Film/Television Editor, Copy Editor Devin D. O'Leary served as film/television editor at Weekly Alibi for 28 years. He wrote and produced four feature films here in New Mexico and has been the booker/host of Midnight Movie Madness screenings at Guild Cinema for 13 years.

In the past couple years, countless businesses have struggled, and many have failed. Beyond the mere commercial are the hundreds of creative endeavors that have been curtailed by a year of lockdown and a year of cautious recovery. Here in Albuquerque we’ve seen longtime theater troupes close their curtains (Mother Road, Aux Dog). Popular movie venues have shut down (Century Downtown, Movies 8, Movies West). And essential live music/performance venues have gone out of business (Albuquerque Social Club). But for every loss, there has been a gain. Earlier this year we saw the reopening of Nob Hill’s venerable Lobo Theater as the elegant Lobo Lounge and Events Center. The various performers at Downtown’s The Box Performance Space wisely reinvented themselves as streaming content providers and podcasters. And after more than a year’s closure, even the Albuquerque Social Club found a way to reopen with the help of some creative crowdsourced fundraising.

With the new year dawning and a hopeful end to our medical and economic woes on the horizon, we turned to Albuquerque’s enduring artistic, creative and performative community to ask what their New Year’s resolutions might be. What are the hopes, dreams and concerted desires of our artists, musicians, poets and performers for 2022?

Suzanne Sbarge

Executive director, 516 ARTS

“In my own visual art practice, I want to concentrate on animals and the natural world in the context of climate change. I also want to work bigger, explore more abstraction within my narrative collage paintings and experiment with different color palettes. In my job of leading 516 ARTS, I want to highlight and listen to the voices of BIPOC artists and concentrate on organizing projects that address climate change.”

Sherri Bruggemann

Manager, Public Art Urban Enhancement division City of Albuquerque

“During years one and two of the pandemic, many fast-thinking, hard-working city staff across the Department of Arts and Culture and other city departments figured out how to all work together to help keep our local arts organizations and artists buoyed and somewhat sustained. In 2022 my professional resolution is to make the initiatives of our small but mighty Public Art Urban Enhancement team within Arts and Culture stronger and more exciting as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the initiative to create the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, the city’s unique dedicated fund for arts organizations, and staff up the Public Art Program to take better care of all the artworks acquired over the past decades and pursue fun temporary public art installations thanks to a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Working with our boards and commissions to further implement our diversity, equity, inclusion and access goals while re-anchoring stable and meaningful funding sources are resolutions that will keep Albuquerque’s arts and cultural sector vibrant and alive during what will be yet another year of creative challenges and changes.”

Neal Copperman

Director, AMP Concerts

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we resolved to find ways to keep connecting music to our community in whatever way we could given the restrictions in front of us. That has been our guiding light for the last two years. We’ve done a pretty amazing job, with streaming and video programs, art competitions, socially distanced neighborhood block parties and drive-in concerts, until we were ultimately able to bring in-person performances back—first outside and later in safe ways indoors. In 2022 we remain committed to bringing people together through music in as safe and compelling a way as we can. One thing we are doing new in 2022 is artist residencies. We already have eight confirmed for the first half of the year, with artists from Colombia, Peru, Canada, Hawaii, Canary Islands and the U.S. These are great ways to allow artists to really get to know New Mexico, and to do more outreach and community projects. We’re also hoping to launch a series of free outdoor concerts in Albuquerque this summer.”

Rusty Rutherford

Standup comic, quizmaster “Geeks Who Drink” (Tractor Brewing), host “Comedy Bingo” (Side Effex)

“Every few years or so I hit a point in stand up and performing where I get bored of what I’m doing and need to switch things up. I’m at that point again, so my New Year’s resolution is to take all of what I’ve learned up to this point from doing stand up, and use that as a jumping off point to create a brand new, not quite stand up, one-man show or double act that incorporates aspects of stand up, improv, music, clowning and multimedia in what is hopefully a unique experience for both the audience and myself.”

Jon Sanchez

Illustrator, screen printer, poster artist

“Throughout the lockdown, we had to be resourceful in finding ways to connect to our fellow art community, whether through virtual meetups or live sketching groups via Zoom. My New Year’s Resolution, as we hopefully return to semi-normal, is to continue connecting with our art community, focusing on new collaborations, seeking out group art show opportunities and hosting more screen printing learning workshops.”

Dan Gutierrez

Social media and marketing consultant, event producer and magician

“My New Year resolution is to do my best to bridge relationships between local businesses, media and nonprofit organizations. By using the social side of social media, small businesses and non-profits can find ways to team up and meet goals without a need for a large budget. Producing projects in person or online can help bring two organizations together that wouldn’t usually be related.”

Steph Sugar

Branding and social media coach by day, burlesque performer by night

“My New Years resolution is to be more accessible to my peers and local community-involved events. Gatherings such as ArtWalk, comic cons, performance and burlesque-based events could really benefit by being more inclusive and informative to educate the public and break stigmas surrounding fulltime artists. By hosting classes, using social media and connecting with other local talents, these small interactions can lead to big movements and better inclusivity for Albuquerque’s artistic future. It’s always hard to start small, but my goal is to help more artists get familiar with their audience and branding, know what they offer, know their worth and charge double.”

Captain Orgasm (S Eiland)

Lead singer, Beefcake in Chains

“The mighty Beefcake in Chains resolve to (continue) being the most obnoxious band on the planet and will do new recordings, video projects and of course, our live sextravanganzas. We also resolve to support our national and local performing friends, local music venues and press!”

Renato Renée Estacio-Burdick

Co-owner Sidewinders Bar, singer, drag performer (Renée Toya-Bouvier)

“My resolution is to grow classical vocal arts offerings and access.”

Teresa Robinson

Owner and editor-in-chief of New Mexico Entertainment magazine

“For the new year my focus is to build my exposure of being known for entertainment in New Mexico—creating new events and providing opportunities to work with other creative individuals in the state.”

Mayo Lua de Frenchie

Burlesque performer, producer and instructor

“My artistic resolutions for 2022 are certainly a result of our forced break for the last two years: Stop saying yes to every ‘opportunity’ as to avoid burnout. And I will also stop working with people that I put up with just to keep civility in the community. It does not keep the civility of your mental health.”

Arelis Haskamp

Artist, bartender, lead singer of Gilead Rises

“As an artist I’m resolving to celebrate my failures as well as my success in the upcoming year. I get so frustrated when I’ve done a run of paintings and none of them come out the way I had hoped. I’m trying to lean in to that and either become more creative in how I use what I’ve made, or to celebrate that I learned something that doesn’t work for me and am better prepared to move forward. As a singer, I’m just aspiring to write outside of my comfort zone and keep up the momentum our band has been gaining.”