Pandemic leads to increased creativity at Blue Portal

Local News

WATCH: Full interview with Sally Ruscitti, Blue Portal Chair

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Blue Portal program by the Assistance League of Albuquerque has gotten creative as the state continues to work through the coronavirus pandemic. Blue Portal Chair Sally Ruscitti discusses the new outreach they’ve been committed to since the pandemic began.

Senior artisans that are 55 and older bring their handmade creations to Blue Portal in Old Town where their work is then displayed and sold with 100% of the price going back to the artist. The shop is run completely by volunteers and has given $3 million back to the local senior community since Blue Portal’s inception in 1978.

Blue Portal has stayed active during COVID-19 with 371 artists still able to participate in the program. The increased time at home during the pandemic has let senior artists flourish with expanded works now available in the shop. With no tourist traffic, Blue Portal is focusing on local patrons.

There are many Frida Kahlo motif creations, in addition to Day of the Dead works, and holiday ornaments. They now offer shipping through their Blue Portal online website with around 300 items available.

The Blue Portal store is open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The store follows all COVID-19 safety requirements.

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