Immigration and the path to citizenship are currently divisive topics fraught with debate and tension in our country and abroad. Nearly one in ten New Mexico residents is an immigrant, while one in nine residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent. The City of Albuquerque has taken to immigrant friendly policies, with Mayor Tim Keller establishing both an official Office of Equity and Inclusion and an Office of Immigration.
On April 7th, The South Broadway Cultural Center along with AMP Concerts are presenting Ni De Aqui Ni De Allá – A New Citizen Celebration, which will feature performances by three of Albuquerque’s newest official American citizens. Valeria Montes, originally from Mexico, Rujeko Dumbutshena, originally from Zimbabwe, and Jackie Zamora, originally from Peru will be performing dances as a fundraiser for Encuentro, The New Mexico Immigrant Law Center and the Vizionz-Sankofa Immigrant and Refugee Project. These groups aid individuals seeking citizenship by offering support, law consultation and education.
All three performers are prominent members of the art community in Albuquerque. Valeria Montes runs Casa Flamenca, where she performs and teaches. Rujeko Dumbutshena is a fantastic African dancer who is completing her MFA at UNM and teaches both at the University and publicly. Lastly, Jackie Zamora sings with a half dozen different bands in town, including the pan Latin powerhouse Baracutanga, which will be performing at this event as well.
When it was discovered that all three performers had gained American citizenship in 2018, the South Broadway Cultural Center and AMP Concerts were inspired to put together the show. “Whenever anyone gets their citizenship, it is the culmination of a major journey – both geographic and bureaucratic. Each individual traveled a long way and went through a lot of effort to become US citizens,” said AMP Concerts founder Neal Copperman.
“Performing arts are a way for people to share their stories and their ways of looking at the world. The flamenco and African dance we will see on April 7 will take people on their own journeys to other lands and cultures,” said Neal Copperman. “It’s fantastic that those offerings can be regularly experienced here in our own communities.”
This event promises to be an engaging, luminous night filled with beautiful performances and an important message.
“Ni de Aqui Ni de Alla” is on April 7th at the South Broadway Cultural Center from 5 to 9pm and is a family friendly event.
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