Denise Elia Chávez, a UNM alumna was presented with a Paul Re Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award. Paul Ré is an artist, writer, poet and peace worker who is recognized internationally for promoting world peace and harmony through his masterful art creations. Since 1972, he has shown how serene and elevating art can act as a model for living and can inspire us to find our inner depth and express it outwardly through good works. In keeping with these ideals, the Paul Ré Peace Prize is given to the UNM student, faculty, staff member, alumnus or retiree who has promoted peace, harmony and understanding among people of the world, both from within or outwardly through tangible works. The award, administered by The University of New Mexico Foundation, is given biennially.
Denise Chávez, recipient of the award, is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, actor and teacher who focuses her writing and advocacy on the border corridor of southern New Mexico, West Texas and northern Mexico. Chávez co-founded the internationally renown Border Book Festival which focused the public’s attention on books and art and their power to heal and transform the world. She is now focused on archiving and preserving the history of the region through the development of Museo de La Gente/Museum of the People, an arts residency center, resource library, workshop, exhibit space and venue for multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-ethnic literary, literacy, music and arts events for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.