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Fresquez, Noberta

Noberta Fresquez ~ Arabela | Deming | Albuquerque

Noberta Fresquez is a 2019 Platinum Music Awards honoree. Originally from Deming and currently living in Albuquerque, Noberta is well known in the world of Mariachi throughout the United States and Mexico. She is the producer and developer of Mariachi Spectacular, now in its 29th year in Albuquerque. She produces the Mariachi Christmas show held annually at Popejoy Hall, a family tradition now in its 19th year. She has brought international talent to the NM Market and showcased some of New Mexico’s finest entertainers.

Noberta’s passion for show production began in the late 70’s with her first event for the local LULAC agency, (League of United Latin American Citizens). This led to her taking on the production for the National LULAC conference in 1981. She then produced and promoted shows across the US for Mexican Music Legend Antonio Aguilar where she perfected her art of stage production.

For 20 years, Noberta produced the Hispanic Heritage Shows at Tingley Coliseum for the New Mexico State Fair, featuring nationally known Mexican acts as well as local entertainment. During the 20+ days of the Fair, Norberta showcased acts from all over the state and from multiple genres including Mariachi, Dance, New Mexico Style music, Country, Latin Pop, Norteño, TexMex as well as artisan styles.

In 1991 Noberta created the Mariachi Spectacular where her favorite music, Mariachi, would be highlighted and classes could be offered to the local community. She had great assistance from Dr. Rupert Trujillo, The University of New Mexico Department of Continuing Education and other Community Leaders. The Mariachi Spectacular has grown from approximately 40 students to over 600 that attend annually.

above: video biopic short about Noberta Fresquez – premiered August 23, 2019 at the Platinum Music Awards show – created by Bunee Tomlinson of Windswept Media.
Governor's Arts Awards Patrons Platnum Achievement showcase

Oppenheimer, Catherine

Catherine Oppenheimer ~ Santa Fe

photo: National Dance Institute

Recipient of the New Mexico Music Commission’s 2017 Lee Berk Award, Catherine Oppenheimer, a former professional dancer with the New York City Ballet, has provided opportunities for talented young musicians throughout the state to receive top-quality music education. In 1994, she co-founded the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, a statewide organization annually teaching nearly 10,000 children throughout the state. In 2010, she was also the driving force behind the creation of New Mexico School for the Arts, the state’s first residential high school for the performing and visual arts.

NDI is recognized for “Teaching Children Excellence,” and has introduced thousands of New Mexico children to dance training and performance experiences as an effective catalyst for character development and artistic expression.

Oppenheimer was also the driving force behind the creation of the New Mexico School for the Arts, New Mexico’s first chartered residential high school for the performing and visual arts. The charter school is dedicated to arts mastery and academic excellence assisting passionate young artists in developing their full potential.

An impressive artist in her own right, Oppenheimer danced with the New York City Ballet under the leadership of choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company.

Oppenheimer came to New Mexico to teach residencies with NDI in Santa Fe and in selected rural communities. NDI provides classes at its Dance Barns to all children who desire to study the performing arts regardless of financial capabilities.

In 2008, Oppenheimer was honored by the MS Society of New Mexico with its Award of Distinction and by the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts for her dedication to the arts.

In 2005, the readers of The Santa Fe New Mexican named Oppenheimer to its annual “Ten Who Made a Difference” list.

Under Oppenheimer’s leadership, NDI received a prestigious Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which was awarded by then First Lady Laura Bush.

above: New Mexico School for the Arts Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Carla Lehmeir, 2016.

for more information: NDI New Mexico

source: Governor’s Arts Awards