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City Manager Report

Posted on: September 28, 2020

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields at the Branigan Cultural Center

Dolores Huerta making a speech

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos will be on display at the Branigan Cultural Center, 501 N. Main St., from Oct. 17, 2020 through Jan. 9, 2021.


The exhibition shares the compelling story of legendary activist and leader Dolores Huerta and the farm workers movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It features reproductions of historic and personal photographs, and graphic elements as well as a free, user-friendly, mobile tour smart phone app featuring interviews with Huerta, and a short bilingual documentary video.

The exhibition details Huerta’s life from her early influences — such as her mother Alicia and mentor Fred Ross, who led to her groundbreaking time as the female voice in the traditionally male-dominated farm workers’ movement — through the United Farm Workers’ grape boycotts and landmark agreements with the grape-growing conglomerates. The exhibition also features many of the people who worked with Huerta on the farm workers’ movement, including fellow organizers Larry Itliong and César Chávez and artistic contributors like Xavier Viramontes and El Teatro Campesino.

Before the movement, the California grape laborers faced open discrimination, below-poverty wages and dangerously unsafe working and living conditions. Huerta and her colleagues sacrificed their own well-being to challenge the system and galvanize solidarity for a better life for them. Yet often Huerta’s name and impact are overlooked, including the misattribution of her coined phrase, “Yes, we can!¡Si, se puede!” to other historical figures. When most women were still expected to play primarily domestic roles, Huerta introduced new models of womanhood as an energetic picket captain, persuasive lobbyist, and unyielding negotiator.

Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en Los Campos is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. This exhibition received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history, which are shown wherever people live, work, and play.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Las Cruces Museums have instituted new procedures to visit our facilities to ensure the health and safety of our staff and guests. Please call 575/522-3120 or 575/528-3330, email education@las-cruces.org, or visit museums.las-cruces.org to find out about current restrictions.

Guests with COVID-19 symptoms or who are sick will not be permitted to enter. Guests are required to follow health guidelines by wearing a mask over their nose and mouth, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others at all times, and refraining from touching museum objects.

The museum is accessible by RoadRUNNER Transit, Route 1, Stop 36. The Branigan Cultural Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. For additional information, visit the website at museums.las-cruces.org or call 575/541-2154.

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