Millicent Unplugged: A Virtual Panel Discussion Series

Millicent Unplugged features panel discussions on topics of cultural and art interest. Modeled after the “salons” of the past, artists and community members will join in lively, informed, honest, and homespun conversations. These live discussions will be on the Zoom platform with audience engagement through the chat feature.

The series is planned and facilitated through the MRM Education department with volunteer artist, photographer, and publisher, Sara Frances For information or to suggest a discussion topic, contact Karen Chertok, Director of Education, at

2024 Millicent Unplugged schedule:

Millicent Unplugged: Art of the Book: From Spoken Word to Publication
Thursday, May 2, 2024
6PM - 7PM,  Virtual Program

Books. From thought to utterance to words on a page, the literary world beckons novice and expert alike to connect, communicate, articulate, posit, and ponder…notes to self, essays of angst, paragraphs, chapters, and verse. How do we get there, and who will we meet? Join us in a literary conversation about the processes and presentation of writings and readings of words.

Guest Bios:

Polly Letofsky is best known for being the first woman to walk around the world. It took five years to complete her walk and another six years to write the book about it. After a series of bad choices in her publishing journey, she launched into a deep dive to study the industry. A passion was unleashed and the result was the launch of a new publishing model in My Word Publishing, a self-publishing consulting company. Polly has been recognized as Woman of the Year by the Colorado Business Women, and My Word Publishing has recently been submitted into the US Congressional Record recognizing their new publishing model that helps protect authors.

Mary Walewski is a book marketing consultant specializing in online marketing. She founded Buy The Book Marketing in 2005 and works with authors and independent publishers worldwide. Her author services include creating and executing book marketing plans and individual coaching for social media and marketing. She is a former president of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association.

Jan Smith has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, was the curator of the SOMOS Summer/Winter Writers Series from 2009-2015, and is currently the Executive Director of  SOMOS. She is a 2012 recipient of an award from Southwest Writers for her short story, “Breasts,” and a 2014 first place award winner for an excerpt from her memoir,” Blink Like Crazy.”

Kelly Pasholk: “As a book designer and visual artist, I design, guide, and create space for the writer. Though my design résumé extends through the decades, the heart of my work is the creative process. Together we collaborate and call on my extensive network of editors, proofers, and printers.”


Millicent Unplugged: Pastel Painting: A Stroke of Pure Pigment
Thursday, April 4
6pm – 7pm, Virtual Program
See the recording of this virtual discussion

With a minimum of binding agent, pastels are the closest medium to pure pigment that an artist can employ in the creative process of painting. Most often emerging from a substrate of textured paper, the unique vibrancy of pastel artistry has stood the test of time from Leonardo da Vinci to Edgar Degas and beyond to encompass contemporary arts in New Mexico. New Mexico is home to the Pastel Society of New Mexico, a chapter of the National Pastel Society. The Pastel Society of New Mexico, and Millicent Rogers Museum are pleased to invite you to an informal conversation with regional pastel artists as part of Enchanted Colors currently on exhibit at the museum through June 2, 2024. View the show catalogue here. Guest artists for this conversation include pastel artists Nicholas Tesluk, Nancy Silvia, Marilyn Drake, Sandy Marvin, and Clare Scott.

Please visit our guest’s websites to view their work and artist’s bios.

Nicholas Tesluk

Nancy Silvia

Marilyn Drake

Sandy Marvin

Clare Scott

Millicent Unplugged: Identities in the Arts: The Creative Economy
Thursday, March 7, 6PM – 7PM
View the recording of this virtual discussion

The annual Taos Pueblo Artist Winter Showcase is a collaboration between the Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos Pueblo Tourism, and Taos Pueblo Artists. Join us in conversation with Taos Pueblo Tourism Director, Ilona Spruce, and featured artists Dominic Bau, Dawning Pollen Shorty, and Sonny Spruce.

Guest Bios

Ilona Spruce is the Director of Tourism for Taos Pueblo. Being in this position brings much responsibility as a representative of the community to the external world. As member of the Taos Pueblo tribe and community, the world of tourism is a fine balance between educating visitors and protecting her home. She has been with Taos Pueblo Tourism for 11 years and holds her BA in Indigenous Liberal studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Sonny Spruce is renowned for his beautifully crafted jewelry. His signature style of heirloom quality bracelets are treasured artworks for the wearer, steeped in Sonny’s knowledge and skill as a silversmith. Sonny is the owner and operator of Sonny Spruce Indian Shop at Taos Pueblo.

Dawning Pollen Shorty was born on the Navajo reservation in Ganado, Arizona. She was raised in the North House of Taos Pueblo with her sister, brother, and parents. Most people in Dawning’s immediate family are artists or muses of the artist. Her mother and grandmother were artist’s models.

Dominic Bau is a Taos Pueblo member, drum maker and jewelry artist. His 2020 video bio can be viewed here

Millicent Unplugged: Propelling Community Partnerships: Social and Economic Impact of Arts and Culture
Thursday, January 4, 6pm – 7pm (MST)
View the recording of this virtual discussion

In 2021 and 2022 the Millicent Rogers Museum participated in Americans for the Arts national effort to gain understanding of the social and economic impacts of arts at the state and regional levels. At a time when funding for arts organizations and programs continues to diminish, there are rays of hope found at the national, regional, state, and community levels through advocacy and leadership. Join us virtually for this conversation about advocacy, research, partnerships and the essential value of the arts in supporting community well-being.

Guest Bios

Genna Styles-Lyas, Americans for the Arts, AEP6 Director Community Engagement & Equity

As AEP6 Director, Community Engagement & Equity, Genna’s key responsibilities include liaising between community partners and national consultants; developing and implementing resources that support engagement with the research study across cultural and arts organizations, especially those serving and centering on BIPOC communities; and all other aspects of the survey including the post-study evaluation.

For over twelve years Genna worked as a Teaching Artist for arts organizations locally and nationally. Genna has most recently served as the Education & Engagement Program Manager at Everyman Theatre. During this time Genna served as a Panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council providing arts expertise for the evaluation of the Teaching Artist Roster applications, guiding the process with a focus on the principles of equity and justice within teaching artist opportunities. Genna also served as the Director of Education and Outreach at Staycee Pearl dance project (SPdp) in Pittsburgh, PA, where she helped developed artistic standards for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards.

Genna earned her Doctorate in Education in Out of School Learning with a focus on Teaching Artists in marginalized communities from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, with a concentration on arts education, from Northcentral University. With a BFA in Acting and a minor in Musical Theater from Point Park University Genna became a member of the Actor's Equity Association, performing regionally, nationally, and internationally. Genna is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Executive Director | New Mexico Arts

As executive director of New Mexico Arts—New Mexico’s federally authorized state arts agency—Michelle works to develop creative ideas to strengthen, evolve, and diversify programs at the agency while forging new partnerships to address the changing needs of artists and arts organizations across the state. With a focus on better serving rural and other historically underserved and excluded communities, Michelle and the New Mexico Arts team explore innovative ways to address issues of access and equity in their grant-making, public art programming, and field capacity building efforts. An arts administrator for over 20 years in both the private and public sector, Michelle has recently become involved in arts advocacy at a national level and pursues her own creative practice as a poet and by spinning fresh beats as a commercial radio DJ. She holds a BA in English literature from the University of Massachusetts, an MA from St. John's College in Santa Fe, and hopes someday to complete her MFA in creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Carol White, Millicent Rogers Museum Board of Trustees Member

Carol and her husband Jim moved to Taos in 2020 from Nashville, TN after years of visits and purchasing a home in 2018. They are Millicent Rogers Museum enthusiasts and became members shortly after their move. Carol is an experienced public and arts administrator. She currently works remotely for the Tennessee Arts Commission part-time to facilitate implementation of an $80M TN Nonprofit Arts & Culture Recovery Fund. She was Associate Director for Operations for that commission, a major funder of TN art museums, from 2014 until her “retirement” in 2020. In addition to budget, contracts, HR and federal grants administration at the state arts commission, Carol led the 2016 TN statewide study of economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture sector in coordination with Americans for the Arts and 25 local study partners. She is currently volunteering to support this year’s study for Taos County. From 2008 to 2014, Carol was director of a TN state shared services division that provided back-office support to the Tennessee State Museum and other smaller state agencies. Previous professional experience includes work in the U.S. Office of Management & Budget, Congressional Budget Office and Executive Director of the TN State Planning Office and state volunteer service commission. She holds an MPA from Princeton and BA in Political Science from Vanderbilt. Carol is an experienced nonprofit board member and active volunteer with the First Presbyterian Church of Taos and Enos Garcia Elementary School.

2023 Millicent Unplugged schedule:

History, Heritage, and Culture: The importance of storytelling

December 7, 6pm - 7pm

View the recording of this virtual discussion

The act and art of storytelling, especially in winter months, is a way of nurturing connections between people. By sharing lived experiences in oral or written narrative form we can reflect, imagine, learn, and express emotion through imagery built on the creativity of the human spirit and our desire to communicate. Join us for this conversation of story as our guests share their views on storytelling and relationships woven through word.

Wendy Ulfers:
I began writing stories in 2014 about living overseas and published them on an online blog called A Taste of Mind.  For 31 years, from 1987-2018, I lived with my family in five countries, beginning in Singapore, Cyprus, Taiwan, Germany and France. Home base was always Estes Park, Colorado where we returned full time to our cabin in 2020. Later, after repatriating to the U.S. in 2018, my story writing expanded to interesting people and places right here in America. Storytelling is one of life's great sharing adventures.

James Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Colorado Denver, where he has taught for the past 26 years, specializing in Labor, Immigration, Social Movements, and the Irish Diaspora.  Walsh is also the Founder of the Romero Theater Troupe, a social justice community theater that uses the stage to preserve important people's history and to educate the public about human rights struggles.

Michele Potter is a writer and photographer living in Taos, New Mexico. In addition to her creative work, Michele teaches skiing at Taos Ski Valley and previously taught writing and American studies at UNM Taos campus. Her doctorate explores the interrelationship between nature and culture and inspires her to always find the story in everything.

After Fires and Floods: Fortitude and Resilience

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Enjoy the recorded session here:


When Kathy McCoy visited the MRM one September morning, conversation inspired by representations of seasonality in the museum’s current exhibit, “It’s a Way of Life” led to stories told and an opportunity to engage with and learn from the communities and individuals who continue to be impacted by the 2022 wildfires in New Mexico. It is our hope, and the hope of our guests, that this conversation may propel further dialogue as people and land continue to heal. Please join us via zoom to hear stories from Mora County and be a part of this journey where thankfulness and resiliency continue to thrive.

Guest Bios

Anita Moss has been a community and non-profit developer and organizer for over 30 years. Her passion is all things creative; painting, quilting, gardening, cooking, and teaching these skills.

Anita and her husband were greatly affected by the HPCC fire. Silver linings are a must for her. Her husband was home from his overseas career which has a huge relief as his degree is in wild land fire management. He spent time as a Hot Shot here in New Mexico and was an engine captain for the National Forest Service. He and Anita stayed through the fire working with crews to find neighbors properties. After their home and studios burned, her husband continued to feed neighbors’ animals as well as their own until all that could, came home.

Anita is back to growing food, creating, and teaching. The fire was a unique teacher and challenge. As everything inevitably changes, hopefully growth comes, in some form, with that change. 

Kathy McCoy began her love affair for the southwest in 1977 when she arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University. Kathy had just completed a three-year tour with United States Army in Berlin Germany. She lived in Arizona for 10 years, birthed three children, and also earned a B.F.A. from Northern Arizona University in sculpture. She went on to start graduate work in anthropology.

Kathy’s journey took a u turn back to the south where she had been raised. She became the founding executive Director for the Monroe County Heritage Museums in Monroeville, Alabama. Monroeville is the home of Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Mark Childress, and Cynthia Tucker. She spent 16 years as Director and was also the founding Director of the international touring production of To Kill a Mockingbird. During that time she discovered the Mora valley of New Mexico and once again, her passion for the Southwest was fired up!

