ALMA Summer Institute

The ALMA Summer Institute (formerly known as the Mayor’s Art Institute) is a paid summer internship in the arts for youth ages 16 to 24. Each summer, ASI creates a permanent handmade tile mosaic mural on a major public building in Albuquerque.

The ALMA Summer Institute recruits applicants from every high school in Albuquerque, UNM and CNM, and other community organizations.  Students are hired on the basis of their art experience and their desire for a positive and intensive work experience in the arts. The summer program is about nine weeks long, from, June- August.  Apprentices will work approximately 30 hours a week. During the program, they will help to finalize the mosaic design, cut tiles from wet clay, glaze the tiles, fire tiles in a kiln, and install and grout the mosaic mural.

The program was created in 1999 to provide paid training and mentorship for artistically talented youth and adults. Not only do apprentices enrich their artistic skill but they simultaneously receive valuable life skills that are transferable to any career path they may choose.

Over 270 young people and adults from Albuquerque have participated in the Institute. The Albuquerque Convention Center mural has even won a Creative Bravo award. Apprentices have gone on to universities, colleges, and art schools around the country, and some have become professional artists. Lead Artists have included Vanessa Alvarado, Staci Drangmeister, Rey Gaitan, Daisy Kates, PAZ, Margarita Paz-Pedro, Cassandra Reid, Lia Rosen, and Mark Woody. 

The Institute has created mosaics at the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Albuquerque Museum, Juan Tabo Public Library, and Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

The Institute has enjoyed the support of four different mayoral administrations including the current Mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller.