#UmbrellaWeek – CiQlovía – Learn a Little About It ~


Hey there Beer Farmers,
We are checking in with you this week – and reminding you about #UmbrellaWeek; that’s right, another: tech, art, and or culture event that is coming your way: CiQlovía! We sat down with the folks behind the “handlbars” of this event – not the wheels, ha ha ha – and got the run down, or the bike-down, as it were, on what you can expect, come September 20th. Check this fun FREE event out! 

What is the name of your particular Umbrella Week Event?

ABQ CiQlovía

Date and Time?

September 20, 2015, 10am-3pm

What organizations do you represent and what is your title?

Valerie Hermanson, Co-Coordinator ABQ CiQlovía/Mid-Region Council of Governments, Transportation Planner/Board member of ABQ 2030 District

Dan Majewski, Co-Coordinator ABQ CiQlovía.  Advocate for making ABQ more livable. Board member of BikeABQ. One of the leaders of UrbanABQ, a tactical urbanist collective. Check them out on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/Urban.ABQ.

How do you feel about: art, tech, and culture in ABQ?

Art, tech and culture are not only very much present in ABQ, but also critical features that we need to further cultivate! Albuquerque is an incredibly unique place. Per capita, we have a huge amount of art and culture that we need to celebrate and encourage residents and visitors to experience. Umbrella Week is exciting because it is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate all of the things that make our amazing city special. Umbrella Week is also an example of the incredible minds that live in ABQ and are collectively working together to make it a better place.

How do you and your organization attempt to lend to those three things, or any one of them, on a daily, weekly, yearly basis?

ABQ CiQlovía boasts all three of these things at its event. This year we partnered with 24 Hours of Art to explore and promote local arts in our community. ABQ CiQlovía is also an opportunity to highlight Albuquerque’s unique neighborhoods by moving the event around every year. Last year, we featured the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s neighborhood and Old Town. This year we will be connecting the Heart of the City aka Civic Plaza to historic Barelas. Next year?  Who knows! Where do you want to see it?

While the event is only one day, the impact that it has on its attendees will hopefully last longer and enable people to think about what they experienced. Perhaps the event will encourage people to walk or bike more or visit a business they found at the event. ABQ CiQlovía is about planting a seed that takes time to cultivate and grow, but hopefully it grows to create a greater sense of community and pride for Albuquerque.  

The vision is to do this more than once per year, but since our event is in its infancy, we’re still working toward creating a sustainable following and understanding of what this event is and what it could be. For example,  Tucson has ciclovia events twice per year, Los Angeles four times per year and Bogota, Columbia, has events EVERY SUNDAY. It is up to the citizens of Albuquerque to help us make this vision of having an event more than once a year a reality!

What will event goers experience while at your particular event?

Participants will see one mile of Albuquerque streets unlike they have before. Without cars on the road, streets feel like incredibly different places. They become just that…places where people can freely walk, bike and bump into friends and engage with new people. They can grab a bite to eat or do some yoga in the street!

It’s impossible to describe the the experience of an open streets event. You just have to come down and experience it yourself!

What would you say to folks who have never been to an event hosted by your organization?

I would tell folks to imagine…your street as a safe, fun public space. What if instead of fast moving traffic, streets were filled with your neighbors, your neighbors dogs, children, people biking and walking, folks talking and eating and having a good time. What if all of this was in your front yard and you didn’t have to go all the way to the park or the Bosque Trail for this experience?

As recently as 100 years, streets WERE public space! If you like ABQ CiQlovía, join BikeABQ in getting more bike friendly streets in Albuquerque. Email your city councilor and let them know that you want safer streets and crossings in your neighborhood. There are so many opportunities to get involved and if you can’t find an organization that reflects your ideas, start one yourself! With social media, it has never been easier to gather groups of like minded people. ABQ CiQlovía started with a powerpoint and a year later it was reality. This year we’re having our second annual event. Anything is possible!

How can folks help you to spread the word about your organization?

There are a variety of ways! Like us and share us on Facebook and share information about the event with your friends and family. Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/934305393294484/. Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign, link here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/abq-ciqlovia-2015/x/8413305#/story.  

How can they get involved?

We’ll need volunteers on the day of the event, so if you’re interested, please email abqciqlovia@gmail.com

Any last words?

Albuquerque is at a crossroads.  For decades, automobiles have been prioritized over every other mode of travel. It has led to folks being dependant on automobiles even if they can’t afford them, can’t drive or shouldn’t drive.

Albuquerque is slowly improving its infrastructure for people who walk and bike. By attending ABQ CiQlovía, it’s not only a Sunday of fun in the streets, but you’re showing our local leaders there is a need to create safer environments for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bring a date, your dog and your family!  We can’t wait to see you there!