SOMOS ABQ Debuts Annual Creative Showcase & Celebration

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SOMOS ABQ--a new citizen-organized festival and partner of Visit Albuquerque--takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Downtown ABQ and will feature food, music, arts, culture, and entrepreneurship

SOMOS ABQ--a new citizen-organized festival--takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Downtown ABQ and will feature food, music, arts, culture, and entrepreneurship

SOMOS ABQ--a new citizen-organized festival--takes place on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Downtown ABQ and will feature food, music, arts, culture, and entrepreneurship

For one day each year, let's illuminate every good thing we know our city to be.

SOMOS ABQ, a vision conceived by young professionals to illuminate the beauty and brilliance of Albuquerque, will debut the first annual citywide celebration on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Activating eight city blocks in Downtown and representing one of the largest citizen-organized events in Albuquerque, SOMOS aims to generate a meaningful boost for the urban business economy and increased connection for the larger community. The festival is designed with a philanthropic goal and an eye towards long-term sustainability. Hundreds of collaborators – including nonprofits and community organizations, tech industry entrepreneurs, artists and designers, musicians and performers, business owners, and local government – banded together to present this immersive showcase of the talent, creativity and spirit of Albuquerque.

SOMOS ABQ event attendees will experience:

  • Five stages highlighting local bands and headlined by international music acts: Electronic dance phenomenon Dillon Francis, hip hop legends Deltron 3030, rising country star Jackie Lee, indie rock powerhouse Minus The Bear
  • Arts & Culture Boulevard featuring seven large-scale immersive art installations by Mark & Elizabeth Horst, Reyes Padilla, Natalie Voelker, Concept Flux, DRY MTN, GRAFT, and You’re on TV
  • Family Corridor including a petting zoo, climbing wall, skate ramps, art-making activities, dance floor and youth musical performances
  • 25 nonprofit organizations sharing their missions and offering participatory activities
  • Marketplace featuring dozens of arts, design, craft, clothing and business vendors
  • Nuevo Tech Experience programming at Simms Space and Mezcal
  • New Mexico Brewers Guild Beer Garden showcasing 10 local breweries
  • Yelp Food Courtyards showcasing more than 20 local restaurants

Event attendees will be a part of the SOMOS philanthropic mission, voting for one of 25 nonprofits chosen to benefit from the event’s proceeds. Over 30 local companies and organizations have financially supported the event through sponsorships, including title sponsor Bernalillo County.

To make SOMOS ABQ accessible for as many people as possible, tickets are just $10 for general admission and children ages 12 and under are free. VIP tickets are also available for $25. Tickets are on sale at

For one day each year, let's illuminate every good thing we know our city to be.

  • Music * Art * Food * Culture * Tech * Nonprofit * Business *

A collaborative effort – by all the people who've been contemplating a full-blown,
city-wide celebration in downtown for years – with a philanthropic goal and an eye towards sustainability.


Cailyn Kilcup, Vice President FacilityBUILD
"The SOMOS collaboration is unprecedented. Everyone is showing up with heart and authenticity to celebrate Albuquerque because we believe in this city, who we are and who we want to be. We are ready to change the narrative. We are ready to take the reigns. So come. Bring your heart on September 23 and help us define our own story."

Julia Mandeville, Chief Programs Officer, Harwood Art Center – Escuela del Sol Montessori
“Arts, culture and creativity are at the heart of Albuquerque’s singularly magical identity, and SOMOS is a love letter to the vision, dedication and tenacity of our citizens. We have an opportunity to collectively generate and cooperatively steward a bright future for everyone who calls this place home; the expansive, generous collaborations behind SOMOS reinforce the vastness of our potential and represent a sustainable model of progress. We are deeply moved by how our communities are showing up, and we are honored and excited to be part of this celebration.”

Chris Schroeder, COO, Real Time Solutions
“Our goal for SOMOS is to illuminate every good thing we know our city to be. We love Albuquerque. We want to illustrate how extraordinary it is and what an exciting time it is to be here, by offering an anchor point for collaboration, connection and celebration.”

Stephen Segura, Owner, VivaABQ, El Rey & Mezcal
“SOMOS ABQ is about contributing to quality of life for our young people. A big part of that recipe is keeping ABQ entertained. SOMOS is helping with just that. Where else can you see local bands showcased on the same stages as Dillon Francis, Minus The Bear, and Deltron 3030… for just $10?”