Kathy purchased 30 acres of land up on the side of a mountain outside of Ledoux and created a paradise for her family to visit for over two decades. In 2022 she lost Paradise when the devastating wildfires from Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon met and ran the ridge and into the canyon next to her property, destroying her home and all of the trees on her property except for 4 acres. Today she is continuing to try to save her land from the ravages of floods and mudslides. Kathy is strengthened by the strong and indomitable people of her valley and villages that surround her. They have suffered much more loss than she. They have lost primary homes, family homes, cattle businesses, hunting and agricultural businesses. Many have still not been compensated by the government who started both fires. She would like to tell her story, but more than that, some of the stories of her Valley and the unbelievable resilience and fortitude of the people of Northern New Mexico.



Millicent Unplugged: Art and the Family: Generations of Talent

Thursday, October 5, 6-7pm

View the recording of this virtual discussion

Through conversation, observation, and lived experiences with elders, culture is imparted through the arts and legacies of generations. We welcome our guests, father and daughter Wayne Nez Beyale, and Leslie Castillo who will share the vitality of Navajo traditions taught and learned through ever-changing landscapes rooted in time-honored values of family, language, and the arts. Leslie’s children also plan to join the conversation to share the artistic expression of the youngest generations continuing the legacy and traditions of Navajo culture.

Guest Bios

Wayne Nez Beyale is a full-blooded Navajo; a son of a Medicine Man, John Nez Beyale. Wayne was born and raised in Northern New Mexico in Pueblo Pintado. His work and ideas have been influenced directly from watching his father make ceremonial sand paintings in healing rituals. This influence is most noticeable in his depictions of the Navajo Yei bi’chai (the Winter Gods or Medicine People).

Beyale has developed an impressive style that uses multiple-lines to create the experience of movement. This technique is especially effective in his drawings and paintings of Native American dancing figures including the Yei bi’ Chai. The use of lines can also be seen to imply the concept of change in his landscapes and still life to express his viewpoint that all things change; nothing is absolutely constant. Through his work, he frequently expresses his heritage in southwestern and traditional motifs in his landscape and still life artworks. In addition, he occasionally likes to paint and draw traditional themes in the impressionistic style. Beyale’s work has also appeared in numerous juried shows throughout the United States.

Leslie Castillo is half Navajo who was born and raised in Englewood, Colorado. She is the daughter of Wayne Beyale (Navajo) who is the son of a Medicine Man John Nez Beyale. Leslie grew up traveling with her father to the Indian Markets throughout the United States. She grew up watching her father paint and draw and how important the Navajo culture is to them. Growing up, she would spend the summers with her grandfather John Nez Beyale who was a medicine man and go to the ceremonies to help and learn the culture. Now she is ensuring her children are learning the language and the traditions to the Navajo people. Leslie learned how to bead from different artists throughout the years of being with her father in different Indian Markets throughout the US. Over the years she has picked up different techniques and styles and loves to make different pieces. Leslie loves to teach others how to bead and the importance of her Navajo culture is to her. Being an artist with her father and now having the opportunity to show with him is important to her and one day hopes that her children will keep the family traditions alive.

All About Bees!
September 7, 2023 6pm-7pm

View the recording of this virtual discussion

The essential nature of bees is the topic of our September conversation.
From food security to health and beauty benefits, bees are vital to our world. The 2023 spring season brought the MRM an abundance of flowering plants including chives and peonies that emerged following several years of dormancy sparking a renewed interest in the role of pollinators and the importance of bees to the ecosystem. Join Karen and Sara in a conversation with regional bee stewards as we learn about top bar beekeeping, planting and providing bee forage, royal jelly, and all things BEE. We welcome guests Moira O’Hanlon, beekeeper and owner of Taos Bee, Gael and Ty Minton, local beekeepers and founders of Squash Blossom Farm (SBF) and
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and Bonnie Olson, Colorado Springs beekeeper.

Guest Bios:
Moira O’Hanlon
I’m a top bar beekeeper, with 20 hives in Taos. The bees are kept in my orchard and I treat the bees with compassion, not chemicals. All my products are chemical free and unscented, though you can smell the honey! Taos Bee is a small company and I handcraft all the products myself. I gather the honey, wax and propolis and combine these bee products with organic oils. Honey is antibacterial and humectant. Propolis is antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-
acne.  Royal Jelly is known to reduce wrinkles. Beeswax is full of vitamin A and does not clog pores. Taos Bee products are full of superfoods, and you can eat these products, though they are made for your skin! Taos Bee will heal, protect and smooth your skin.

Bonnie Olson
Hello.  I suppose my age might be a point to start with. I’m a young, healthy, adventurous 73. I’m single with no family close, so I create my own circle of family. I live on 5 acres in a house that is on land that was formerly a dairy.  I have 5 hives of bees this year. Last winter’s brutal cold killed several of my hives. I’m a native of the Springs. I have two horses, 3 dogs, a semi feral barn cat and my land is home to 100s of magpies and soon to be a brothel for rutting dear as the cold short days of fall return. Although the land around me has been developed, the west side intersects with the foothills of the Pike National Forest.  So lots of chemical free open space for bees!

Gael and Ty Minton
Gael and Ty Minton have been gardening together for 57 years in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. They learned from their parents and grandparents — Gael in Vermont and Ty in New Mexico. Following their academic professions: Biology  Ecology (Ty) and Clinical Nutrition Environmental Health (Gael), they moved to Taos in 2001 and began the adventure of gardening on a 2-acre parcel of historically irrigated land on Acequia del Monte del Rio Chiquito. In 2003, they founded the Squash Blossom Farm (SBF) CSA (community supported agriculture) serving 8-19 members for 14 years. For the past 6 years, they have been downsizing their gardening pursuits adapting to their changing capacities for hard work! Gael learned top-bar beekeeping from Les Crowder and Emmett Marxe maintaining 2-3 hives for ten years. Ty was instrumental in helping develop the pollinator/native plant courtyard garden at the Millicent Rogers Museum.

