Harlingen's Art and History Scene Is Rich Indeed
Harlingen's culture is rich in opportunities to appreciate fine art, music and the beauty and history of the Rio Grande Valley.
Visual Arts and History
When downtown Harlingen streets needed a bright makeover, community groups worked together to establish the Harlingen Mural Project in 2003. Bringing eye-catching art to the community, the murals depict a vast array of Harlingen-specific themes, such as successful business relationships, Mexican and Mexican-American folk art and mythology and recreational activities, to name a few.
The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum displays changing arts and culture exhibits. It also includes the home of Harlingen founder Lon C. Hill, the Paso Real Stagecoach Inn, Harlingen's first hospital and the Historical Museum, which houses a permanent collection of Harlingen- and Texas-themed historical objects and photos.
The Harlingen art scene thrives at the Harlingen Art Forum & D'Arte Centre. The Art Forum is a group of artists dedicated to the promotion of visual arts and education in the community. It also operates the D'Arte Center, which showcases a variety of exhibits, manages the Beachcombers Fine Art Show every July, and offers classes for all ages and skill levels. It hosts meetings on art topics of interest, and is a place where artists can show and sell their work.
The Harlingen Public Library is no ordinary library: it houses the largest permanent art collection in the Rio Grande Valley. Throughout the 45,000-square-foot building, patrons may enjoy paintings, fine sculpture and interesting architecture.
The Harlingen Performing Arts Theatre strives to not only entertain, but also to increase the interest and development of performing arts and culture awareness. The theater showcases local and professional productions, a concert series featuring a variety of musicians, and for those who want to be a part of the show there are auditions and volunteer opportunities.
The South Texas Chorale has been providing music to Harlingen for more than 15 years and is most noted for its annual Christmas concert. Conducted by Dianne Brumley, the chorale's mission is to enhance the culture and community environment in the Rio Grande Valley.
Festivals and Events
The famous Rio Grande Birding Festival lures thousands of visitors each year to view dozens of bird species, bringing environmental awareness to the community. The Extravaganza Folklorica ethnic festival features students dressed in original costumes from the states of Mexico and traditional dance performances from Mexico and Argentina. At Jackson Street Market Days downtown, shoppers enjoy browsing antiques, collectibles, fresh produce and more the first Saturday of every month. And for food lovers, Taste of Harlingen offers an assortment of foods, a silent auction, music and entertainment. For more events, visit the City of Harlingen.