David Silverman, Principal, Geltmore LLC / Board Chair, Downtown ABQ Main Street Initiative
“As a developer, I recognize why we need events that attract young and talented people, while being inclusive to the entire community, to sustain development in this city. For all of our businesses, we have to be thinking about ‘Why are people going to stay in ABQ?’ This event will become an anchor point of why people are going to want to stay here, move here, or travel here. Because we feel the pain and see the need to address the lack of skilled labor, economic base and demand for projects, this is a creative way to address these challenges, and which is why I’ve chosen to be involved. We understand that we can’t only be attacking it from the policy level, or workforce level, we have to also come at it from the quality of life standpoint. I’m most excited about the family friendly amenities, and the large scale art installations.”


Charles Ashley, CEO, Cultivating Coders / Co-Coordinator, Nuevo Tech Experience
“I'm involved with SOMOS because it's important to me, my sector, and this city to highlight the tremendous positive output in our community- we have bright minds, incredible talent, and a strong sense of collaboration. I'm most excited to show, literally, how innovation is a creative process.”

Leticia Bernal, Small Business Resource Collaborative (SBRC) / Owner, Pita Pit
“I have two main WHYs for being involved with SOMOS. 1) I want to help businesses local to Albuquerque, particularly those impacted by ART, reach a greater audience in Albuquerque. SOMOS will allow the local businesses to showcase what makes them amazing! 2) I love Abq! SOMOS is bringing everything that is awesome and positive together. How cool is that?!?”

Hano Blake, Chief Operating Officer, HoldMyTicket
“The team at HoldMyTicket is excited to be a part of SOMOS and what will, no doubt, be an outstanding series of community events and initiatives to highlight the best of Albuquerque. As a local business, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with prominent local companies, organizations and individuals that are focused on a bright future for our city.”

Skye Devore, Owner & President, Tractor Brewing Company / President, New Mexico Brewers Guild
“So much of craft beer is being a part of a community. A sense of coming together to create an experience where you can share a pint, put your differences aside and enjoy those around you. SOMOS compliments and centers around all of these aims. See you there. Cheers!”

Howie Kaibel, Senior Community Director & Marketing Director, YELP Albuquerque
“SOMOS has allowed us to assemble a terrific blend of authentic Albuquerque cuisine on Route 66 for a celebration of our vitality and culture, and that what Yelp is all about – connecting people with great local businesses. We're honored to help launch a festival that illuminates every good thing we know our city to be.”

Annemarie Ciepiela Henton, Director of Communications & Marketing, Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc. (AED)
“We live in an amazing city where the people are as interesting and unique as the surrounding landscape. SOMOS is a chance for us to celebrate and learn more about the many assets our city offers residents and visitors alike. I’m excited to be involved in an event that’s steering the conversation toward what’s good about the place we call home, and for residents to be in awe of the people and things they haven’t yet discovered here. There are so many reasons this is a great place to live and work. Quality of life is a key factor in keeping and attracting both workers and employers, which is why events such as SOMOS are important to economic development. We want employers to take notice of Albuquerque, invest in our city and create good jobs for residents. These companies want to know they’ll be operating in cities where their employees want to live before investing here. I think SOMOS makes the case for both.”

Glenn Pajarito, Partner & Creative Director, Rough Draft NYC / ABQ National Marketing Campaign
“Albuquerque has one of the most dynamic and collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country, but this is not well known. Mayor Richard Berry's National Marketing Campaign, operating under the Albuquerque Innovation Central brand, sponsored several national high-profile tech conferences for entrepreneurs this year to raise awareness, and brought several entrepreneurs from those events to tour the local startup community. Their reactions to Albuquerque's amenities, infrastructure and support for entrepreneurs was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, they are now some of our city's greatest ambassadors, sharing true, personal stories about Albuquerque with their networks. It has become clear that the best way to introduce entrepreneurs locally and nationally to Albuquerque's startup environment and to all that makes the city unique is to immerse them in the elements that make us great. SOMOS ABQ is the perfect event to amplify our audience's experience and our message.”

Jay Spang, Executive Director, NMX Sports
“Warehouse 508 by NMX Sports is excited to coordinate the Youth & Families Corridor at SomosABQ and showcase Albuquerque's youth talent. Enjoy a climbing wall, interactive live art, skate competition, petting zoo and a whole bunch of other surprises for the family!”


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Kristelle Siarza
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