Episode 4: Road to 100% Docu-Series
In this episode, Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello delve into “The Road to 100% (New Mexico)” docu-series, which takes you on a journey through New Mexico counties adopting the 100% New Mexico Initiative. Learn how these communities are working to provide their residents with the ten vital services they need.
Introduction: The 100% Future podcast is committed to designing communities where everyone thrives. In Episode 4, host Rubina Cohen speaks with Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello to discuss their compelling docu-series, “The Road to 100% (New Mexico).” This series takes you on a journey through New Mexico counties as they embrace the 100% New Mexico Initiative, aiming to ensure every community member has access to the ten vital services they need to thrive.
Inspiration from Anthony Bourdain: Dominic Cappello shares how the idea for the docu-series was inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s exploration of culture through food and people. The team recognized that they were doing something similar by advocating for innovation, courage, and change in communities.
Capturing the Magic of Convenings: Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney emphasizes the importance of capturing the magic that happens during the initiative’s convenings, including mural events, conferences, and summits. The docu-series effectively conveys the energy and spirit of these events, showcasing the community’s commitment to thriving.
The Magic of Murals: Dominic Cappello recounts the magical experience of creating the first mural in Rio Arriba County. The mural project brought people of all ages together to paint a powerful message of inclusion and unity. Katherine mentions the pride and cultural significance of the mural in Española.
Summits and Community Connection: Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello share the excitement and energy that radiates from the initiative’s summits. These events bring community members together, fostering new connections and partnerships. The docu-series captures this energy and excitement.
Diffusion of Innovation: Dominic emphasizes the importance of the diffusion of innovation in the initiative, with counties inspiring each other to take on various projects. The docu-series documents this process, showcasing the remarkable growth of the movement.
Empowering Communities: Rubina Cohen highlights the empowerment and accountability of communities in the initiative. Counties have the freedom to choose their projects, and this empowerment creates a sense of pride and ownership.
The 100% Brand: The hosts discuss the power of the “100%” brand, a symbol of the movement that signifies a commitment to thriving communities. They emphasize that this brand is driving real change at the government level.
Accessing the Docu-Series: The docu-series can be accessed on the 100% New Mexico website at https://www.100nm.org. The website provides a map showing the locations of the murals across New Mexico, allowing you to explore the initiative’s progress.
Conclusion: The 100% Future podcast continues to be a source of inspiration and insights for those committed to designing thriving communities. “The Road to 100% (New Mexico)” docu-series showcases the journey of New Mexico counties toward adopting the 100% New Mexico Initiative. Access the series on the website and stay engaged with the movement on social media. Join the initiative, and let’s work together to create a 100% future for all.
RELEVANT LINKS & RESOURCES
Episode 4 Transcript
Transcript edited for clarity.
Intro [00:00:01] There’s no reason for people in a society as wealthy, resourced, and technologically advanced as this one to not be thriving. Every crisis we are exposed to hourly is completely predictable and preventable. If we connect to a shared vision of everyone thriving. Surviving the day is just not acceptable anymore when we know that thriving is actually possible. Welcome to the 100% Future podcast, where Dr. Katherine Ortega, Courtney, Dominic Cappello, and me, Rubina Cohen as your host, share insights, action plans, and inspire you weekly to take bold action in designing thriving communities for all.
Rubina Cohen [00:00:49] Welcome back, everybody. I am in the studio with Dominic Cappello and Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney. We are back for another episode of 100% Future and today I want to talk about this amazing project, an initiative that both of you have been working on, which is this docu-series called “The Road to 100% (New Mexico).” And I would love for either of you to jump in and talk about why you’re doing it and what you’ve learned so far from doing this great project.
Dominic Cappello [00:01:26] Well, truth be told, I saw (the chef) Anthony Bourdain. And I talked to Katherine, who also has friends who are fans of the whole Anthony Bourdain video series—which he has many (of).
Rubina Cohen [00:01:38] Yeah.
