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Summer Workshops at the Branigan

The Branigan Cultural Center presents its summer workshop series for 2014. With a focus on the traditional crafts of New Mexico, the workshop series will introduce students to gourd art, piñatas, coiled baskets, and cornhusk figures.  Sign up for a single workshop, or join us for all four!

The classes each take place on consecutive Thursdays and Fridays in June, from 2-4pm. The cost is $10 per 2-day workshop and children ages 7-12 are invited to sign up. Details and registration forms for summer classes at all the Las Cruces Museums can be found at:

June 5&6: Gourd Art: Gourds were domesticated in central Mexico and became an important part of Pueblo culture as storage, rattles, and scoops, among other uses. Today they are often made into birdhouses, vases, or decorations. Bring your imagination and turn a gourd into a work of art inspired by one of these New Mexico gourd traditions!

June 12&13: Piñatas: Did you know that the piñata has roots in Chinese, Italian, and Mayan cultures? This beautiful craft, associated today with Mexican celebrations, developed out of a long history of travelers sharing their traditions as they moved throughout the Old World and into the New. Make your own piñata to celebrate a special event. We will building the body on the first day and decorate our piñatas the next afternoon.

June 19&20: Coiled Baskets: Baskets were one of the earliest crafts made in New Mexico and have a rich history dating back thousands of years. Learn the art of coiled basketry, one of the earliest forms of baskets. We will work with new materials –yarn and cord– to make small, colorful baskets. Finishing a basket will require both afternoons

June 27&28: Cornhusk Figures: Cornhusks have been used to make figures and decorations since corn was introduced to the Southwest, over a thousand years ago. Learn how to make a range of figures inspired by colonial New Mexican crafts and Pueblo tradition.

 The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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