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Features

  • The first time Tig Notaro stood in front of a microphone, she didn’t consider the likely possibility the audience would be laughing.

    “I was just trying to get through what I had memorized,” Notaro said. “I was nervous, that’s for sure.”

    The possibility of laughter would mean, for most performers, exit, stage right, don’t come back. For Notaro, it meant the beginning of a successful career with performances in comedy club icons like The Improv, The Punchline, Catch a Rising Star and The Comedy Store.

  • Teresa Victor stood, feet planted on the rugged slopes of Cuzco, the capital of the sun-worshiping Inca empire, the spot on earth with the highest ultraviolet light level. This was her third trip to Peru. On a previous trip, she hiked the Inca Trail, the twenty-eight mile ancient road to Macchu Piccu, in nearly impassable terrain high above the Urubamba River canyon cloud forest.

  • My family and I traveled to El Paso for a tennis tournament, but it is the memories of other adventures that I brought back to Las Vegas. We left to El Paso on Friday afternoon and immediately encountered a metal forest. Actually, just west of Santa Rosa, there are about 100 gigantic windmills. They looked like the giant machines from War of the Worlds. It was surreal. We stopped in Vaughn and I had one of the best root beer floats at this restaurant, which looked like an aluminum travel trailer.

  • Snow tries to break the sky, but the clouds hold firm, hold back everything but a dusting of flurries. An armful of ducks dodge the snowflakes, sending a series of rhythmic quacks against thawing ground.

    Spring sends her first hints through feathered messengers, through the choreographed movements of birds traveling home. This Sunday, the Friends of the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge are sponsoring a free lecture and slideshow on the coming fury of the skies, “Migrating Birds of the Central Flyway.”

  • Douglas Avenue changed overnight. The Coen Brothers’ film crew fixed simple red and white plastic lettering to a vacant office building, adding geriatric walkers, tightly wound ACE bandages, and the promise of pharmacological discount in a carefully orchestrated window display.

  • Two years ago, I was a high school sophomore with no cell phone. Almost everyone I knew had one, but I wasn’t terribly jealous. I lived in a small town and went to a small school. It wasn’t difficult to get a hold of me, and I didn’t think I really needed a cell phone.

  • Four people float in a rain-reminiscent sky, simple grins lighting round faces, arms extended past swollen bodies the colors of spring grass.

    They fly in harmony, in silly joyous formation, a family of Macy’s Parade balloons, perhaps, or a collection of free-wheeling cartoon thought bubbles. Rick Mobbs’ study in watercolors, “Flying,” offers a glimpse into captured serenity, but the artist’s vocation began in a place far from calm.

  • Some days the relentless negative news blaring from the television or computer screen taunts the viewer: the country’s gone crazy! Lunatics are running the world. Days like that, what’s a sane person to do?

  • Joshua Sandoval grins, microphone in small hand. The tiny Los Ninos Elementary School student struts around the stage as if owns it, as if he carries no fear.

    He sings a traditional Latino song with confidence, with an inner peace so fierce, so radiantly happy, his audience can’t help but smile with him. Sandoval, along with other members of the Las Vegas community, will be on the bill for Casa de Cultura’s first Noche de la Trova talent night, Thursday, Feb. 21, at Joe’s Ringside Bar on Grand Avenue.

  • New Mexico Highlands University student Juan Archuleta will be giving a presentation, Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Las Vegas Citizen's Committee for Historic Preservation, about folk music of New Mexico. The talk presents a historical and ancestral interpretation of New Mexico folk music, including rancheras, corridos, romances, and Inditas. Many of these songs originated in Spain and traveled to the New World with the Spanish.

  • A skeleton struts, his feathered hat jauntily tipped over eye socket, along a gallery wall at NMHU’s Burris Hall. He stands before three simple stone-marked graves, one littered with rose petals and a bodiless bony wrist.

  • A large part of my life has been spent at my dad’s office, next to Allsup’s and Pete’s Fitness. According to my mom, we practically lived there. I had my own little desk (which was actually just a small filing cabinet), and a blanket and pillow that I would use when I passed out on the floor.

  • Sonya Berg plans to focus her attention on Las Vegas’ winged creatures this Feb. 15-18, as an active participant in the 11th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. A member of the Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, Berg realizes how important citizen science can be.

  • Margarito Mondragn pressed gravel into upturned ground, spread asphalt, worked the bulldozers, scrapers, tampers that molded New Mexico’s roads until he shifted gears 13 years ago, retiring from the State Highway Department to become an artist like his grandfather and great-grandfather, both well-known santeros.

  • Two weeks ago, a friend and I drove to Santa Fe to see “Cloverfield.” The movie is about a monster that attacks New York City, killing many unsuspecting victims, including every important character in the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t be angry with me. Just believe me when I say I haven’t ruined it for you.

  • The Din emerged from three previous underworlds into this, the “Glittering World,” through a magic reed. The first beings from the other worlds were not like the people of today - they were animals, insects, the masked spirits seen in Navajo ceremonies, the mix of predator and prey, heaven and solid ground that forms reality. Melanie Yazzie captures the stories of her people through her own magic reed, the tools of an artist.

  • Come and see the splendor and magic of Belle dreaming about something more. Be a part of the drama when Aladdin discovers the genie in the lamp. Listen as the Little Mermaid laments over love.

  • I was on my way to class when I saw Leigh, Jazzmine, and Ashley leaving the building where our next class was. “Don’t go in there,” they said, very seriously. “Why not?” I asked, though I wasn’t complaining. “We’re going to get donuts.” With that, I felt an intense amount of happiness well up inside me. School is important, but it’s things like this we will always remember.

  • The New Mexico Hispano Music Association recently hosted their 17th Annual Awards Show at the Ohkay Casino Event Center. The event took place Jan. 19, in Espaola and featured performances by several New Mexico artists including, El Gringo, 45, Candace Vargas, Steve Chavez, Jenna, Mathew Martinez, The Blue Ventures, Al Hurricane Jr., our very own Mariachi Paisano del Valle and Gonzalo.

  • The student technical crews managing Ilfeld Auditorium at NMHU know what it’s like to work under pressure. Studying theater arts trains students in the areas of communication and human relations skills, and gives them experience as members of a team working toward a common goal.

    Donna Martinez, manager of both Ilfeld and the KEDP student radio station, understands how to motivate her work study students, how to push them in ways that expand their abilities.