Happy 2021

Farewell to Our Fearless Leader

Cassandra Reid has been an ALMA Lead Artist with the ALMA Summer Institute since 2000.  She was integral in helping ALMA become its own non-profit organization as a Co-Founder and served as the ALMA’s first Executive Director for 5 years.  

She believes that collaborative mosaic-making offers tremendous possibilities for personal transformation and community-building. She loves to hear the stories people tell, and she enjoys facilitating ways for people to translate their ideas, histories, hopes, and dreams into works of art. She has worked with over 4000 people ages 4 – 95 on more than 30 public art projects utilizing handmade tile mosaics in neighborhoods, community centers, schools, treatment centers, and shelters. She has a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of New Mexico, and she was a Whitney Museum Independent Study Program Fellow in Studio Art in 1989-90. 

In addition to making public art, she has exhibited her work in galleries nationally and internationally. She was raised in New England and has lived in the South Valley for more than half her life. 

Thank you Cassandra for all your time, energy and love for this program and organization!

A portrait photo of Cassandra Reid with her horse.

A Few Words from Cassandra Reid

The years with ALMA (and all the versions of our program before we were called ALMA) have been full of laughter and inspiration, as well as hard work. Albuquerque is an incredibly supportive community for artists, and I’m deeply grateful to so many of you who have helped us build our artworks, contributed financially, taught us, challenged us to be better and offered us love. It has been a huge privilege to work with so many talented artists of all ages, including all of the apprentices, lead apprentices, consulting artists, and even poets through the years. Our funders, patrons, and donors have shown us a kind of generosity I couldn’t have imagined, along with a lot of emotional support and love.  It has been especially wonderful to work with our incredible Board of Directors and the other ALMA Directors and Lead Artists – Margarita Paz-Pedro and Vanessa Alvarado.  Our whole truly is greater than the sum or our parts!  Thank you for the many years of beautiful friendship and companionship. 

I’ve decided to scale back my work with ALMA in order to pursue other parts of my career – private commissions, professional horse training, and maybe some organizational consulting.  It’s a big shift and kind of scary, but I’m excited!   I’m ready to take some new artistic risks and to get back to my greatest passion – working with horses.  I’ve loved horses and enjoyed training them since I was 3 years old, and it’s time to finally start going professional.  I’ve been adapting Polyvagal theory and other current trauma treatment theories in my work with horses who have experienced trauma, and when combined with Parelli Natural Horsemanship techniques, I’m seeing some exciting results.  I love seeing horses overcome challenges and regain confidence.  

I stepped down as Executive Director on December 31st, 2020.  I’ll still be doing some consulting with the organization, and I’m also leading the process of finishing up the designs for our mosaic project at Valle de Oro Refuge.

Creative Bravos Legacy

Image of the Creative Bravos award promotion.

ALMA was thrilled to find out that we were awarded the Creative Bravos Legacy Award

 “The City of Albuquerque’s Creative Bravos Awards are dedicated to recognizing and honoring work that makes a significant impact on the lives of residents, neighborhoods, and/or communities. The awards are given annually to individuals, youths, teams, events, programs, organizations and businesses that celebrate the breadth of creative work that exists in the city. The 2020 award ceremony will be hosted virtually.” 


“ALMA supports artists of all ages in creating artworks and becoming artistic entrepreneurs. The artists of ALMA developed their apprenticeship model over 20 years of creating handmade tile mosaic artworks in collaboration with the community.”