New exhibit at San Luis Valley Museum is an interactive experience 

By Madeleine Ahlborn |

THE art of storytelling is one that every person is able to participate in. Stories can be told in a variety of ways, from images and carvings to written language or even sitting around a campfire telling folklore. We all have a story to share. These are just a few ways of recording and making history. 

The San Luis Valley Museum features a new and interactive traveling exhibit this month from The Manitos Community Memory Project; “I heard a story, I told a story” ( 

Upon entry to the museum, besides a warm greeting from a volunteer or Acting Museum Director Jeff Myers, visitors find a series of banners with the beginnings of stories lining the hall; there is also an audio component with the stories translated into Spanish. A QR code leads to the full story online, where there is more information about the Manitos Digital Resolana. A brief quote about the origin of the term “Manitos” from the website: 

The term ‘manitos’ is one of endearment and kinship and derives from the Spanish word, hermano, ‘brother’ or ‘sibling,’ inclusive of both brother and sister, though early 20th century folklorists have pointed to its origin as one 

that was originally pejorative, one given by Mexican immigrants to the Indo-Hispano populations of northern New Mexico in the early years of the 20th century. As a term of identity, it has been widely used by the people of the mountains, valleys, hills and plains of the northern-most part of New Mexico and beyond, whose experiences and histories are firmly rooted in this region. To this day, when these villagers or their descendants living anywhere in the world encounter one another, the terms ‘mano’ or ‘mana’ paired with the first name is often used. – Manitos Digital Resolana 

My favorite part of this exhibit is the interactive portion where the visitor can share one of their own stories by hand on an authentic Remington Rand desktop model typewriter – AND have it archived within the traveling exhibit! Cool, right? 

Go now for a visit before The Manitos Community Memory Project; “I heard a story, I told a story” travels to its next location! 

As a nice take away (other than your name being part of a traveling art project) you get a wicked sticker, you can see mine on the back of my 4runner if you see me around town.

Stay in the loop about exhibits at YOUR San Luis Valley Museum through Creative Citizen at or the San Luis Valley Museum Facebook page. 

Still want more? 

Check out the online archive at (

SLV Museum Mission: “Enrich human lives and to educate San Luis Valley citizens to respect and value cultural diversity, the local heritage of the San Luis Valley, as well as local and international wildlife and the arts.”

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