Dominic Cappello [00:01:39] And I thought how interesting that he goes around the world learning about cooking and people and culture. And I talked to Katherine about it. I said, “Well, don’t we do that, too? We’re talking to people about innovation, being champions, and being courageous.” And I thought, “We are on the road, we’re visiting our… 33 counties here in New Mexico… So it’s a road trip”.
Rubina Cohen [00:02:06] That’s awesome.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:02:08] And for me, what was so important was capturing (some) of the magic of our convenings. So our mural events, conferences, and summits that the counties put on… I really feel like that’s where the magic of this initiative takes place. And even though we’re writers, it’s hard to capture that in words. And the video series captures that energy in ways that are hard to describe.
Rubina Cohen [00:02:35] Well, that’s interesting. Talk more about these like these things, the pieces that you mentioned that equate to the magic that is being created in this community. Like why does a community do a mural and what is the summit like? Talk a little bit more about that.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:02:52] Dom, talk about the first mural because that really was an unexpectedly magical piece of this initiative.
Dominic Cappello [00:03:00] Yes, for me personally, that may be the most magical moment thus far, and there have been many magical moments in this initiative. We were working in Rio Arriba County and had been working a lot, trying to generate dialogue, (and) get involved with ongoing dialogue. And one of our colleagues there, Diego López
,—who is an artist and comes from an artist(ic) family—said that he felt that we needed to do something slightly different in Rio Arriba county. We needed to use art and reach out to the art community. And he was the one who thought a mural would be a wonderful way to bring people together. And so he organized our first 100% mural project and got some very interesting art, some interesting ideas, (and) organized people. I think it was over three weekends that they painted it. And I went to one of those events where there were people of all ages there painting–grandparents, parents, children. It’s exactly what you want to see in a community event. And what was interesting about what they chose, one of the images on the big wall was just a giant 100%, which was great to see. And Diego said. “We talked about it and we just want to make the statement that everyone’s in, nobody’s out. But then the other image they wanted to do was an image from our book Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras. They wanted to paint a giant three-headed hydra on the wall. That was quite something. And Katherine, remember when we went to the convening, that was really quite incredible.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:04:55] It was just great. And honestly, the mural in Española where I grew up is one of the things I’m most proud of in my entire career. (I’m proud) that it has the hydras, which is from our book, and it says 100% Spaña. And it has become an Instagram thing. People will go park their lowriders under the 100% Spaña mural (take a photo) and post it all over the place. So it’s really become part of the city.
Rubina Cohen [00:05:23] I love that.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:05:23] …(it’s) part of the culture there and I think it captures so beautifully the culture in Española. And the mural event, we had musicians there, we had poetry. It was just such a great thing to see people come together to celebrate art and our culture and the idea that 100% of people in this community can thrive. It was just incredible.
Dominic Cappello [00:05:49] Right. And we had our videographer there, which was fantastic. And again, this goes back to our documentary. It was so wonderful to capture all of that and interview people. And I think that also beyond Anthony Bourdain,I think that also was part of the spark of the work. We’ve got to capture this because what we’re doing has never been done in the United States before. There is no strategy—a statewide strategy—to address the adverse social determinants of health, meaning lack of services. So what we’re doing has never been done. And so it’s a grand experiment that needs to be documented. It has to get out there. So that generates more dialogue.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:06:39] And documenting the summits, which is a different kind of event and this is more for the people who are involved in the initiative to come together, talk about what they’re doing, talk about their surveys that show the (service) barriers in the communities, what do we do about it, which sounds really boring, right? When I’m talking about that, it’s like, “eh well…” If you videotape it, the energy in that room, seeing the excitement in people’s eyes when they get this vision of, “Wow, our community really can thrive”. Capturing on video turned out to be such a brilliant idea. And our first video that we did of a summit was for (the 100%) Socorro (initiative).
Dominic Cappello [00:07:21] Right.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:07:21] And it turned out that they were able to use (the Road to 100% Socorro video) to get people involved in the initiative, right, Dom?
Dominic Cappello [00:07:25] Yeah, it was. It’s used for recruitment.
