ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Serve ABQ is working to get its network of young adults back after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to take a break. Now, they’re ready to get back in the community and serve the city.
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Gwendolyn Houston-Hatton and Brendon Gray started the organization four years ago in the hopes of building a community of young professionals that care about the city. “We’re looking to inspire more younger people into being involved in the community and really build around service and trying to make Albuquerque especially a better place to live,” Houston-Hatton said.
Houston-Hatton said they’re focused on building up their volunteer base again and plan on doing that by holding cleaning events, like the one held on Saturday morning. She said the goal is to be able to have more service events as a whole. They’re working on cleaning up the bosque for the foreseeable future since it’s something easily accessible to most people. “The bosque is utilized by so many different groups, and it’s gotten a lot more trashed since COVID started, so there’s a lot more for us to do,” Houston-Hatton said.
The group was formed as a response to some of the negative attitudes locals may have about the city. “I think Albuquerque kind of suffers from a sense of apathy from the community and there’s a lot of division in the world, so this is a good way to come together as communities and really build spaces that we would want to live in and to make our community stronger as a whole,” Houston-Hatton said.
In Old Town, the New Mexico Artisan Market is back in full swing, and no one is more excited than the artists themselves. Geraldine Tso is an artist who has been participating in the market on and off. “Through the pandemic, a lot of us were worried where we were going to go with our art,” Tso said. “It’s a good way to show the public a new space, a new outlet, a new form of going into a different direction with the food establishment here and with the art,” Tso said.
She said the event has helped many artists progress in their careers and getting their names out. “It’s good to come out and support artists here. We’re all from New Mexico, we’re all showing our different talents,” Tso said.
First-time Artisan Market vendor Valeria DeCoy said she’s enjoyed getting to connect with the community and see fresh talent. “We’re right next to Old Town, we get good traffic. Everyone’s really excited to see art coming up here, they’re always in a good mood. There’s good food everywhere, everyone’s kind of enchanted by the locale,” DeCoy said.
The market is normally held at the Bazaar right across the street from Sawmill but because of a cooling issue, vendors are inside the Sawmill building until August. It runs each weekend through October.