Gov. Martinez Unveils First-Ever Theater to Showcase Heart Gallery Children
ALBUQUERQUE — Today, Governor Susana Martinez unveiled the National Hispanic Cultural Center as the first-ever New Mexico theater to showcase Heart Gallery children before every film and other performances. Heart Galleries feature foster children who are available for adoption and help them find forever families. There are more than 500 Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) foster children statewide who are currently available for adoption, with 180 in Bernalillo County alone.
“Every child needs and deserves a loving family,” said Governor Martinez. “Heart Galleries are such a wonderful way for us to help introduce kids to forever families. And with nearly 270,000 people visiting the National Hispanic Cultural Center every year, this will be an excellent opportunity to show an even wider audience these wonderful children.”
In June of 2014, Governor Martinez unveiled the nation’s first-ever Digital Heart Gallery at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. In a large and rural state like New Mexico, using this digital program allows CYFD to quickly update Heart Galleries, so that more New Mexico children needing forever families can be featured. As children are adopted, CYFD adoption recruiters will update the Digital Heart Galleries online from a central location, without having to drive long hours to physically change the photographs and information.
Through a partnership of businesses, hospitals, state agencies, and others, CYFD has been able to display children eligible for adoption around the state in multiple venues to help more children find their forever families. In the last few months, MVD Express in Albuquerque has also started showing Digital Heart Gallery programming through its television monitors at nine locations.
“The support we’ve received from Governor Martinez and our partner Heart Gallery sponsors around the state continues to create tremendous opportunities for us to find forever families for more New Mexico children,” said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson. “We’ll continue to work with and engage our partners and communities around the state to help these children find the loving forever families they need and deserve.”
Over the last few years, permanent Heart Gallery exhibits have been established throughout New Mexico, including communities such as Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Alamogordo, Silver City, Hobbs, Roswell, Clovis, Lovington, Artesia, Grants, Deming, Belen, Carlsbad, Farmington, and Rehoboth.
The Heart Gallery of New Mexico is a CYFD program created to raise awareness about older foster children and sibling groups in protective custody who are ready for adoption. Talented photographers and videographers donate their time to create compelling and unique portraits of the children, which appear in exhibits across the state as well as in the online Heart Gallery on the CYFD website, http://www.heartgallerynm.org. New Mexicans interested in becoming adoptive or foster parents can call (800) 432-2075.