The Pueblo of Laguna project builds on the tribe’s vision of a Main Street that supports robust commerce, artists, and food systems, while building on a millennia of history. One key element of their Main Street vision includes a pop-up vendor market, designed for and by tribal members. From the beginning of the project, the indigenous relationship of the tribe to its land presented a unique challenge and opportunity for a CIRD workshop that will be addressed sometime in 2021 or 2022.
Although the workshop was postponed, the Pueblo of Laguna Planning Program worked on tasks related to the Laguna Main Street Project with the Citizens Institute of Rural Design (CIRD) from August of 2019. They collaborated with bcWORKSHOP on their Scope of Work and received technical assistance on the project plan. CIRD, bcWORKSHOP, and the Pueblo worked to develop a three-day charrette workshop, initially planned for May 13 to May 15, 2020. Due to the pandemic, that event date was postponed until September 30 or October 2, as the Laguna Pueblo Government issued a ban on outside visitation and large gatherings of five or more people, as well as other health guidelines in New Mexico. Eventually, health guidelines and low access to virtual technology from residents meant the workshop was postponed until 2021.
However, the Pueblo of Laguna has been able to cultivate a team of partners for the CIRD Workshop and the revitalization of Main Street that is associated with the project. The Pueblo was selected for the NM Native American Community initiative (NACI), which awards technical assistance from an New Mexico Main Street (NMMS) contracted Landscape Architect, Amy Bell from Groundwork Studios.
In resuming work with the Pueblo of Laguna (POL) workshop for 2021, the goal of the community and CIRD team is to develop appropriate designs for the Laguna Main Street vendor site and overall area. This will be accomplished through community input and professional design support, while building a team of Laguna community members and generating momentum to participate in ongoing Laguna Main Street development. At the same time, we are planning to ensure community members are comfortable with activities during/ following the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-Safe Practices: The workshop will do everything to ensure public safety, and is working with POL and other local health guidelines. Any booths will have 6-feet markers and space between them, masks will be encouraged, and PPE and other equipment will be available. For community participants, the workshop will stagger indoor focus group times and encourage participation by household groups. For the public, virtual engagement will be made available.
Progress: The CIRD team and POL are working together to plan the agenda for the workshop and gather past material,, and build off the site visit from 2020. The Workshop elements will include a Pop-Up Market organized by POL, community meetings with the CIRD team, a scaled site model activity, concluding in a presentation to community members on Friday August 13th followed by an open house with project members.