Thursday, June 30, 2016


The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission will present two free public programs as part of, “The Train Must Be Fed,” an exhibit that explores the social and cultural legacy of Fred Harvey in New Mexico.  All events take place at the Community Gallery, 201 West Marcy Street, inside the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and are free and open to the public.  For more information call, 505-955-6705 or email

Lecture: The Harvey Girls and The Santa Fe Railway -- Myth, Legend And History, Lesley Poling-Kempes, Wednesday, July 13, 6-8 pm
The Santa Fe Railway and the Fred Harvey Company were responsible for the creation and promotion of the Mythic Southwest as a tourist destination. The Harvey Girls' role in the opening of the West has become legendary, their lives forever linked with the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and the exotic and elegant resorts built along the railroad in the early years of this century. In this slide show/lecture, learn how Harvey and the Santa Fe influenced the art and architecture of the Southwest, and how the Harvey Girls became synonymous with adventure and romance in the golden years of American railroad travel.
Lesley Poling-Kempes is the author of LADIES OF THE CANYONS (2015) winner of the 2015 Reading the West award and a WWA Spur Award finalist; and BONE HORSES, a novel, winner of the 2014 WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction and the Tony Hillerman Award.

Lecture:  Mystery & History- Re-Discovering La Fonda, Barbara Felix, Architect, Wednesday, August 17, 6-8 pm in the Community Gallery

What happens when you take on the renovation of a classic Harvey House that's considered the community living room of Santa Fe? All the headaches of any historic-preservation project plus the joy of uncovering the history and unique approach to design by some of the Southwest's best-known architects, untangling mythologies, and then weaving in solutions that balance between preserving historic aesthetics and providing modern amenities. Join Barbara Felix, AIA, for tales from her 10 years of work restoring and rehabilitating Santa Fe's iconic hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza, from its guestrooms and corridors to the recently restored lobby.

Barbara Felix founded Barbara Felix Architecture + Design in 1998.  Originally from Michigan, Barbara worked in Michigan, Virginia, and Chicago before starting her own practice in Santa Fe, providing architecture, interior design, and historic preservation services. She brings a wide variety of experience to her projects, and having lived in Northern New Mexico for more than 18 years, she has a deep respect for the various artistic traditions of the area, from weaving, embroidery, tin and wood work, to pottery, carving, and glass blowing, and is adept at incorporating local artists into her projects. Her work respects the local vernacular, but embodies updated materials and ideas. She is ultimately a story-teller and uses the language of architecture to weave the old with the new. 

As part of the educational outreach opportunities associated with the exhibit, extended interview excerpts from, “The Harvey Girls:  Opportunity Bound” a documentary film are being shown continuously in the Gallery. The film explores how starting in the 1880’s, over 100,000 brave young women, Harvey Girls as they were called, made an unusual decision to leave home and travel west to work as waitresses along the transcontinental railroad opening the doors of both the West and the workplace to women.
The film explores the life of Fred Harvey and his company which left its mark by not only providing work opportunities for women, but by being among the first companies to promote cultural diversity in the workplace by hiring Hispanic and Native American women to be waitresses along with their Anglo peers. The Harvey Girls, whose workforce continued to flourish until the 1960s, were true pioneers and set a new standard of excellence for women in the workplace, paving the way for generations of independent young women to come. This is their story!

All events take place at the Community Gallery, 201 West Marcy Street, inside the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and are free and open to the public.  For more information call, 505-955-6705 or email

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