New Mexico Regional Development Initiatives
Adelante Consulting has made a commitment to invest in economic development, educational, and corporate citizenship initiatives in northern New Mexico. The company seeks opportunities to support innovative economic development initiatives that align with the history, tradition, and culture of the region, and those which are likely to provide meaningful and sustainable livelihoods to New Mexicans.
Two of the initiatives that Adelante Consulting is providing support to are:
Tapetes de Lana is a northern New Mexico non-profit organization whose mission is to provide vocational training in weaving to rural families. Its original vision was to train low income/unemployed how to weave. Its vision has since grown substantially, and Tapetes now has a vertically-integrated fiber enterprise that starts with the small farms that are raising fibered animals, continues at its mill where it creates a superior yarn, and ends with a marketing enterprise that delivers yarn to weavers and knitters across the country — a 100% US product.
The economic development goals of this project are twofold:
- Increase wholesale and retail demand for locally-grown fiber products, strengthening the economic viability of New Mexico fiber growers; and
- Increase production at the Mora Valley Spinning Mill to full capacity, strengthening its year-round economic viability and, as shift-work becomes a necessity, add up to 15 full time jobs in rural norther New Mexico (Mora County).
Española Valley Fiber Arts Center
The Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) provides educational opportunities in the fiber arts for people of all ages and backgrounds, and training, encouragement and economic opportunities for fiber artists. EVFAC is a nonprofit membership organization with over 500 members from across northern New Mexico.
By addressing the need for training, support, equipment, materials, workspace and marketing for the region’s fiber artisans, EVFAC has become an important element in a growing fiber arts economic cluster that has evolved from deeply rooted cultural, historical and economic traditions. The location of EVFAC’s facility in Española allows it to serve this large fiber arts community as a central gallery and retail location where products from across the region can be marketed.
EVFAC has begun a program to connect growers, a local mini mill and fiber artisans to bring income to our area by developing local products. Christened the Intercultural Navajo-Churro Alliance (INCA), the intent of this program is to preserve and revive the unique cultural heritage of the Navajo-Churro sheep by facilitating the full course of the production stream from the raising of the sheep to the processing of the wool and finally the creation of marketable finished goods.
The Española Valley Fiber Arts Center will utilize Adelante Team grant funds to build two fulling machines for the INCA program. These machines will be operated at a local mill to create felt from the wool of local sheep, material that will be fashioned into marketable products by local artisans. The addition of these felting/fulling machines will create new income opportunities for growers, processors and artisans in northern New Mexico.