Indian cultural center Pueblo plans further expansion

Mike Canfield is President and CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The IPCC has expanded its offering in recent years, with new restaurants and office buildings under construction on the 80-acre campus. A “center of opportunity” is next, Canfield says. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal.)

It doesn’t always receive the same attention as some of the city’s other projects, but one of the biggest redevelopment efforts underway in Albuquerque is taking place in and around the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center.

Avid readers are already familiar with the first wave of development, which brought offices, a mix of restaurants, and two hotels to the east side of 12th Street, across from the cultural center itself. Other businesses are expected to open soon, including a branch of the US Eagle Federal Credit Union, a sports bar concept known as 12th Street Tavern, and a new restaurant called Itality Plant-Based Foods. The IPCC is currently in talks to bring a grocery store to a currently empty part of the site, IPCC CEO Mike Canfield confirmed last week.

And, once work on the for-profit side of the organization is complete, Canfield said the nonprofit side is preparing to build a multi-faceted “opportunity hub” that will include manufacturing space and an incubator. culinary.

“We believe we have the resources to help people who want to learn a new trade, who want to go into business, who want to find a job, to learn professional skills,” Canfield told the Journal. “We think we are a perfect place to do it.”

In a presentation hosted by the Albuquerque Economic Forum on Wednesday, Canfield said the organization plans to launch a fundraising campaign for the new center in the New Year. He then told the Journal that the IPCC was looking to raise $ 10 million from a mix of sources to fund the project. There is no proposed timeline for the project at this point, although Canfield has said it hopes construction can begin in 2022.

The makerspace part of the project will focus on the creative industries, especially those that play a significant role in Pueblo culture, Canfield said. The space will be equipped with a furnace for metalworking, as well as equipment to help users make jewelry and pottery.

Equally important, however, Canfield said the opportunity center will have access to a smart classroom where students can learn the business side of their trade, with classes in financial literacy and building a business. Canfield said the space will be open to members of the community, ranging from hobbyists to people looking to start a business.

“It’s really quite a system to support different levels… of participants who want to use the facility,” he said.

One of the advantages of the IPCC model is that artisans will have the opportunity to sell their products to customers on the 80-acre campus. Canfield said manufacturers will be able to sell in the cultural center gift shop and other stores on the property. With an increased focus on e-commerce during the pandemic, the IPCC also has a virtual store where artists can sell products all over the world.

The Pueblo Indian Cultural Center is the site of one of the largest redevelopment efforts underway in Albuquerque. In addition to new restaurants and hotels, the IPCC plans to raise funds to build a “center of opportunities” including a commercial kitchen and manufacturing space. (Roberto E. Rosales / Journal.)

Along the same lines, the organization plans to partner with local higher education institutions on its planned culinary program. Plans call for a commercial kitchen, as well as mobile educational kitchens where students can go to the gardens and learn about the products they will be using.

We are very happy to help young entrepreneurs get started, ”said Canfield.

At this point, you might be wondering: how does this fit into the mission of a cultural center? Canfield told the Economic Forum that the association is dedicated to “perpetuating, educating and celebrating Pueblo culture”. By offering these programs centered on Pueblo traditions and taught largely by Pueblo instructors, Canfield said the cultural center will be able to keep these traditions alive and present them to a wider audience than ever before.

“I think this is a big step in helping to perpetuate and educate our culture,” Canfield said.

Stephen Hamway covers economic development, health care and tourism for the Journal.

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