Niche Markets and Museums: Intersections of Small Business and Tourism


Niche Markets and Museums: Intersections of Small Business and Tourism

Inspiration and entrepreneurial spirit are sure to infuse this conversation with Atira Mascarenas and Jacquelene McHorse, two local small business owners sharing stories of beginnings, challenges, and successes. Small businesses form and inform the foundation of our community’s regional flair and unique vibe. Join us for a timely journey through intersections of tourism and storied community voices. Yes! The MRM is on the Taos Trolley route AND you can support, explore, and experience Bison Star products in the museum store as well! 

Jacquelene McHorse, alongside her husband and business partner Angelo, has built Bison Star Naturals here in Taos from the ground up.  She manages the body care company's wholesale department which has valued the Millicent Rogers Museum Gift shop as a retail partner since the year Bison Star opened in 2018.

Atira Mascarenas:

Atira, a woman of outstanding entrepreneurial acumen, has made a name for herself as a highly accomplished business leader in the town of Taos, New Mexico. With a deep-seated passion for northern New Mexico, Atira decided to return to her roots after graduating from the University of

California, Berkeley determined to make a significant impact on the local community.

Atira identified an opportunity to share her love of Taos' rich history and culture by creating a trolley tour business in 1988. With a focus on education and entertainment, Atira's trolley tours provide a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors and locals alike, offering a fascinating glimpse into the town's storied past. Atira's husband Dave began operating the trolley in 2015, Atira manages the business operations, skillfully coordinating bookings and ensuring that each tour is impeccably delivered. His extensive knowledge of the history, cultures, and his personal experiences growing up in Taos make his tours exceptional. Historic Taos Trolley Tours has become an icon in Taos.

But Atira's entrepreneurial spirit didn't stop there. Leveraging her sharp business sense and her keen eye for fashion, Atira established a thriving women's boutique in 2004, Atira's Southwest is located in the heart of the Taos Plaza. Atira's has rapidly gained a reputation as the go-to destination for discerning women seeking the latest fashion trends and accessories. With a commitment to customer service and an unwavering dedication to quality, Atira's boutique has earned a loyal following and a prominent position within the local retail scene.

Atira's relentless pursuit of excellence and her unwavering commitment to her community have garnered her widespread respect and admiration. She is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and an inspiration to women seeking to make a positive impact in their local communities. Her never ending passion for business and community service has allowed Atira to continue being a positive influence in Taos for years to come.

Millicent Unplugged: Cycling the Southwest: Tours, Trails, and Toe Clips

Thursday, Aril 6, 2023  

Enjoy out the recorded discussion and click here now :-)

IN During the month of April, we turned towards the palette…

Part of the nature of an art community is that stories shared through the canvas intersect, overlap, nudge barriers, and form a common bond among and between people from all walks of life. Join us for a unique discussion between painters where serendipity and vision bring forth abstractions engendering new reflections of people, place, and sojourn.

Jim McDonald: "I was born in 1942 and began oil painting in 1968. Over the past 50+ years my work has been in countless art fairs, exhibits, and shows. I have collectors in Canada, Mexico, England and the United States. I've also enjoyed a full background of teaching oil painting to individuals, small private groups and workshops.    

I'm primarily a landscape painter and much of my work is created using a palette knife. I paint mainly from memory and my style is a blend of impressionism and abstraction - and I love blurring the line between the two. I'm drawn to painting commonplace scenes in a slightly uncommon way that encourages the viewer to add their emotional response to the work. Mountains, mesas, waterfalls, a single tree, abandoned farms with dilapidated structures returning to the earth...these are scenes I paint because they merit our gratitude, stewardship and nostalgic acceptance of our human condition. In my work, I strive to paint a poem - not a novel. Starting with a mental image of the scene and a blank canvas, I compose, edit, sculpt and paint simultaneously. After painting for over half of a century, I'm still eager to see what else awaits me…What will my next painting be?"

Glory Ann Penington: This story begins with photography: I began taking home photos at the age of 10, always had a camera with me on any travels, and haven’t been able to keep one out of my hands since the mid-80s. But a traumatic brain injury from a 2016 train derailment challenged my vision, and I set aside the camera for a few years to heal from that and PTSD issues. When seclusion necessitated by COVID then ensued, I turned to oil painting as a new adventure.

 Photography has been a door to 'seeing', but the emotions encountered and remembered from photography adventures are more easily expressed and shared through painting. Through photography, I show you what I see, but with painting, I show you what I feel. Using the palette knife technique, values and contrasts allow energies to radiate through light and air. As a viewer, you are then engaged in the resolution of abandonment and order, chaos and serenity. It is such a joy to return to the visual world of beauty! Current photos and oil paintings can be seen at Thank you for taking the time to view my work.

Max Jones is a self-taught abstract artist born and raised in North Texas. Max’s artistic journey began almost accidentally in his early days as a gallery owner where he featured other people’s art. A publisher of a design magazine happened to notice an unfinished abstract painting in the back of Max’s studio where he painted as a hobby. She commissioned a piece for herself that day with the agreement that Max would put a piece of his own work out in the gallery for sale.

That first piece sold almost immediately and the rest as they say is history…Max has spent the past two decades honing his signature style which is a relaxed ethereal blending of colors inspired primarily from nature. He works intuitively, adding layer upon layer until the final image reveals itself.

Although Max is most known for his abstract work, he started a whimsical series of nature and figurative paintings called “Just for Fun” that have become quite popular with his collectors in recent years. The subject matter of this collection reaches far and wide. You never know what Max will come up with next. Remember they are “just for fun”!

Cycling the Southwest: Tours, Trails, and Toe Clips

Review the discussion here.

