerance Museum of New Mexico stands as a reminder that nothing good comes from intolerance and hate based on what a person is as opposed to who they are: a son, a mother, a daughter or even a father. While the museum is that reminder it promotes people to be the conduit of change against all forms of hate.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico

The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program or MCP was established in 2007 for New Mexico residents. In a recent push by State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), New Mexico could be the next state to legalize marijuana.

Medical Marijuana and the Rise of the Political Push for Legalization in New Mexico from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

With the recent introduction of SJR 10 by New Mexico State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) the push for legal recreational use of marijuana in New Mexico has begun. The bill is much like Colorado’s Amendment 64 and will allow New Mexico to regulate the production, sale and taxation of marijuana. This bill will also allow residents 21 years of age and older to legally posses marijuana for personal use. It is reported in a poll conducted by Gallup in 2013, that most Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. While currently marijuana is not legal for recreational use in New Mexico, the state does have a Medical Cannabis Program in place.

Currently under the guidelines of the Medical Cannabis Program or MCP patients must have one of the 17 qualifying conditions to be eligible. But stipulations on the New Mexico Department of Health website states that, “If your patient does not have a qualifying condition and you feel they would benefit from the medical use of cannabis, that person can petition the Medical Advisory Board to add their condition to the current list.” While you can find most of the information for eligibility on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website; places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants help patients to get a better understanding of the program.

As of August 30th, 2013 it is reported on the New Mexico Department of Health’s website that there are 9960 active patients. To get enrolled you can contact places like Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants or follow the guidelines outlines on New Mexico Department of Health’s website. While it may seem easy to apply yourself, Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants offer a friendly face to help you understand the laws and know what is within your rights as a patient.

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by K. Charles Moore/ Full Sail University)

New and returning patients fill out the same application with a submission that includes a copy of their New Mexico driver’s license or state identification. The state only allows residents of New Mexico to apply to the program. You must also provide medical documentation that supports the diagnosis of the condition from the list of 17 outlined by the New Mexico Department of Health. This must include past treatments with the dates of service and the possible benefit vs. risk of Medical Cannabis. Finally, qualifying patients will be provided with a Patient ID Card and a list of Licensed Non-Profit Producers or LNPP for short.

If you would like to read more about the laws behind the MCP you can review the rules on the Law Enforcement Information Sheet available at New Mexico Department of Health.