Be a crusader for culture

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By Kirsten Laskey

It’s not just brains that are needed to be a successful employee of New Mexico’s cultural institutions; you need attitude, a crusader’s attitude to be exact.

Historian Thomas E. Chavez will explain just what it takes to make it in the state’s cultural institutions during the Los Alamos Historical Society’s lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge.

According to a press release, this will be a personal and casual talk about life as a historian and employee in New Mexico’s cultural institutions. It will be reflective and informative with stories about acquisitions of art, artifacts and documents, the interaction of politics and culture, and raising money to build new institutions.

Chavez said he will draw from his own experiences working as a historian at the Palace of Governors and at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

“(There will) be some irony and fun stuff and (I’ll) even talk some about dealing with legislature and dealing with various governors,” he said.

To make it in the business, Chavez said, “there’s got to be dedicated people working in the field for one, and a lot of support from the community, for two. We got to build on what’s been done in the past.”

Additionally, people need to acquire the attitudes of crusaders, he said. “Culture, history and art, it’s not a field people get into to make money,” Chavez said. “They get into it because they like it. It take people very dedicated to do it.”

“If you don’t have a crusaders attitude ee you give up,” he said.

Chavez has spoken at Los Alamos for 30 years. He said the lecture is based on a book he is writing.

Before the lecture, there will be a business meeting and an ice cream social at 6 p.m. The lecture is free and open to public.