There’s always something exciting happening at the Museum of International Folk Art! Join us for our many programs listed below.

Kabuki Performance and Demonstration
Performance Lectures and Talks Featured Event

Kabuki Performance and Demonstration

November 5, 2023
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Join us to celebrate our wildly popular exhibition Yōkai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan before it closes, MOIFA present a special Kabuki demonstration performance by Nakamura Gankyō (AKA Kirk Kanesaka). Kabuki theatre (歌舞伎, かぶき) is a classical form of Japanese theatre, mixing dramatic performance with traditional dance. Gankyō studied Kansai Kabuki acting at Shochiku Kamigata Kabuki Jyūku, in Osaka, one of the two Kabuki schools in Japan. The Preformance will include a scene of ’The Heron Maiden (Sagi Musume)’ and Highlights from ’The Babysitter and the Three Masks (Mitsumen Komori)’. This event on Sunday, November 5, marks the last day to visit the exhibition, Yōkai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan.

To request ASL interpretation for this event, contact Patricia Sigala by November 1st at:

 We are thrilled to welcome Nakamura Gankyō (AKA Kirk Kanesaka) to Santa Fe for thh first time. Upon graduation, Gankyō was accepted into the Chikamatsu-za Troop as its youngest member, and apprenticed to the late National Living Treasure Sakata Tōjūrō IV. He was the first non-Japanese citizen to be accepted into the professional ranks of kabuki in the theater’s history. Gankyō earned his Ph.D. from UCLA in Japanese literature and was a Fulbright Scholar (2013-2015) at Waseda University and Tokyo University. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at California State University San Bernardino.

  • 1:00 Opening Remarks & Brief Introduction to The Heron Maiden 
    • The Heron Maiden (Sagi Musume) Performance: Gankyō in costume
    •  Brief  Introduction to Mitsumen Komori
  • 1:40 Highlights from Mitsumen Komori (The Babysitter and the Three Masks): Gankyō not in costume
    •  Mini Lecture and Active Participation: The making of an onnagata
    •  Questions and Answers

Gidayū Sagi Musume / Gidayū “The Heron Maiden” 

The Gidayū genre of “The Heron Maiden” first debuted in 1809 as one of four songs that comprise the collection entitled The Popular Celebrations of the Four Seasons (Hanakurabe Shiku no Kotobuki).  “The Heron Maiden” is the last of the four songs representing Winter.  

 The scene starts on a distant hillside, a stark figure walks along the shores of a frozen lake amidst the falling snowflakes.  At first glance, the lone figure seems to be a young bride, but as we soon discover, her movements are those of a bird.  In reality, it is the heron who has shape-shifted into the form of a young maiden.  Shunned by its mate, the heron yearns to be  loved once again, thus transforming itself into a bride.  With this quick change, the heron as the maiden, recalls the joyous times spent with her mate, before transforming back into her original form.  Still surrounded by the swirling snow, she waits for the new year, with the hopes of a new love budding from the frozen ground. 

The Maiden, in reality, the Heron:     Nakamura Gankyō (AKA Kirk Kanesaka) 

Assistant:                                             Bandō Hiroyukiya     

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A Village in Bali and Its Painters, a lecture by Anne Frej
Featured Event Lectures and Talks Members-only Friends of Folk Art (FOFA)

A Village in Bali and Its Painters, a lecture by Anne Frej

November 5, 2023
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Join the Friends of Folk Art for a lecture and slide show by Anne Frej.  Anne will provide an inside look at the unique painting style of Batuan, a small village in Bali, Indonesia. As background, she will give an overview of the development of modern painting in Bali in the 1920s and 1930s, as the first generation of Bali painters made the transition from rice farmers to painters. Her focus on the painters of Batuan will be a personal narrative of the painters she got to know there and the stories behind their paintings. The techniques and styles, as well as inspirations will be discussed.

This lecture is for FOFA members ONLY.  FOFA members will receive an invitation by email which will include all the details. A single membership allows access to one ticket. A dual membership allows for two tickets.

For information on joining FOFA, a membership group of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, please click here.

For questions, please email

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Zulu Weaving, Zulu Culture, & the Global Imagination
Lectures and Talks Featured Event

Zulu Weaving, Zulu Culture, & the Global Imagination

November 11, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

An immersive celebration of South African Zulu weaving and vibrant culture featuring presentations and conversation between Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi and Dr. Elizabeth Perrill.

Dr. Mhlambi will be presenting his body of work called “Zulu Song Cycle.” Unlocking cultural ties, Zulu Song Cycle is, in part, a compilation of songs that draw on the spirits and cultural legacy of the KwaZulu-Natal region.

Dr. Perrill will be discussing her approach to art historical and contemporary research in South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal. Based in life-history methodologies, Perrill’s work has been grounded in conversations with isiZulu-speaking artists since 2003. She will discuss how this work informs her curatorial practice and the collaborative film project that was undertaken this summer in and around the Durban metropolitan area. 

This event is in anticipation of the Museum of International Folk Art’s upcoming fall 2024 exhibition iNgqikithi yokuPhica / Weaving Meanings: Telephone Wire Art from South Africa.

The first major exhibition of telephone-wire art in any North American museum, Weaving Meanings brings together several significant collections generously donated to the museum by David Arment. Guest curator Dr. Elizabeth Perrill, one of the world’s foremost experts on Zulu ceramics, brings to the project over 15 years of experience collaborating with artists in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and 25 years of engaged research in Southern Africa.

Learn more about the project here: 

FREE with RSVP to Eventbrite at:

To request ASL Interpretation contact Patricia Sigala by November 6 at:

Dr. Thokozani Mhlambi is a musician and cultural thinker who has a strong sense of community and how the local and global connect. Building artistic visions using an internationalist methodology, Mhlambi uses his art and exhibitions in order to convey African stories and philosophies. He has been a visiting artist at Cite Internationale Des Arts in Paris and at universities in Germany, Finland, and Brazil. Mhlambi recently returned from an Artist Fellowship at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, where he was developing new work using ancient Zulu idioms. 

Dr. Elizabeth Perrill is a professor of art histories at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The author of two monographs, Zulu Pottery (2012) and Burnished: Zulu Ceramics between Urban and Rural South Africa (2022), Perrill has been working in South Africa, and specifically KwaZulu-Natal province since 2004, where she is currently leading a Modern Endangered Archives Project grant sponsored through the UCLA libraries and Arcadia, a London-based charitable foundation.

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Docent Guided Tour
Featured Event

Docent Guided Tour

November 28, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Join us on the 1st FREE Sunday of the month for a docent tour of Alexander Girard’s Multiple Visions: A Common Bond. ASL interpretation is available by request.

To request ASL Interpretation for the tour, email Patricia Sigala by November 28 at:

The 1st Sunday of every Month is FREE for New Mexico Residents 

Additional Dates:

  • January 7th 

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Winter Open House at Southside Library

Winter Open House at Southside Library

November 28, 2023
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Join us to celebrate the season, and say adiós to Xólotl: Dios Perro, a monumental alebrije sculpture by Óscar Becerra Mora.

  • Live Jazz Music
  • Crafts for All Ages
  • Refreshments

Southside Library | 6599 Jaguar Dr, Santa Fe, NM 87507

This event was made possible with the support of the Museum of International Folk Art, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library and the City of Santa Fe.

Xólotl: Dios Perro, has been on display at the Southside Library as part of a three way collaboration between the Museum of International Folk Art, The Mexican Cultural Center in Denver, and the Santa Fe Public Library. The installation of Xólotl: Dios Perro was generously funded by the Friends of Folk Art. 

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