El Paso, TX Arts and Culture Overview

A Palette for the Arts

By Braxton Shoop on May 11, 2014 at 6:00 am EST
War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, NM

PHOTO CREDIT: Staff Photographer

El Paso is a hotbed for arts, thanks to the area’s inspiring historic sites, its numerous visual and music arts venues, and its public support for artistic endeavors.

Artspace Community

Artspace El Paso promises to create an arts incubator where artists can live, collaborate, and produce. The project entails 51 apartments, six commercial spaces, 49 parking spaces and areas for events.

Performing Arts

The Abraham Chavez Theatre is a 2,500-seat concert hall whose exterior resembles a sombrero and features a three-story glass entrance. Meanwhile, the UTEP Dinner Theater presents four fully staged musicals each season in an intimate dinner theater setting. Other local performing arts draws include the El Paso Symphony, UTEP Ballet, Scottish Rite Theater, and Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center.

Visual Arts

The International Museum of Art is a must-see for any art enthusiast, as is the El Paso Museum of Art, which includes the Samuel H. Kress Collection of works by artists from the 13th through 18th centuries such as Bellotto, de Ribera, Fontana, Murillo and van Dyck.


History buffs appreciate the El Paso Museum of History, El Paso Holocaust Museum and Magoffin Home State Historic Site. At the War Eagles Air Museum, 22 aircraft from World War II and the Korean conflict are displayed, along with a 1938 Packard automobile, M-38 Willy’s Jeep, and Vulcan tank. Other museums include the El Paso Museum of Archaeology at Wilderness Park, El Paso Railroad and Transportation Museum, Tigua Indian Cultural Center and the Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums.

Public Art Project

Twelve sculptures will be permanently installed throughout El Paso as part of a Twelve Travelers Memorial of the Southwestoutdoor art project. The sculptures will honor 12 visionaries who paved the way for El Paso’s proud heritage and cultural diversity. Three statues have been completed while a fourth – former Mexican president Benito Juarez – is in progress. Other travelers being considered include Pancho Villa, John Wesley Hardin, Teresa de Urrea and Bartolo Pique.


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