Rubina Cohen [00:07:28] That’s great. it seems like there’s ceremony behind initiating this within a community and then documenting that to be able to help them celebrate that they took this big initiative (on). It’s like celebrating these counties, these communities for taking this big, bold step to getting to thriving, not just surviving, but thriving communities, which is what I love about it. And then it’s just another way for people to connect to the larger message. You know, we have all these great channels to get information out, but video is one of the most powerful, most impactful ways to communicate what’s happening, because you can kind of be there with them…
Dominic Cappello [00:08:16] Right.
Rubina Cohen [00:08:17] …when we’re doing it with video. So I love that you all are doing that. Share some other things that you’ve gotten from doing the docu-series, like you guys working together. (It’s) different to have it all documented via video? Right now we’re on audio (so) talk a little bit about your experience and the fun and the challenge behind it as well.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:08:41] It’s so much fun and I think one of the best parts about it is that kind of forces us to go really see the town (and) go kind of check out the different places. When we were in Socorro, we went to a high school football game, which was hilarious and awesome. It was one of my favorite things we’ve ever done. We would never have gone to a high school football game in a town where we don’t have any connections to the football players. But to see the excitement, that was what was important to that town on that day and the whole community was there. So our partners said we need to go to this football game if we really want to capture this community. And (videographer) Vlad does such an amazing job of capturing the beauty of these communities. And I think that’s another thing I’m really proud of, (it’s) that it gives the people of Roswell or Socorro or Farmington an opportunity to show off how great their communities are.
Dominic Cappello [00:09:41] And (we) know that they use these videos—“The road to 100%”—when they are talking to lawmakers, when they go to city hall, county commissioner meetings, school board meeting, saying, “This is who we are. This is what we’re doing, this is our vision, this is our mission”. But as you said, Rubina, it’s powerful when you can see it, when you can feel it. And I think (for) our listeners, we’ve talked a little bit about our initiative in that we’re bringing ten sectors together that are normally never in the same room. You don’t get leaders of behavioral health care with leaders in transportation normally in the same room. And what we’re doing because we are getting ten vital services going, it’s really interesting to get all these different people together. And we capture that on the video as well. When you see our summit videos you’re looking at some working groups. And as Katherine said, this might sound a little boring, but I can tell you the summits are never boring. They’re electric. People are excited. And I think that people, especially these days, are hungry for vision, for mission, and for solutions. They are tired of doomscrolling. They’re tired of government leaders having no idea how to solve anything and what they see in our initiative (are) people working on real solutions in the real world.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:11:09] I think the other piece of that is connection…where people are connected with each other, connected with their community. And that is what’s so exciting about the summit. Like Dom said, it’s people who’ve never been in a room together all from the same community, all with a shared sort of mission or passion for doing community work and getting them in that room. It really does create this sort of magical moment where all of a sudden they’re finding new friends, new community partners, and it’s wonderful.
Rubina Cohen [00:11:43] That’s amazing. How inspiring is that to both of you… right now you have (around) 20 counties that are part of the New Mexico initiative?
Dominic Cappello [00:11:57] I think we’ve got two at the door knocking. So we’re 18 for sure. But two want to come in.
Rubina Cohen [00:12:02] Awesome. And then… the motivation to then bring in the next 13, right—to get all 33 counties to do this—How exciting is that? What I love, that you brought up, Dom, is that these (videos) are then used as not just like a feel-good docu-series, but these are actual assets that are used to help shape policy, to help make change at the governmental level. So they’re serving as these collateral and assets for communities to be able to use and showcase the work that they’ve been doing to continue to get funded. Right?
