Paseo Project Introduces the Janet Webb Community Engagement Award
Paseo Project creates annual award in recognition to founding board member
In the fall of 2013 a small group of art enthusiasts gathered at Webb Design to talk about community and art. The PASEO was quickly created and within six months, the community was invited out into the streets of Taos to enjoy interactive projection, performance, and installation art. Janet Webb, who hosted that first meeting, served on the PASEO festival team for three years, and continued on as a board member for another five years. Janet Webb stepped down from the board in the spring of 2021. In recognition of her dedication, the Paseo Project team is proud to announce the annual Janet Webb Community Engagement Award.
To be awarded every year to a participating PASEO festival artist, the Janet Webb Community Engagement Award recognizes a female artist who contributes to Taos through creative, inspiring, and inclusive artwork and community programming. The PASEO is centered on transforming community with art and art with community. This award honors the artists carrying on this tradition, a value Janet Webb has held during her many years of supporting the arts in Taos. The award recipient will receive $500, public acknowledgement across Paseo Project platforms and materials, and special recognition at an annual ceremony.
“I’m so grateful for Janet’s support in The PASEO,” says Matt Thomas, Executive Director of The Paseo Project. “I really don’t think the PASEO would be where it is today without her trust, support, and belief in the idea and the people running it. Janet has been there every step of the way, consulting with us on marketing, community engagement, and connecting us with community minded people and organizations. Her contributions will be felt for years to come. We are excited to create this award, to inspire the next generation of art lovers to keep the spirit alive.”
No stranger to the world of art, Janet Webb has created and served on a number of councils, groups, and businesses. From graphic design to the promotion of the arts, Janet’s passion for the arts has helped make Taos a better community for all who live in it. In 2018, Janet was named a Taos News Unsung Hero.
For 2021, The Paseo Team is excited to award the inaugural Janet Webb Community Engagement Award to Amber Vasquez Thomas. Amber has participated in nearly every PASEO festival, since its inception in 2014. Amber was a professional modern dancer for 10 years with internationally-known dance companies and has been running her own dance school since 2005 creating an integrative arts program for school children entitled “Dance and Learn” teaching school standards though dance and music.
Currently, Amber is director of DanceWorx, a semi-professional dance performance group based in Taos and acts as the early childhood program coordinator for Twirl Play and Discovery space. Amber is an avid promoter of the arts in Taos and she sits on the board of directors for the Academy of Performing Arts, the advisory board for UNM Kids Campus, and is a founding member of the board of ArtSoul. Amber has served on the Paseo Project board since 2019. She is managing the PASEO 2021 virtual Education Program, AND she was a scheduled PASEO 2021 artist, choreographing a new movement piece titled Emerge with her former students.
While a formal ceremony for Janet and Amber had to be cancelled along with the 2021 PASEO Festival, a future celebration of their contributions to our community will be announced soon.