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F O C U S from the editor

a Community

LIKE NO OTHER IF I’VE SAID IT ONCE, I’VE SAID IT A THOUSAND TIMES. People who are fortunate enough to call Artesia home are some of the most blessed people around. It’s that simple.


Editorial Director


My family and I moved back to Artesia in 2005, shortly after the birth of our son. Like most young people returning home after a stint away at college and beyond, we had our trepidations. What will people think? How will we survive without shopping malls and a plethora of restaurants? What will we do for fun? I mean, these are legitimate questions, right! Well, it turns out, the more involved I became with my community and the more connections I made, the more I realized that Artesia is a community like no other. It’s small, but mighty; it’s remote, but packed full of big-city offerings. It’s like no place I’ve ever traveled to or lived in, which is what brings me to my point. We live in a day and time when many public libraries are dying off and falling into ruins and when small-town America is being edged out by big cities and sprawling metropolises. But not here, not in Artesia. Everywhere you look you’ll see the fruits of our labors – from the bronze monuments depicting our heritage, to the football stadium and sports complexes, to the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, and



now to this – the new, state-of-theart Artesia Public Library. Our cup runneth over. What many people might not realize is that the new multi-million dollar “public” library was only made possible because people in this community – private citizens – worked together and donated the money needed to see it built. Whether they gave millions or thousands or even hundreds of dollars, people of all walks of life pitched in to see to it that it was fully funded. Equally as important are the countless volunteers who have attended meeting after meeting, poured over every detail, donated land and time and resources to make sure the library came to fruition. I’m here to tell you, things like that don’t just happen everywhere. In fact, you can take a drive several hours in any direction from Artesia and you probably won’t see anything like it for a long, long time. At Focus on Artesia, we wanted to honor those individuals who helped make the new public library possible, that helped usher in the historic Peter Hurd mural, and those that help create the fabric of our community. The best way to do so, we figured, would be by dedicating our entire fall issue to commemorating those very things. Inside this edition of Focus on Artesia, you will find stories about the businesses involved in making room for the library and important people whose vision and dedication brought forth the ideas and funds necessary for the mural and the library. You will

hear from school officials and students who are full of excitement and hope for what the library will offer our youth, and you will find stories about literacy and art and the public/private partnerships that co-exist in Artesia. We packed this issue full of stories that will hopefully inspire you to read and create and volunteer. Lastly, but most certainly not least, we wanted to make sure and pay special tribute to a woman unlike any other – a woman whose vision has had a lasting impact on the very essence of our town – Ms. Estelle Yates. She played a vital role in not only the building of the new library, but also in the procurement of the Peter Hurd mural. Her contributions to this community are priceless and appreciated more than she could have ever known. Unfortunately, she passed away in September, just shy of the grand opening, but there’s no doubt she would be thrilled with the finished product. It is our great honor to dedicate this issue to her! I hope that you will take the time to read through this commemorative issue and learn about all the great things this town has to offer and all the great people who make it possible. Oh, and make sure to like us on Facebook and visit our website for updates, stories and photos. We try to add fresh content as often as possible, so tell your friends about us and visit as often as you’d like!


Staci Guy is the Editorial Director of Focus on Artesia. She can be reached at FOCUSNM.COM

Focus on Artesia Fall 2013  
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