There are many definitions of community: a particular place, a group of people living together, a feeling of fellowship, a bond based on shared characteristics or values. The Northside is all of these things and more! On Friday, September 15th from 10am – 3pm at UNM-Gallup’s North Campus, celebrate Gallup’s Northside community with the neighborhood’s first annual NorthFest. With generous sponsorship by District 1 Councilor Linda Garica, gallupARTS, UNM-Gallup North Campus, ATD-Fourth World and the New Mexico Aging & Long-term Services Department have teamed up for a day of art, literacy and—most importantly—community.

To reflect the diversity, rich heritage and history of the Northside, NorthFest will include a variety of family-friendly, interactive activities:

– The community’s leaders, elders and poets will be telling stories all day long in the “Storytelling Corner.”

– UNM-G North Campus teachers and students will lead event participants in “fence-weaving,” beautifying the neighborhood by creating colorful patterns from plastic cups the Campus’ chain link fence. The UNM-G North Campus team will also host traditional food demonstrations and will offer up a Northside-themed photo booth.

– ATD-Fourth World invites kids of all ages to write their own versions of the children’s book Something Beautiful, sharing what is beautiful about the Northside.

– gallupARTS will lead attendees in a collaborative big book-making project: finger-paint a page to add to a larger-than-life-sized book called Once Upon a Time in the Northside…

– Local potter Steve Marti needs everyone’s hand in a community art project: make a clay handprint to add to a “hand-in-hand” tile display which will eventually be installed on the corner of N. 7th Street and Wilson Ave.

Hands are indeed an overarching motif of the event (which is why they are included in the logo). The event itself values individual’s unique ideas and contributions, and represents what people can accomplish when they work together. NorthFest is also all what you can make and create with your hands.

“Hands also reflect our identity whether in the contemporary utilization of fingerprints, or the ancient expression of handprints on canyon walls,” says UNM-North Campus Director Laura Jijon. “Our hands say, I am here. I passed this way. I have left a mark. I matter. Hands carry our stories, our heritage, and our hope. This is what we are honoring with NorthFest by bringing together Elders and Children and everyone in between, an intergenerational gathering, the essence of community.”

So, have a hand in celebrating the wonderful Northside community at NorthFest. Students from Del Norte Elementary School will be joining in the festivities in the morning from 10am to noon, and the event is free and open to the public until 3pm. For questions or more information, contact Rose at or 505-488-2136.