ALBUQUERQUE, NM- Eva Encinias Sandoval, director of the National Institute of Flamenco (NIF) recently announced that after 22 years of continuous production, Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque will be suspended in 2009.

The ten-day event features 50 artists from Spain presenting 10 performances and 30+ workshops within all disciplines of the art form. Students from all over the world travel to Albuquerque every June to experience this unique event. In 2007, Festival Flamenco was distinguished in Spain as one of the most important flamenco festivals in the world, and second to no other in the United States.

Encinias Sandoval said, “Although there have been some faithful supporters of this event, including the University of New Mexico’s Center for Regional Studies and Department of Theatre and Dance, the City of Albuquerque, as well as the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the rising cost of artist fees, immigration, travel, and the increasing value of the euro against the dollar are all factors in the dilemma we face.”

The NIF considered downsizing the festival to accommodate the rising costs, but ultimately determined that it would result in compromising the Festival’s status as a world class event. The NIF has no intention of giving up the tradition of Festival Flamenco permanently, and plans to present the Festival again in 2010.

The National Institute of Flamenco, a 501c3 non-profit, founded in 1982 operates several programs within its structure, including: The National Conservatory of Flamenco Arts; Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company; Alma Flamenca; Niños Flamencos; and Flamenco Kids Camp.

“The support of our community is necessary to reestablish Festival Flamenco as one of our most unique New Mexican traditions,” Encinias Sandoval said. For more information on how to get involved, contact the National Institute of Flamenco at 505-242-7600.