New Mexico


ATD Fourth World began its community involvement in northwestern New Mexico in 2012. As we got a feel for the socio-economic environment and the hopes of the community, we quickly focused on two main priorities:

  • to develop projects that promote family literacy and that foster school readiness for children from low-income families
  • to nurture partnerships that create opportunities for low-income teens and young adults to develop their creative and artistic potential.

Today, that mission includes a broader aspiration for development of meaningful opportunities for the rural populations of this area. We actively participate in cross-sector coalitions and collaborative projects with both established stakeholders and everyday community members. Together with these partners, we create innovative opportunities related to youth and adult education, the arts, technical skills, and meaningful service learning for community members from all walks of life.

Story Garden-Family Accompaniment Project

Since March 2012, an inter-generational family literacy space, called “The Story Garden,” takes place weekly at the Gallup flea market, making books, puzzles, crafts and other educational resources available to families selling and buying goods at the market. An open-air Street Library grew out of the Story Garden, and takes place once a week in Gamerco. We offer in-depth accompaniment to a small number of families who could benefit from more individualized support in their hopes related to housing, food security, education, employment, and family cohesion. More recently, students from the Adult Education classes at UNM-Gallup have been enriching our Story Garden and Street Library programs through their participation as volunteer facilitators.


Participatory Art and Technical Workshops

ATD Fourth World has been running community art and technical workshops with a variety of partners since early 2012, primarily reaching teens and young adults facing challenges in education and employment. We have introduced a diversity of media and techniques such as: painting, ceramics, digital art, photography, robotics and multi-media productions. These workshops allow the youth we work with to develop artistic skills, build relationships with other community members, and explore art as a tool for personal development and self-expression.

Since 2014, ATD Fourth World has been working together with students, teachers and local artists to design and build interactive exhibits that engage children’s learning and develop their awareness of the rich scientific heritage of New Mexico. These mobile exhibits are then made available to public schools, libraries, and community centers throughout the region.

For more information on our work in New Mexico, contact us at: or call Karen Stornelli at (505) 488-3624.