Partners engaged around the creative redevelopment of Midtown District are guided by a deep belief that expressions of place will reveal both the values inherent to the communities that run adjacent to the Midtown Campus, as well as any barriers—physical, financial, or otherwise—that have made interacting with one’s neighborhood and the campus more burdensome. Understanding both is necessary for considering how the development of the Midtown Site will impact those residents within closest proximity.
Because of the nature of this work, we acknowledge that much of Santa Fe’s history has been buried, from the stories of the first Indigenous and Euro-mestizo settlements, to the war of aggression that imposed a manifest American imperialism that led to dramatic losses for all those living in this land. As a result of American settlement, and the establishment of artist colonies in the twentieth century, and policies that emerged from preservation, urban planning, and tourism, these groups have disproportionately experienced the effects of dispossession, disinvestment, and gentrification.
Displacement, then, is as foundational to the settlement of Santa Fe as illuminating the long stories of origins, identity, and love of place. Our work, to that end, focuses on the vulnerable querencia that has long defined this city and these neighborhoods. Acknowledging this Place Statement
In recognizing this querencia, we hold ourselves accountable to these values:
Culturally-sensitive community engagement
..creates an environment where transparency and mindfulness of our own impact, positionality, and perspective are integral to collaboration, curiosity, and co-creation of projects that are complicated, rich, and that best reflect the character of Santa Fe’s Midtown.
Open dialogue and active listening
...enables the space to hear, respond, and work together to address concerns that may arise around any ongoing projects. And while thoughtful community engagement takes time and commitment in order to build trust and reciprocal collaboration, we also respect the constraints of community members’ schedules, as well as any personal boundaries.
We are the experts of our own lives
...and celebrate the expertise that lives within our Midtown communities, actively listening with an open heart to those authorities, scholars, storytellers, and wisdom holders whose front yards, garages, and kitchen tables have become lifelong spaces of barrio building.
...makes any future projects around the Midtown Campus usable to community members who may lack cell phones, computers, Internet, or other forms of technology, as well as including Spanish translation for Spanish speakers.
Reciprocity not extraction
...is a call to never exploit our Indigenous, Black, and community members of color when asking them to share their personal experiences or knowledge of their neighborhood.
Creative place-based amplification
...means the full accessibility of these ideas of place to everyone who lives or works within or around the Midtown Campus. In looking forward to the future of the Midtown Campus, these amplifications will only be the beginning of a long term and city-wide reflection that centers community voices in efforts to creatively and ethically redevelop our Santa Fe.