Courtesy photo

Paseo in the rearview

The PASEO Project has announced the 2021 PASEO Festival has been canceled.

“After a week of extremely challenging conversations with partners, artists, municipal leaders and our board of directors, and of envisioning a universe of alternate possibilities, the Paseo team feels that our hands are tied and the only responsible path forward is cancellation,” says Matt Thomas, The PASEO executive director.

Originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday night (Sept. 17-18), The PASEO 2021 was slated to bring over 25 artists and collectives to the streets of Taos. Since 2014, The PASEO has brought the community together, invigorating public spaces with projection, installation and performance art. Last year’s PASEO festival was scaled down and turned into a drive-thru due to COVID-19.

Over the past week COVID case rates have been climbing, including some breakthrough cases among vaccinated people. Any significant influx in patients in any hospital in New Mexico would create significant stress to the hospital system. The medical, emergency and municipal professionals the PASEO team has spoken with all say the same thing: the system is overburdened and the community risk posed by a big event is too great.

“As I'm sure you can imagine, we are all heartbroken,” says Matt. “We're determined to find a way to continue bringing art and inspiration to our community, and will make an announcement once we have recuperated.”

The PASEO Team is working with all the artists and collaborators to re-imagine how they can reschedule or adapt. “In this current climate of uncertainty, we have to be even more nimble and creative,” adds Thomas.

It has been quite a year for the Taos-based nonprofit arts organization. Despite all the uncertainty, The PASEO Project has managed to accomplish a number of community arts events this year.

“We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to bring art to our community in these crazy times," Thomas continues. "We started the year with the burning of Capsule, helped revamp Taos Spring Arts, and had a summer full of artist residencies that included Jessica Blinkhorn and Juan Carlos Hernandez. This year we even introduced a new internship program and online education programs. While the annual festival is our flagship event, there remains so much to be proud of this year.”

You can follow The PASEO Project on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with future developments and plans. You can sign up for the newsletter by visiting their website:

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