Dominic Cappello [00:12:41] Right. And funding is a big part of this. You know, we’re not just putting on workshops on childhood trauma. We’re building medical clinics, right? We’re expanding schools. We’re bringing in technology. Some of this is big stuff. But with city and county budgets in the millions, and a state budget in the billions, and federal budget in the trillions, we don’t lack money. We lack making children the number one priority. And I think these videos are really putting out the concept of 100%. Kathrine and I don’t really use the term, “That’s our brand,” I mean, that’s really our vision. But, you know, it is a brand and it’s a word, it’s a term that’s being used more and more in state government and in local government… and we’re hearing this all the time. So we’re hearing it being brought up. And I think that’s in no small part (due) to the summits, (and due) to the events, and of courses, (due) to documenting all of that work on video). So all of this works together to make essentially a movement, which is what this is at the end of the day. This is a movement.
Rubina Cohen [00:13:54] I agree. I think (that) 100% is a brand. It’s a symbol. It’s a symbol for the movement. It’s a symbol for change. It’s a symbol that is easy to get excited about, saying 100%. And that’s why bringing it back full circle to the mural and Rio Arriba, I could see why they wanted to just paint a really humongous 100% on their mural, which I think is so wonderful because you drive past that and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m in, I’m all in”. That commitment that you see it every single time. And asking that (“100%”)to be the symbol for our lawmakers and service providers that we’re all going to be all in for our children. I think that is huge. And that’s a brand that we all want to stand behind.
Dominic Cappello [00:14:45] Absolutely. And with a mural event, what people see is the wall. Right? They get the message. Now, what they’re not seeing are the weeks and weeks of lead-up. All those conversations, all those meetings with artists and non-artists coming together and talking about the mural, what it could mean, how we’re going to work together, and then the convening when we celebrate, and then afterwards. So there’s all kinds of human activity on either side of that completed mural that people don’t see but is really important. And so we also want to be capturing that and learning from that. And we’re an initiative that is being evaluated by the University of Chicago. So they want to know… what are you doing? How do you bring people together? How effective is the mural project? How effective is your road to 100% documentary as well as all your convenings, all your meetings, and everything? They want to measure everything because we need to know… are we moving the needle (with) this is long-term work. As I keep saying, we’re not putting on a workshop, we’re actually getting buy-in. This… is a multiyear project. But there are little successes along the way that we have to capture.
Rubina Cohen [00:16:06] They feel like big successes to me. They’re little, but they’re so big too. The length of time that people have waited to have some sort of change and solution be presented in a way that’s this impactful. It feels like a pretty big success. Any other counties that stand out, in terms of their projects? Any other murals that you guys have witnessed that you want to just give our listeners a peek into?
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:16:41] The Taos mural was really fascinating because it took them… something like two years to get through the (local government) approval process because Taos has very strict rules on what buildings can have paint(ed mural) on them and stuff like that. So they had to go through some pretty hardcore committee approval to get permission. And the mural is just absolutely gorgeous. It was designed by an artist who’s from Taos Pueblo, and it is right smack next to the plaza in Taos. You cannot miss it. It’s fantastic. And just to see the dedication of that team because they could have easily given up or, (think) let’s go put the mural somewhere else. But they wanted it there, and they persisted, and they did it. And it’s incredible. But all of our murals have a great story. You know, Valencia County was our most recent one. And they had (a) very youth-driven (mural). They had a bunch of kids come and help paint. The 9mural has) little coyotes and roadrunners and stuff like that. So they all have the flavor of that community, which is another thing that I just really love about that whole project.
Dominic Cappello [00:17:59] I remember that there was some talk down in Doña Ana County. I heard there was a mural happening. I wasn’t quite sure. And at one point, I think I got a postcard with a picture of the mural on it. I’m thinking, “Wait, how fast is this happening?” And they had designed a beautiful mural with the words “100% Community” on all kinds of figures (of people). I’m actually looking at it right now on my computer screen. I wish our viewers could see it. But again, what’s happening (with this is), I think in the world of academics, they call this “diffusion of innovation”… one group does it, another group sees it, they do it. They improve on it. It’s an iterative process. So we have enough counties going now where everyone is being inspired by everyone else and so actually Katherine and I can’t always keep up. I mean, we eventually do, but… “Oh, you’re putting on a summit, Oh, and by the way, we’re we’re supposed to be there? Okay, we’ll be there.” But that’s good news, right? Katherine? Are we pleasantly overwhelmed?
