The Creative Bravos Award has returned to Albuquerque after being away for three years. Having a lengthy history with the City of Albuquerque, the Creative Bravos Award is given to members of the community whose work makes a significant impact on Albuquerque.
In the past the award was given annually to recognize the work of outstanding citizens and there creative contribution to the community.
“We the city in partnership with some amazing community partners felt that it (the award) was an important part of what’s going on in our arts and cultural community,” said Director of Cultural Services Dr. Shelle Sanchez.
Beginning her new role as Director of Cultural Services back in February of this year Sanchez said bringing back the award was one of the first things she wanted to see happen.
“It’s very important to validate and celebrate the contributions of people in our arts and cultural creative economy community,” Sanchez said. “Other fields do this. There is business awards all the time and leadership awards, it is something all other fields do. Without the Creative Bravos it’s not really happening in the Albuquerque community.”
When artist are recognized by their community it opens other doors for them, Sanchez said.
Winners of the Creative Bravos Awards come in all shapes, sizes and ages as 6-10 award will be given at a celebration in November. By allowing nominations of all ages to be accepted Sanchez hopes to recognize not just long time contributors to the artists community but rising stars as well.
“You can nominate an artist in any field,” Sanchez said. “Art administrators, art educators, creative entrepreneurs, art philanthropist, we’re really looking at celebrating the whole ecosystem of arts and cultural economy and community.”
While nominations are closed currently a community based election committee shared by first lady Elizabeth J. Kistin Keller, Sanchez said.
With winners notified in late September the award ceremony will take place on November 16th. While reintroducing the Bravos Awards was not a difficult or expensive program to organize, it took committed people to bring the award to reality, Sanchez said.
Sanchez immediately reached out to individuals in the city including those from several art organizations and cultural organizations across the city as well as an individual who worked on the committee for years during the Creative Bravos Awards last iteration, she said.
Some of the individuals Sanchez reached out to include Julia Mandeville with the Harwood Art Center and Valerie Martinez, Director of History & Literary Arts at National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Together these individuals are the ones that really did all the organizing and thoughtful work that pushed bringing the Creative Bravos Award back to Albuquerque, Sanchez said.
“That’s the thing that I’m most proud of,” she said. “Not only that we made it important to bring it back but that we also made partnering with our community an important part of bringing this back.”
With art organizers, the arts and the positive feedback from the community, Sanchez is confident that the award will be here to stay.
“It’s a really beautiful illustration of our arts and cultural diversity and richness here in Albuquerque and I think that people are just really happy to see this celebration come back,” Sanchez said. “There’s not another annual recognition of arts and culture specifically for our Albuquerque community. It’s a celebration but it’s also an honoring of peoples ongoing work and long term dedication to the field.”