Albuquerque, NM – The Visit Albuquerque welcomes The Arc of the United States for its annual convention themed "Telling Our Story - Weaving Our Future" November 5-8, 2008. The Arc is the world’s largest community based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. More than 700 attendees will come together at the Albuquerque Convention Center this week.

The event will kick off on Thursday afternoon, November 6th from 1-3pm with Geraldo Rivera as the opening plenary speaker. Rivera, host of “Geraldo at Large” on the FOX News Channel, began his career as a reporter at WABC-TV in . While there, he presented a story series that exposed the deplorable conditions at the for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which led to a government investigation. During his presentation, he will discuss highlights of his career covering national news.

Attendees from across the country will also be treated to a host of activities that showcase ’s unique culture. The opening dinner event will be themed around Rt. 66. The group will also visit several attractions:

  • The Unser Racing Museum will host the group on Thursday, November 6th from 10am – noon. Al Unser will be on hand to mingle with the participants.
  • On Friday, November 7th from noon – 3pm Blue Plate Special will offer a Red or Green? Cooking Class to showcase Friday evening from 5:30-9pm “The Arc Nation Pow Wow” will take place at the with Native American flutist and New Mexican cuisine.
  • Children will visit Explora during afternoon kids’ activities on Friday afternoon from 1-5pm.

 Special of Media Interest

The Arc is pleased that visionary filmmaker Scott Cooper will be displaying a project called “It’s Our Story” that he has been working on for three years. Cooper has been traveling the country gathering video interviews with people of the disability community to compile them into a huge display. The display is a 12’ x 9’ flag with “story sticks” representing each of the individual stories he has gathered to date. The backing of the huge flag billows in the wind creating a dramatic display. There are additional panels that show pictures of some of the interviewees and the story behind the project. The project goal is to capture the stories of the disability community and the long fight for disability rights. Learn more about the project at Cooper will be in through November 9th. The display will be set up in Ballroom A & B at the Albuquerque Convention Center West Complex.