Releases | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

National Hispanic Cultural Center launches new programs to help young children learn about Hispanic culture

August 29th, 2022

Albuquerque, NM- With new leadership in place, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has launched a series of new programs designed to teach young children about Hispanic and Latine culture through art, music, dance, and stories. 

“Education has always been a priority at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and these new programs advance our mission of preserving Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities by ensuring the youngest members of our community have access to fun and informative educational opportunities,” said NHCC Executive Director Dr. Margie Huerta. 

Since the beginning of the summer, the Center has launched three new programs, each focused on different age groups and different modes of learning. The NHCC Explorar Las Artes program, which launched in July, is a free, bi-monthly 45-minute program on first and third Tuesdays that includes a wide range of activities for toddlers.  

“Culturally relevant programming for children during their most important developmental years is a fantastic way to inspire curiosity and love of learning in rising generations of New Mexicans,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department. “New Mexico needs more educational activities designed specifically for families with young children, and we are grateful to the National Hispanic Cultural Center for leading the way.” 

Participants explore the NHCC Art Museum and engage in artmaking, music, movement, dance, drama, and bilingual story time. NHCC instructors model age-appropriate arts techniques that celebrate self-expression, build vocabulary, and strengthen both fine-motor and gross-motor skills in a fun environment. Upcoming programs include Canta Conmigo, where children and caregivers will learn bilingual children’s songs, and a Bilingual Children’s Storytime focused on the poem “Don Gato.” 

Additionally, the NHCC recently launched its Arte Poquito program, aimed at the very youngest members of our community: infants up to 18 months old along with their caregivers. Arte Poquito programs occur on the second Thursday each month, with each event celebrating a different aspect of Hispanic and Latine arts, including music, dance, and storytelling.  

The Arte Poquito program is designed to balance bilingual introductory arts experiences with social interaction, as NHCC instructors model the introduction of core arts concepts to infants and caregivers in a supportive environment. Both programs are overseen by Dr. Rosalia Pacheco, who joined the NHCC as the Education Program Manager earlier this summer. 

Last, but certainly not least, the Center is blending family fun and education with its Día de Familia and Noche de Familia programs. At recent Día de Familia events, visitors have had the chance to design watercolor paletas and build futuristic headpieces, among other activities. These offerings are designed to engage children and their families while providing a fun introduction to the diverse offerings of the NHCC. 

With Hispanic Heritage Month coming up from September 15 through October 15, there are plenty more early childhood offerings on the horizon. Catch our special Noche de Familia event on Oct. 21, featuring trick-or-treating, a free screening of Coco, and more! Each of these events are free, but registration is required. These programs are generously supported through a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant. Visit for details on upcoming events. 

More about the National Hispanic Cultural Center The National Hispanic Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. The NHCC presents mission-related events throughout the year, some produced by its history, literary, performing, and visual arts programs, and others by partnering with external organizations. Events take place at its 20-plus-acre campus, which includes a plaza, an art museum, a historically designated building, a library, and a genealogy center. The NHCC is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is further supported by the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. 

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Early Childhood Programming at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

A child paints during an Explorar Las Artes event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

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