Whether you seek solitude or speed, exercise or transportation, flights of fancy bloom when motion, wheel, and landscape merge at the persistence of a pedal turned. Remember when you met the challenge of learning to ride a bike? The feelings of achievement, freedom, and wonder are unique to this powerful milestone. The biking industry is clipping along at a fast pace of expansion with more and more people accessing trails, innovations in equipment, and embracing an international sport layered with emotional connections and endurance. Join us as we cruise through a shared narrative trail of professional cycling, tourism, sustainable practices, and the transcendence of sport.

is a professional mountain biker and producer who calls Boulder, Colorado home. Over the past decade he has raced at the top level in many of the countries toughest one day endurance events, and now finds a balance between conquering big adventures of his own while working within the industry to educate and inspire others so they too can dream big and unlock the power of the bicycle. Learn more about Ryan’s Best Week Ever series on YouTube

ANGELISA MURRAY is the Founder and CEO of Heritage Inspirations. She spent over twenty years of her life as an active travel guide for a variety of premiere adventure companies exploring and wandering all over the world, and yet no matter where she went, New Mexico always called to her. She explains, “This is my home and after spending years excavating and learning from this wild place of heritage, culture and natural wonder, there is no greater inspiration to me than to share it.” Angelisa focused on developing tours that are about unveiling the other truths that are often not known or seen. Heritage Inspirations is a culmination of my travel exploration while working as a guide in different environments and elements. It is also a celebration of my connection to New Mexico through my heritage, just north of Taos the surname Espinoza, my maiden name’s lineage, can be tracked from southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley and extends throughout northern New Mexico. In Taos, there is an intersection with the cross streets, Espinoza and Maestas, which are my grandparents surnames. This is a constant reminder how blessed I am to share in this culturally rich land through part of my family’s ancestry. Learn more about Heritage Inspiration’s e-bike tours at

Co-owners of Rift Cycles in Taos New Mexico, a rider owned and operated bike shop. Bios coming soon. Learn more at


Millicent Unplugged: Creative Aging: Supporting Vitality through the Arts

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Review the recorded discussion here

As the museum sector gains momentum in bringing awareness, conversation, accessibility, and collaboration to the forefront of consideration in developing programs for older adults, this month’s Millicent Unplugged features the diverse voices of four program specialists in elder care and advocacy. Through community dialogue we hope to understand the unique needs of an aging population and explore the ways in which arts and culture contribute to vitality, and mitigate some of the challenges of aging.

Amber Carroll is the Senior Director of the Front Porch Connection Programs that include: Well Connected, Well Connected Español, and Social Call – virtual creative aging programs that aim to decrease loneliness and social isolation for older adults by increasing the opportunity for meaningful social connections. These programs welcome older adults as participants and/or volunteers to learn, chat, teach, and share – all from the comfort of home.  Before coming to Front Porch in 2015, Amber led the San Francisco Transitional Care Program, a CMS-demonstration project that successfully decreased hospital readmissions for Medicare recipients.  Her career in aging services began at the San Francisco Aging and Disability Resource Center which provided information, referral, and assistance to nearly 10,000 seniors and adults with disabilities each year.  Before finding a home in aging services, Amber was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco.

Marj Becker I am a Colorado native, a wife, a parent (three daughters and two grandchildren), and an educator. I am also an artist (watercolor and book maker) and a poet.

Before and since retiring, I’ve had opportunities to volunteer at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico with Pomona Hallenbeck, the Watercolorist-in-Residence.  Working with Pomona enhanced my ability to paint, and it was there that I began to write poetry.    So, I found myself writing and painting.  I have been so pleased to also have had two other artist mentors - Marie Siano Ungemah (Littleton, Colorado) and Henry Fukuhara (California’s School of Watercolorists).  My art is considered abstract expressionism; a not-so-easy task for a watercolorist; although, realism is also available to me.

My writing, as I have said, involves poetry, as well as children’s stories and adults short stories.  I write a blog - - that is published every Wednesday.

Léonie Rosenstiel’s passion for helping people navigate the maze of the elder care system began when she watched several of her relatives become incapacitated. She has spent over 19 years researching the problems within the system in order to help herself and her clients create positive outcomes.

She is the author of Protecting Mama: Surviving the Legal Guardianship Swamp. She also created the Dayspring Empowerment Summit and the Dayspring Empowerment Course.

Léonie has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, and six master’s level degrees, in subjects ranging from pastoral counseling (The New Seminary), to Acupuncture (Tri-State College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture), to public health (Walden University). Regardless of what and where she studied, no program came close to mapping out the real-world options or explaining why family members often seemed to be shut out of their loved ones’ lives at crucial moments.

Kathleen T. Burg, Director of Artstreams: From the Well of Memory received her M.A. from Goddard College 1978. She brings her extensive background in non-profits, program development, advocacy and cross-pollination to her work for an underserved segment of the aging Taos community. She developed Artstreams: From the Well of Memory as an innovative program for family caregivers, usually seniors themselves, of those with memory impairment that offers an immersion in art and creativity not only for them but also for their loved one. In collaboration with Taos’ museums, the power of art collections is used as a tool to engage minds damaged by dementia in ways that are both meaningful and educational.

As Director of the Taos Jewish Center’s Chesed Program for Taos County Seniors, Kathleen co-developed Apoyos Para LosCuidadores, a 2008 recipient of the national Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s disease Caregiving Legacy Award, Diverse/Multicultural Communities.

Kathleen has written over two dozen published articles on aging. See

Millicent Unplugged: Community Wellness: Outreach and Resources

Thursday, January 5

Click here to enjoy the recorded session.

 Community wellness is everybody’s business. How do we care for each other during challenging circumstances and what are some of the ways we measure community wellness? It begins with dialogue. Museums are places where dialogue can foster community wellness through arts and culture. Museums can expand the use of resources and public spaces to engage in community- wide efforts that support vitality. We can seek intersections of outreach with other nonprofit organizations to strengthen community responsiveness. Join us for this first museum conversation with guests from impactful organizations concerned with community wellness.

Siena Sanderson is the director of the Taos Behavioral Health Nurturing Centers located at the Enos Garcia, Ranchos and Peñasco Elementary Schools.  The NC's were created to support students' social and emotional well-being and to provide family navigation services for parents including support for relatives who have taken on kinship of children.  Siena has been providing support for parents and students for nearly 25 years in Taos and continues to be inspired by children every day.

Gina M. Cordova, MSW/CPSW is the case manager for Taos Let Everyone Advance with Dignity (L.E.A.D.). Gina has a master's degree in Social Work and is a Certified Peer Support Worker. Her background includes working with at-risk youth and individuals with substance use disorders.  Gina is passionate about supporting the Taos community.

