Celebrating Love at the Rail Yards Market

Love_LogoAnyone old enough to remember the 1998 movie, Night at the Roxbury will surely remember how the lead characters played by Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell dance ridiculously to the Haddaway song with the title, “What is Love.” But really, what is love? Have you ever thought about it? I have.

With all due respect to everyone’s faith, paradigm, culture, public and personal beliefs (or lack thereof), I believe and teach my 7 year old daughter that God is Love. But what does that mean? A quick perusal on Merriam Websters Online Dictionary comes up with 9 definitions (not to mention all the sub-definitions). Definition number 4 is closest to my personal definition of Love, “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” Personally I would replace: the good of another with the good of all. 

A Labor of Love

The Rail Yards Market have been a labor of love for all that have been involved in taking it from idea to reality. Fueled by our desire to bring life back to the Rail Yards, and inspired to make our community a more vibrant one, volunteers from all walks of life spend their week planning, meeting and working together to make the RYM the wonderful nexus of our city that it has become. On Sunday mornings, we gather at 6:00 am, look each other in the eye and face-down a 11 hour day together! If that is not Love, then I don’t know what is!

Native Health Initiative

NHIThe Native Health Initiative (NHI) is a love-funded, love inspired organization dedicated to addressing health inequities through “Loving Service (a human-to-human element of wanting to serve others, volunteerism).”

“Today is a day to celebrate the work in NM that is love-funded, love-inspired, and which uses love as a framework for healing our world and communities. We feel that money/grants/power, etc. lack the transformative power that love holds to address the injustices we find in our state and world. We want to inspire and encourage you today to see the beauty and power that love has to heal our world, hoping that by us celebrating love today we will begin to find new ways tomorrow and beyond to orient our work likewise!”

Love Inspired Educators

VecinosAt the Fine Arts Pop-Up Zone we are joined by the VECINOS Artist Collective. VECINOS are collaborative of New Mexican artists who value educational and community driven practice. Our mission is to complement and enhance the activities of organizations in Albuquerque and beyond through participatory artistic collaborations. We believe that investment in the collective well-being of neighborhoods and cities creates a better world. At the Children’s Zone Super Artists/Educator CloudfaceStephanie Galloway will be guiding the kiddos on love-motivated collage making.

The Traditional Zone – NHI, RAICES, and Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin will join the Rail Yards for Celebrating Love Day in our Traditional Zone bringing with them a cherished community group of Curanderas and Traditional healers and will include an interactive education on traditional/ceremonial tobacco in the spirit of connecting art and culture. Live Arts will feature Patrick CloudFace Burnham will be joining the RYM in the Live Art Zone. His dynamic and bold ‘Celebration of Life in Painting’ is sure to bring smiles to all!


Honoring Grandparents at the Rail Yards Market

Grandparents DayWe are all aware that grandparents love to coddle, spoil and splurge their grandchildren in love and tenderness! What many of us have lost sight of is that grandparents serve a crucial societal function as well: the dissemination of culture while providing a living, historical record. Unfortunately in todays’ over-saturated world of marketing messages, many have lost sight of the role our elders play in keeping our community vibrant and keeping us from repeating the mistakes made by previous generations.

Multigenerational Celebrations

In many Latin American countries, parties and festive occasions have a multi-generational flavor and you will often find babies and grandparents indulging in Music, Entertainment and the festive environments. This provides an opportunity for cultural transmit ion through historical recollections. In the US, ageism, created by our friends in the Marketing world, separates folks into non-sensical categories that serve to divide us and robs us of our historical identities. At the Rail Yards Market (RYM) grandparents are welcome and encouraged to participate and enjoy all that the RYM has to offer!

Celebrating Grandparents at the Rail Yards Market


Celebrating Labor Day at the Rail Yards Market

As most of us know, Labor Day is a Federal Holiday but what does it stand for or represent? If you were to go by ads on TV, print and online, you might think it is a holiday celebrating consumerism. For example neither Lowes Home Improvement stores nor Home Depot have any mention of their workers, let alone a thank you to them! It is a holiday to celebrate the work-force, the laborers who form the backbone of our society and make our machines that keep us on the go.

Labor Day

Blacksmith Shop – 1940’s

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” The first national celebration of Labor Day was held in 1909 in New York City. The holiday itself was the impetus of labor unions scattered around the country. 

Celebrating Workers at the Rail Yards Market


Celebrating Local Growers

Local GrowersFood and Water, we need both to survive, but do we actually ever stop and think who provides both? In the case of water, the respective “Water Authority” of each town/municipality is responsible for providing it. When it comes to food, our “choices” are varied. The big corporate box stores typically import their food from out-of-state or from other countries. Small local shops offer locally grown food options. The several “farmers” markets around town provide the chance to buy locally grown produce directly from the growers themselves.

