This is the first in a series of short articles on Cultural Intelligence, also the title of a series of talks La Coalicion de Taos will sponsor every two weeks at the Martinez Hacienda. We launched this series with a movie, Far West, the Hidden History, now posted on our website.

La Coalicion plans to continue this series indefinitely, partly because they have been so well received, but mostly because the information abyss they are meant to fill is so huge. Which is why I encourage local non-profit leadership, art organizations, newcomers, real estate organizations but mostly just people who live here to watch Far West because it gives a context to our focus on Cultural Intelligence.

The film is beautiful, and its main message and the purpose of the Cultural Intelligence Evenings alike is to reveal the hidden history of Taos and the Southwest. Despite that we, the Hispanic people, are the majority population in Taos, we, our history, art, and stories are absent from local media, from museum collections, non-profit leadership, art organizations, civic events, and tourism literature in statistically overwhelming numbers. These evenings are meant to tell the story that even generational
Taoseños haven’t heard, because it was not taught, it has been erased, impoverishing us all. So we have invited the brightest of scholars, the most compelling storytellers, our cherished elders, grassroots intellectuals, poets and historians to provide the community with the equivalent of a graduate-level course in Taos history.

This invisibility, by the way, is not harmless. It has consequences. Eligibility and worthiness for grant money, cultural and moral impoverishment on one side of the equation, but on the other side there’s a larger negative effect on the well-being of an entire community, impacting economic, social, physical and spiritual life.