Juliana directs the northern Health Extension Rural Office (HERO) of the University of New Mexico-Health Sciences Center, where she is faculty in Family & Community Medicine. Dually-trained in community development and public health education, she’s worked across prevention, health promotion, disease management, and quality improvement for nearly 40 years in diverse settings – as a direct service provider, health professions trainer, program developer, and in leadership roles. Through her work she aims to advance health and health equity by building local health capacity and infrastructure, improving primary care, addressing community-identified health priorities, and strengthening the health professions pipeline. 

Whitney Lake, LCSW, SPT, Psychotherapist, is the Clinical Coordinator and a psychotherapist at Community Against Violence. In my practice I’m committed to compassionately walking with adults, adolescents, children and families in creating a path to healing.  Whitney's work focuses on trauma informed and client centered approaches through relational approaches, somatic therapies, mindfulness, play therapy, movement, art, EMDR, TF-CBT, Sand Tray Therapy, and is heavily influenced by Neurobiology and Nervous system integration. "I believe healing is a deeply personal experience and trust in the client’s own
wisdom and fostering empowerment."

2022 Archives:


Millicent Unplugged: Liquid Celebrations: Holiday Food + Wine Pairings

Virtual Program Thursday, December 1st, 6pm-7pm

View the recorded session here:

Join us as we embark on a conversation of seasonal food and wine pairings envisioned by our   guest experts on grape and grain in New Mexico. Festive ideas for any holiday table are sure to emerge through this dialogue with Advanced Sommeliers, Michele and Jesse Padberg, co-owners with Jesse’s brother and his wife of Vivác Winery in Dixon, New Mexico, and Chef John Vollertsen, known as Chef Johnny Vee, Santa Fe's premier private chef and consultant on the development of Taos Cooking School.


Vivác (pronounced Vee Vok), a mountaineering word meaning “high altitude refuge”, is seated at 6,000 ft. making it one of the highest altitude wineries in the world. Their old world style wines showcase the elegance of high altitude & cool climate farming. Jesse & Michele are 2 of the 4 owners with us today. Jesse and his brother are the winemakers, Michele and her sister-in-law Liliana run the business side. Both families are raising their families in Dixon, where the winemakers grew up. Michele is also an International Wine Competition Judge, Wine Writer and educator. Jesse has been the NM Wine Association President for the past 3 years, stepping down this past year in order to travel extensively with their family. Both are certified Advanced Sommeliers.

John Vollertsen (aka Chef Johnny Vee) is the director of the Las Cosas Cooking School and freelance food writer for New Mexico Magazine and the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is also a "Super Chef" working with "Cooking with Kids" in local schools where he mentors young chefs as he shares his knowledge and love of the wonderful world of food.

 Texts of History: Diaries, Reports, Oral Histories, Outfits + Objects

Join us for an informal conversation with historians as we discuss the various ways in which historical narratives are preserved, presented, interpreted, communicated, and questioned. From the written word to oral histories, from anecdotal accounts to public reenactments and historical fiction, history held and shared in many forms presents us with challenges as we search for thoughtful authenticity.
Robert Kidera is a retired teacher and award-winning author of several books including The Gabe McKenna mystery series which began with Red Gold in 2015 and culminates with A Long Time to Die in 2021. Robert is a member of  Southwest Writers and makes his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Robert's books can be found on his publishing company's website: 
Dianne Layden is a semi-retired college professor and writer in Albuquerque. She came to New Mexico in 1969 to complete a doctorate in American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She has taught at the University of Houston and University of Redlands in Southern California, among other institutions. Research interests include New Mexico history and culture, public violence, and social justice. Writing achievements include a first-place award in 2018 from the National Federation of Press Women. In 2021, Dr. Layden was selected by the New Mexico Humanities Council to portray Ruth Bader Ginsburg in its Chautauqua program.

John Steinle, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, received a Master’s Degree in Museum and Archival Management from Wright State University. Steinle worked as a Curator and Archivist at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Historical Society.  He then served as Director at several Ohio museums before emigrating to Colorado in 1992.  In 1994, Steinle became the Administrator of the Hiwan Homestead Museum in Evergreen, Colorado, working for Jefferson County Open Space. He was later promoted to History Education Supervisor and Region Supervisor for the Bear Creek Region. He retired in 2016. 

Millicent Unplugged: Taos Pueblo: International Ambassadors of Dance + Drum

October 6, 2022
Taking the beauty and spirit of dance and drum abroad is an act of courage, skill, and deep friendship.  Join us for an informal conversation featuring three Taos Pueblo members who will share their experiences of international travel from Italy to Japan and places in between. 
Below is the recorded discussion.:
Sonny Spruce is renowned for his beautifully crafted jewelry. His signature style of heirloom quality bracelets are treasured artworks for the wearer, steeped in Sonny's knowledge and skill as a silversmith. Sonny is the owner and operator of Sonny Spruce Indian Shop at Taos Pueblo. His work can also be found at 
CornBringer Kathleen Michaels has worked in the artworld as both beadwork / jewelry artist and gallerist. She has traveled worldwide with her family of dancers. The Millicent Rogers Museum is honored to have CornBringer on staff  in her role as business manager. 
Benito Concha has been sharing the lessons of singing, drum, and dance for nearly his whole life. As one of Taos News' Unsung Heroes in 2021, Benito shared his philosophy of peaceful intentions in every endeavor. His video can be viewed here.

Painters with Grit: The Art of Soft Pastels


If you would like to view the recorded discussion, please check it out here.

This month Millicent Unplugged connects with three prolific and honored artists from the current MRM exhibition of New Mexico Pastel Society artists participating in the Society's 30th National Pastel Painting Exhibition. Join Millicent Unplugged for a vibrant conversation featuring artists in dialogue about the art, the materials, the challenges, the inspiration, and the timeless appeal of pastel painting.