Rail Yards Market

At the Rail Yards Market (RYM) we are much more than a “farmers” market but we also provide the opportunity to buy locally grown produce from local growers and in a few cases, they will make a meal for you right there on the spot (farm to table). When you shop for your produce from a local grower, you help stimulate the local economy, strengthen your community, while providing healthier food options for your family.

Growing Community


Making STEAM at the Rail Yards Market

A great emphasis has been placed in educational and political circles on motivating students to study the STEM fields. STEM stand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. According to the U.S. Government’s Education website, internationally, the U.S. is falling behind rapidly in the STEM fields, “Only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career. Even among those who do go on to pursue a college major in the STEM fields, only about half choose to work in a related career. The United States is falling behind internationally, ranking 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations. In our competitive global economy, this situation is unacceptable.”


ABQ MakersSTEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals. The inclusion of the Arts (and Design) in the STEM paradigm is crucial. The Arts folks are Makers: creators of the physical world we live in. RISD President John Maeda states, “my experience as the President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has reawakened me to the world of physical creation. RISD is the ultimate culture of makers. There is no greater integrity, no greater goal achieved, than an idea articulately expressed through something made with your hands. We call this constant dialogue between eye, mind, and hand “critical thinking — critical making.”

Albuquerque Makers

We are fortunate to have the organizers of Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire will be on-hand at the Rail Yards Market this Sunday (August 17) to lead our Educational Zones!


Latin Dancing at the Rail Yards Market

The Rail Yards Market is happy to announce that the Latin Dance Festival will make a pre-festival appearance THIS Sunday, August 17! Performers will be dancing on our Community Stage at 10 am and at 1:00 pm. Here is a little preview:

This community based festival and widely acclaimed salsa “congress” celebrates Latin music, dance, and culture for three days and four nights beginning Thursday, August 21st through Sunday, dance classes will be offered by local and national dance instructors at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. This festival includes all age events every day and night. Annual Latin Music and Dance Film & Lecture Series is an academic component to the festival and includes three lecture/multimedia presentations and three films.

Latin Dance FestivalThis year, presentations include “The History of Salsa”, and “Bachata Dance & Music: Roots, Style, and Evolution”. Film presentations include a feature length dance-love-story premiere entitled “Musical Chairs,” a heart rendering tale where street dancer and trained professional beat the odds in New York City. The film’s producer and choreographer will be in town to present Wednesday, August 20th National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Bank of America Theatre and are free and open to the in the courtyard of Hotel Albuquerque. Throughout the day, Fridayat 7:00 PM. All films and lectures will be presented at the

On Friday, August, 22ndwith Ivon Ulibarri & Café Mocha. This concert is open to the public and sponsored by the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Department & Guanábana Productions, Inc. The Festival culminates in a Main Concert Event Saturday, August 23th from 6:30pm – midnight on a moonlit dance floor at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Plaza Mayor. – Press Release

For additional information please click here.

Boosting the Local Economy at the Rail Yards Market

Promoting Local BusinessesThe benefits of shopping local are well documented and publicized. For example according to the organization Keep It Querque, “Your dollar recirculates 254% more when you spend it with a Local Retailer. When you dine at a Locally Owned Restaurant your dollar recirculates   287% further.”  Therefore a 10% shift would add an additional $179 million to the local economy each year.

Local Motion

Shop Local

The Rail Yards Market (RYM) is committed to promoting local businesses and boosting the local economy by  giving small, locally owned businesses increased exposure both at the RYM and outside of it. Vendors are rotated regularly with the emphasis on keeping the RYM fresh and vibrant and exposing visitors to the amazing locally grown produce, food products, arts and crafts. Local produced items, many using local materials, are often created on the spot while you wait. Click the image above for more info.

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Building a Sustainable Environment at the Rail Yards Market

Serious conversation regarding the gradual degradation of our environment no longer centers around ‘if’ but ‘when’ or in other words, ‘how long.’ How long do we have until our planet can no longer sustain our species, Homo Sapiens-Sapiens. How long can the planet sustain the damage that we have done to it and still provide us with the gift of life? At the Rail Yards Market we have discussed and implemented some eco-friendly initiatives with the goal of sustainability at their core.

Getting Rid of the Bottleneck

Osceola EnergyOne such initiative is the move from bottled water to having a water refill station using compostable cups! For one dollar, visitors get a cup and they are entitled to unlimited refills. We are also excited to announce that the forward-thinking folks at Osceola Energy are powering our main stage using  solar energy! Osceola Energy is a local company specializing in Electrical Contracting and Renewable Energy Systems.

