Entertainment

NMPBS intern and UNM movie pupil produces section of ‘¡Colores!’ on Navajo weaver


From left, Maliaq Kairaiuak, Venancio Aragon and Ebony Isis Sales space on the set of “¡Colores!” (Courtesy of New Mexico PBS)

Maliaq Kairaiuak is a storyteller.

Up till a number of years in the past, she didn’t know which medium she would make the most of.

Flash ahead to as we speak, the College of New Mexico movie pupil resides a dream producing as an intern at New Mexico PBS.

“If you asked me five years ago if I was going to be a filmmaker, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Kairaiuak says.

Kairaiuak (Yupik & Athabaskan) is the producer behind the “¡Colores!” section that includes Navajo weaver Venancio Aragon. The episode airs at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1.

“¡Colores!” has been round since 1989 and celebrates the inventive spirit discovered within the Land of Enchantment.

The weekly TV sequence shares in-depth and inspirational tales about New Mexico’s various arts, tradition and historical past.

For the piece, she needed to dig a bit of deeper in Aragon’s life.

“I wanted to connect the artwork and the weaving,” she says. “When I talked with Venancio, I saw how his formal education and studies with the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe coupled with the teachings of his family and cultural traditions. He was so articulate and had so many powerful things to say.”

Kairaiuak is coming into her senior yr at UNM.

She moved from Alaska in February 2020 to attend faculty in Albuquerque.

“The first year was kind of rough,” she says. “Most of it was distanced learning. UNM has a great network with the resources. One of my professors introduced me to (executive producer) Michael Kamins and he became my mentor.”

Kairaiuak then met Tara Walch, “¡Colores!” producer, at a Imaginative and prescient Maker Media (VMM) convention in Santa Fe.

Imaginative and prescient Maker Media is the premier supply of public media by and about Native Individuals (since 1976).

Their mission is empowering and interesting Native individuals to share tales.

“Maliaq is wonderful to work with,” Walch says. “She’s very aware and gets to the heart of a story. She dove into the projects with such enthusiasm for telling artists’ stories, and for sharing them with the audience.”

Kairaiuak is appreciative of NMPBS due to their openness to her concepts.

“This was my first hands-on experience working with a company,” she says. “They offered me so many opportunities to hone my skills and find my voice.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If of a film filming within the state, or are inquisitive about one, e-mail movie@ABQjournal.com. Observe me on Twitter @agomezART.



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