Marilyn Drake "Among the many reasons I moved from New York City to New Mexico was the dramatic landscape --- the vistas, the light, the unusual geologic formations and native plants. That fascination awakened my desire to be a fine artist, after years spent operating my own graphic design business. Eventually my earlier figurative training prompted me to begin painting figures and portraits. Now, concentrating on painting people and places, I strive to capture a likeness, evoke a mood, and create visual harmony." --Marilyn Drake

Nicholas Tesluk Having been involved in some art form his entire life, including music, drawing, and performance arts, Nicholas began fine art painting in the late 1970's, and was active in exhibitions for the next several years. He moved from oils to pastels exclusively in the 1990's. Nicholas is in his ninth year serving as the Pastel Society of New Mexico's National Show Chair. His body of work includes botanical, still-life, and sunset paintings. He has recently been inspired to include figure painting as part of his oeuvre of pastel artworks. --Nicholas Tesluk 

Paul Murray "I’ve been making my living as an artist since I was 19 years old. First as a commercial artist and illustrator and then owning Murray’s Design, my graphic design business in Albuquerque for over 35 years. I transitioned into fine art in the mid-90s. In that time I’ve won several international awards including two Best-of-Show awards. I currently live in La Cienega, NM, with my wife and our cats.

If I could say one thing about being an artist, it would be that I’m most interested in learning how to become better at what I do. Since the creative process is infinite in nature, I’ll be able to work at improving my skills for the rest of my career." –Paul Murray

Millicent Unplugged: New Mexico’s Starry Nights: Science, Spirit, & Space Flight

August 4, 2022  enjoy the recorded discussion here:

New Mexico is a hub of interest and intersecting perspectives on the beauty of the universe as seen through many lenses. Join us in conversation as we embark on a journey of inspiration and aesthetics, science, and wonder. Note: The Millicent Unplugged photo features artist Wilson Crawford’s Regulus metal sculpture designed by Millicent as part of her Running Star series. (Photo by Sara Frances).

Joyce Guzik has been a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 35 years. She earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Iowa State University in 1988. In addition to research in support of Los Alamos’s national security mission, she has continued astrophysics research, modeling the interior and oscillations of the Sun and many other types of pulsating variable stars. Since 2009 Joyce has focused on analysis of photometric data from the NASA Kepler and TESS spacecraft. She occasionally gives lectures about her research for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Los Alamos, and currently is vice-president of the Pajarito Astronomers amateur club.

Michael Alberts is a passionate explorer and researcher contemplating human spirituality and its relation to the Cosmos. He is a long-time student of Vedic and Western astrology, Vibrational Radiesthesia,, and BioGeometry [forms of energy medicine], with a focus on the ancient mysteries of Egypt.  Michael is president of the Sangre de Cristo Anthroposophical Group, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the path of knowledge guiding the spiritual in the Human Being to the spiritual in the Universe. Residing in Albuquerque since 2001, he works in the health care information technology field.

Loretta Hall is the author of six nonfiction books about human space exploration. She especially enjoys highlighting New Mexico’s valuable contributions to getting astronauts to the moon and supporting the development of the commercial space industry. She also has a particular interest in the history of women in aeronautics. Loretta’s most recent books are adult and children’s versions of the life story of Wally Funk, a Taos native who holds the record as the oldest woman to travel to space. Loretta is a Space Ambassador for the National Space Society, a board member of New Mexico Press Women, and recipient of the National Federation of Press Women’s Communicator of Achievement Award. Having lived in Albuquerque for forty-five years, she considers herself an “honorary native New Mexican.”

Rings on Your Fingers: Jewelry Rare and Regional


July 7, 2022 enjoy the recording here:

Joe and LeJeune Chavez are award-winning jewelers who blend traditional Pueblo practices with inspiration from their Indigenous connections into their contemporary designs. The couple have a deep commitment to visual impact, design, and structure, carefully designing and creating wearable pieces of art that are described by customers as truly one-of-a-kind. Joe and LeJeune Chavez attend several juried art markets like the Santa Fe Indian Market, Heard Museum, Santo Domingo Pueblo art show and also sell their jewelry at the Palace of Governors Museum in Santa Fe.

Lyle and Islin Wright are father and son silversmiths from Taos Pueblo. Lyle’s art practices are passed from father to son through apprenticeship and a shared passion for the materials and the land unique to Southwest jewelry design. In addition to apprenticing with his father, Islin is also an accomplished sales associate at the MRM store where he shares his knowledge of the stones, the structures, and the designs of Indigenous artists, past and present. View Lyle’s video profile here:

David Anderson has deep connections to the Taos community and the Millicent Rogers Museum. David is the grandson of the Anderson’s who donated their house to the MRM in 1968. In his own words, David shares that, “the traditions and history of Taos and other cultures are expressed in my designs. Many of my fabrication techniques are based on Old World traditions, yet I also embrace modern technology. I make many of my own tools and alter existing tools to make them work better. I am fascinated by the vast array of techniques involved in making art jewelry.”


Millicent Unplugged: From the Ground up: Seeds to Solar Ovens

June 2, 2022, 6-7PM 

What better time than early June to have a discussion on southwestern, high desert, organic gardening and cooking. Each of our guests brings a perspective of earth stewardship grounded in the common desire to seek sustainable practices and share them. Master gardening, cookbooks, seeds, succulents and more! Join us for what is sure to be an informative and expansive conversation.

Panelist Bios

Linda Engel’s first cookbook, Garden to Table Cooking, won first place in the Colorado Independent Publisher’s 2021 EVVY™ Award in the entertaining/cookbook category. She lives and gardens in the front range of Colorado where her love for organic gardening inspires her recipes and cooking. Before retiring, Linda enjoyed a successful career in international sales and then technical and marketing writing. Visit her website to learn more and to sign up for her newsletter.

Rose Marie Kern is known around the world as a Solar Chef, an organic Master Gardener, and an expert on garden microclimatology. Recently she was interviewed by Luther Kreuger, head of the Big Blue Museum of Solar Cooking and her classes on creating microclimates for high desert gardening are an educational staple for the Master Gardener Programs in New Mexico. The International Sun Oven Corporation has sent copies of her cookbook "The Solar Chef" along with their sun ovens to 4 continents.

Rose is on the board of directors for SouthWest Writers and a lifetime member of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. She has given classes on solar cooking for the University of New Mexico, the Bernalillo County Extension offices and dozens of local groups focused on sustainable living.