Educational Zones


Appreciating our Community at the Rail Yards Market

As we approach the half-way point at the Rail Yards Market (RYM), I would personally like to thank the residents of Albuquerque for embracing the Rail Yards Market and making it a hub for community interaction, a piston for local commerce, a showcase for local entertainers, educators and artists, and the place be on Sunday’s from 9am to 3pm in the beautiful Barelas neighborhood. I am certain that all of my fellow volunteers feel the same way I do: eternally grateful to you all, our neighbors and new-found friends!

Gearing up for the 2nd Half

Warehouse 508We are using the experiences we had in the 1st half of the season at the RYM and making some tweaks to better serve, entertain and educate our community. Some exciting modifications in-store for you for the 2nd half of the season at the RYM include closer collaboration for educational programming with our community sponsors, partners and stakeholders such as SUVA, Warehouse 508, OffCenter Community Arts ProjectWorking Classroom, and Harwood Art Center to mention just a few.


Additionally, we will be adding and rotating food options, vendors, artisans and entertainers to lend additional exposure to our fabulous and diverse community of local entrepreneurs and creative folks! The wide variety of food-truck options, like Irrational Pies, will continue. Farm to table options are schedule to increase as well. Your input and recommendations are certainly welcome. Please click here to comment.

This Sunday at the RYM

SUVASustainability by design with the South West University of Visual Arts (SUVA) on Sunday! RYM presents junior interior design student Alyssa Metoyer in our Educational Sustainability Zone. Alyssa specializes in environmentally sound designs that are sure to spark a desire to create better ways of living. Innovation meets inspiration and opens doors to a creative future combined with a friendly footprint. Join us and let your mind step forward in a life positive way!

The Children’s Zone will feature artist-educators, Rachel Harris-Huffman, Charlie GravinaTrinity Treat from OffCenter Community Arts Project. Children will make bookmarks, paper pendants on ball chains, and some small 2D art pieces. There will be lots of paper, magazines, markers, stamps with pads, regular and pattern-cutting scissors, and soooo many glue sticks for everyone to get real messy!

Rail Yards MarketPainter and muralist Nani Chacon will be displaying her incredible work in our Pop Up Fine Art Gallery, including several works that won’t be shown again after this weekend. Nani is also a programmer/partner at the RYM and we are proud to have her contributing her many talents to our community-powered Sundays!

Entertainers include Creative Movements for all ages at the Community Stage. On the Main Stage we will showcase New Mexico’s finest Poets, the RYM’s Rob Hobert and Dead Gunz, all the way from Phoenix, AZ – The Missing Parts. Additionally the amazing Audio Buddha, and one of Albuquerque’s top bands will be joining us: Cali Shaw Band! Please click here for a complete schedule

 Looking Back while Moving Forward

Thank YouFrom it’s inception, the RYM has been an all volunteer, community-powered event. Many folks, from walks of life came together with a similar mission, “The Rail Yards Market is focused on building a resilient, sustainable local economy that we all love to work and play in. Through food, art, and music, we hope to bring our community together in an atmosphere of fun, learning, and creativity” (from the RYM website). Due to all of the positive feedback we have received, we feel like we are succeeding! This success is due in large part to all of our partners, sponsors, volunteers, founding members and especially to you: our Albuquerque/New Mexico community! We could not have and cannot continue to succeed without you. Ahéhee’, Gracias and Thank You! See You Sunday!

Alex Paramo is an Author and Co-Founder of Community PublishingCommunity Publishing brings local artists of all mediums together in creative collaborations for distribution as multimedia eBooks while promoting literacy in our communities.


5 Reasons to Celebrate Youth Day at the Rail Yards Market

The great playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” While our reflex response is to agree with Shaw, I seriously believe that as a society, we can change that. How? By creating safe-spaces where our young folks can express themselves, unlock their creative souls, and promote the ideas that are relevant to their generation. Our multidimensional world requires multi-sensory ideas and solutions and that is what the arts cultivate in all of us. In these days of constant information, our young folks are generating not only new ideas, but new paradigms! Their collective potential to change our unsustainable ways of living is something we must invest in.

Join us in celebration of our Empowered Youth

Young folks are adept at multiple modes of expression: visual, musical, kinesthetic. They have the potential to change thYouth Day Warehouse 508e world, and we have a responsibility to give them the tools with which to accomplish it! In that vein, we are very excited and honored to have Warehouse 508 be our guest programmer for our Youth Day theme! “Warehouse 508 is Albuquerque’s biggest youth art and entertainment center located in downtown Albuquerque. We offer a safe, structured and supervised facility to young adults and youth. Warehouse 508 provides a variety of programming and events that are youth driven, and youth focused.”