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:19:03] Yeah!
Dominic Cappello [00:19:03] There are 18 counties representing 80% of the state’s population all involved in this thing. And we’re a tiny little group here. But the point being that it’s very exciting. And even the evaluators talk about diffusion of innovation and wanting to track that, wanting to see how did this great idea, move from that county to this county to that county and then what changes were made. This is pretty exciting stuff for a state to take on. And as I have said a few times, no other state is doing this (as systems change). Other states could certainly do (work related to our work). But, I think in New Mexico, we could be really proud that we’ve got a model that is actually working.
Rubina Cohen [00:19:52] Totally proud. Yes… So one of the things that you brought up, you said, “All of our murals” and so (does) every county does a mural?
Dominic Cappello [00:20:03] Eventually.
Rubina Cohen [00:20:05] Okay. That’s awesome.
Dominic Cappello [00:20:06] I mean, it’s on their list. They have a list of about seven activities that we are encouraging them with. And we also should stress that this is locally driven. We have a book, we have a blueprint (to guide the initiative), but it’s all a “serving suggestion”. And counties tell us what they want to do. Some of them felt like a mural was the thing they had to do. Otherwise, we’re like getting a summit up and running here. And others (said), “You know what? We want to do a book club for a year and get lots of people reading first”. And what’s been interesting is it all works. There is no one way or right way to do this. But there is a list (of the initiative’s seven steps), and people are finding that if they do all of it over a few years, really magical things happen.
Rubina Cohen [00:20:51] Well, the whole process seems like… you’re empowering all of these individuals. Like you said, you’re not forcing anybody. And so when that (empowerment) is the focus, most of the time, it does flow beautifully like that. And the results are greater than what you could have ever planned on your own.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:21:12] Exactly.
Rubina Cohen [00:21:12] And so empowering these people, there’s an accountability, there is a pride that everybody can take (from) being a part of it. And so it’s just such a beautiful thing to be able to just hand the keys over and say, this is yours. Like you get to do this. And then they’re like, wow, yeah, this is my community. I’m going to do this. And so that’s what I love about this process. It’s about our communities, our people, and they get to do the work. And you guys get to celebrate them, having given them the tools and all of the things they need to be able to work through and figure out solutions for their community. So that’s exciting. Okay, so share, where are we in the docu-series? When can people expect to start seeing more and how do they get access to it?
Dominic Cappello [00:22:05] Oh, my gosh. Well, if you go to our website, which is at 100nm.org. (They) can use the menus that get you to murals, and you’ll see the videos there. So that’s probably the best place to go.
Dr. Katherine Ortega Courtney [00:22:22] And there’s also a map that shows where all of the murals are. They don’t all have videos yet, but yeah.
Rubina Cohen [00:22:28] Okay, cool!
Dominic Cappello [00:22:31] Yes, a road trip there. You know, we have to get organized with the Department of Tourism and get the New Mexico mural road trip organized and promote it.
Rubina Cohen [00:22:40] Ooh, lots of. Yes. New cool things percolating here.
Dominic Cappello [00:22:45] Very cool things that we didn’t mention (are) that Kathrine and I, when we go to a city, we get to try new food. There is the art, there’s the food, there’s the people. So, yeah… I think we could talk about the 100% New Mexico Mural Road trip next summer.
Rubina Cohen [00:23:02] Nice. I love it. Okay. Well, thank you both again for being in the studio and sharing more about this amazing initiative. As you’ve heard, you can learn more by going to 100nm.org. And we will be back with you all again next week. See you later.
Dominic Cappello [00:23:20] Thank you.
Rubina Cohen [00:23:23] Join us on the road to 100% New Mexico Initiative at 100NM.org to learn more and get access to the podcast show notes. Want to stay more actively engaged with the movement, then follow us on Facebook at 100PercentNewMexico and on Instagram at 100percentnm. Until next time, let’s take bold action to create a 100% future for all.