You can learn more about Rose Marie on her website:

These books by Rose Marie Kern are available on Amazon:

The Solar Chef
Creating Microclimates for High Desert Gardening
Stress is Relative: Memoir of an Air Traffic Controller
Air to Ground: A Guide to the World of Air Traffic Control

Bob Pennington and his wife, Jen, are owners of Agua Fria Nursery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This organic nursery and garden center came to fruition in 1975, and has been a thriving part of the Santa Fe landscape ever since. With a growing understanding that the nursery and garden industry was laden with toxic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, Bob and Jen set out with a mission to “Save Planet Earth, one organic garden at a time.” From aphids to zinnias, Bob’s 40+ years of organic gardening experience is a treasure to encounter. More information can be found at



Millicent Unplugged: Passion for Fashion: Diné Couture Design

Join Karen and Sara for a conversation with Navajo (Diné) fashion designers Penny Singer, and Felix Earle, owner and creative director of Earle Couture. This conversation will explore inspiration and process as we look at the world of fashion through a lens of land and identity expression. Designs, materials and practices found in the wearable works of these artists bring alive the voice of the Southwest, Diné style.

Enjoy the recorded virtual discussion here!


Millicent Unplugged: Stewardship of the Land: Preserve, Protect, and Enjoy

Join Karen and Sara in welcoming guest panelists Erik Stensland, nature photographer and CEO of Nature First: The Alliance for Responsible Nature Photography; Glory Penington, artist and activist; and Karl Sommers, Santa Fe based land and real estate attorney for an informal conversation on land stewardship. A big topic to be sure, and one which merits creating spaces and opportunities, such as this, for unlikely voices to join together in consideration of nature. The environmental issues we face as a planet today, require a multitude of perspectives to engender responsibility and caring for the land we call home. Unfolding, unofficial, unafraid conversations…a trifecta of community building. We hope you’ll join us!

Enjoy the recorded discussion here!


Angelisa Murray is the Founder and CEO of Heritage Inspirations. She spent over twenty years of her life as an active travel guide for a variety of premiere adventure companies exploring and wandering all over the world, and yet no matter where she went, New Mexico always called to her. She explains, “This is my home and after spending years excavating and learning from this wild place of heritage, culture and natural wonder, there is no greater inspiration to me than to share it.” Angelisa focused on developing tours that are about unveiling the other truths that are often not known or seen. Heritage Inspirations is a culmination of my travel exploration while working as a guide in different environments and elements. It is also a celebration of my connection to New Mexico through my heritage, just north of Taos the surname Espinoza, my maiden name’s lineage, can be tracked from southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley and extends throughout northern New Mexico. In Taos, there is an intersection with the cross streets, Espinoza and Maestas, which are my grandparents surnames. This is a constant reminder how blessed I am to share in this culturally rich land through part of my family’s ancestry.

Ilona Spruce is the Director of Tourism for Taos Pueblo. Being in this position brings much responsibility as a representative of the community to the external world. A member of the Taos Pueblo tribe and community, the world of tourism is a fine balance between educating visitors and protecting her home. She has been with Taos Pueblo Tourism for 10 years and holds her BA in Indigenous Liberal studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Carolyn Schneider grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from New York University. After working in art galleries for some time, she fell in love with hospitality and started at the ground level in restaurant and event management at Ace Hotel in New York.  From there, she joined the team at Vikram Chatwal Collection (management company of Dream Hotels), leading Sales and Marketing for their properties in Times Square. When Ace Hotel Group opened in Downtown Los Angeles, they recruited Carolyn to move back to the West Coast to join the pre-opening team, where she built accounts from the ground up in a culturally emerging area of Los Angeles. Proper Hospitality, created by the owners of the Viceroy brand, then recruited her as Director of Sales and Marketing for their luxury high rise, designed by Kelly Wearstler in the heart of Hollywood. Next, excited to work with a historic building again, Carolyn jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Sydell Group to open The NoMad Hotel Los Angeles, formerly the bank of Italy built in the 1920’s, where she served as Director of Guest Experience. In addition, Carolyn co-founded a consulting company, where she helped emerging hospitality companies build their brand, and developed comprehensive service training programs for employees. Carolyn co-founded Casetta Group with a passion for hospitality, management and service, and a specific interest in revitalizing small boutique properties. In addition, she serves as a Board Member of the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association.  

Enjoy the conversation here.



The West is Our Muse: A Literary Conversation


This live panel discussion features a literary conversation with MRM guest panelists and award winning authors J Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief mysteries ; Corinne Joy Brown, Hidden Star, Come and Get It!; and Randy McNair, #BarPoets series. Join Karen and Sara as they welcome MRM guests in a conversation about regional inspiration in the writing of the West.

Please enjoy the recorded discussion here.



Millicent Unplugged: HANDLE with CARE: Stewardship of Indigenous Art in Your Home

Please view the recorded discussion here.




Indigenous Foodways

Friend and caterer to the museum, Chef Karin Snowflower, of Taos Pueblo, and Jicarilla Apache potter, Shelden Nuñez-Velarde will join Karen and Sara to embark on a discussion of the fusion of art, earth, food, and culture. Chef Karin specializes in a fusion of French pastries with traditional native ingredients and prepares such stellar offerings as bison empañadas and squash cheesecake with chokecherry sauce. Shelden draws on the legacy of his ancestors to bring forth a merging of function and beauty in creating traditional micaceous bean pots and other vessels intended to infuse the culinary experience with a deep sense of Southwest history.

Check out the recorded discussion here.


Dias de Los Muertos " Day of the Dead"

Sugar Saints, Sweets and Marigolds

October 7, 2021


 Homage to Jim Wagner: Hippie Cool to Hip Waders

Friends of the late Jim Wagner, beloved and legendary Taos artist (1940-2021), will join in this discussion to share memories, reminiscences, laughter and a fishing story or two. Join Karen and Sara as the MRM welcomes acclaimed adventure writer, Peter Heller, and gallery owners Max Jones and Tony Walker. Recorded link below.

View the Unplugged  Homage to Jim Wagner here.