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They say necessity is the mother of all invention. If that’s true, then Downtown Albuquerque has had no shortage of reasons to continually reinvent and revitalize itself. Like everywhere else in the city, 2020 was a particularly rough year for the city’s arts and entertainment district; it weathered a violent riot last summer and continues to struggle amid the pandemic. Albuquerque’s Downtown is unlike any other part of the city; it is home to a wide variety of spaces and people, including artists, designers, filmmakers, galleries, museums, theaters, musicians, music venues, city festivals, restaurants, food trucks, breweries, coffee shops and creative entrepreneurs.

Slowly, some businesses are opening, while some remain closed. What we heard from both arts organizers and business owners alike is that their loyal customers are what’s giving them hope. They’ve built a community, fueled by a desire to not only build back what was, but to create a thriving district. Downtown is hanging on to that hope while a powerful creative force is forging ahead, building a safe space for people to enjoy Downtown again and for businesses to reopen again soon, and thrive.

  • Tierna Unruh-Enos, Managing Editor

“Art Is Going to Save Downtown”

Downtown Albuquerque was arguably hit harder by the pandemic than any other district in the city. While Downtown has seen its fair share of ebbs and flows over the past decade, after the governor declared a public health emergency in March of last year, business virtually shut down. In June protests erupted all over the…

In Downtown, Hope Has Survived the Pandemic

Standing in the middle of Central Ave., blocked off as it was last Friday for Art Walk, it all seemed so tantalizingly possible. Hundreds of people—maybe even thousands—had taken to the streets to check out all manner of interesting creations at the table-lined sidewalks. Here was a mariachi band, there was a DJ, and everywhere…

Bars and Nightclubs Plan to Reopen

It’s been a little over a year since Effex Nightclub shut its doors Downtown per Governor Lujan Grisham’s public health order. In that time owner/operator Carrie Phillis has also had to shutter two other business locations: The Salt Yard East and The Salt Yard West, located in other parts of the city. Despite the closures,…


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Art on the Rio

Local Collective Combines Art, Commerce

In the middle of the pandemic, the Albuquerque collective Art on the Rio decided to launch a space where artists can focus on their craft and monetize their work. It…


Thinking Outside The Box

Local Theater Reaches Fans Online

Indoor entertainment venues will be among the last businesses to see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. Now, these venues can open at limited capacities once certain…

indigeneity by Jon Sims

The Sandia Mountain Roller Coaster

Wide Range of Public Opinion Awaits Mountain Development

The Forest Service is considering a proposal to put a roller coaster on Sandia Mountain. Yes, a roller coaster.


April Fools City Council Into Short Meeting

With two members absent, the Albuquerque City Council tackled a light agenda that had the sexiest items deferred. Council President Cynthia Borrego and Councilor Klarissa Peña were excused, leaving Councilor…


Methane Emissions Get Regulated

OCC Finalizes Oil and Gas Venting and Flaring Rule

Governor Lujan Grisham’s administrative rule writing took a giant leap toward cleaning our enchanted skies on March 25 with The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission’s (OCC) unanimous vote to adopt…


Schumer Presses for Cannabis Reform

During a press conference, Schumer was asked for his stance on cannabis, and he answered, “I support decriminalization at the federal level and will be introducing legislation with a few…


Bees Steal Car

Weird News of the Week

A man returns to his car after grocery shopping only to find it’s become the new home of a bee swarm, a deer crashes through a windshield and falls into…