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The 8 Best Places for Art and Culture in Los Alamos, NM

Discover the best ways to get your fill of culture and creativity in Los Alamos.

By Jessica Walker Boehm on June 13, 2016

Dance Arts Los Alamos
Los Alamos / Courtesy of Larry Lamsa under a CC 2.0 license.

To put it simply, Los Alamos is perfect for anyone who appreciates quality art and entertainment. The community has dance and theater groups that showcase their skills throughout the year, and it includes art galleries, museums and creative public art displays. Plus, there’s almost always a concert or an art-focused event taking place.

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1. Los Alamos Creative District

Located in the city’s downtown area, the Los Alamos Creative District is New Mexico’s only designated creative district. It’s home to inspiring destinations like the Los Alamos History Museum and Bradbury Science Museum, and it hosts special programs such as Fourth Fridays, which are monthly events that include all-day activities and evening programming at area attractions. The district also puts on Tuesdays at the Pond events that feature live music and entertainment at Ashley Pond.

2. Dance Arts Los Alamos

Express yourself through creative movement at Dance Arts Los Alamos, where students of all ages and abilities can take classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and other styles of dance. Prefer to watch rather than perform? DALA dancers put on The Nutcracker each year during the holiday season, and in the springtime, they take the stage to dance in productions like Hansel and Gretel and Swan Lake.

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3. Fuller Lodge Art Center

Admire works created by some of the area’s most talented artists at Fuller Lodge Art Center, which is part of the Los Alamos Creative District, or take an art class and design your own masterpiece. The venue hosts summer art camps for kids, with classes available in woodworking, painting, drawing, fiber arts and filmmaking, and it includes a shop with handmade items created by more than 100 local and regional artists.

4. Los Alamos Little Theatre

The Los Alamos Little Theatre, a not-for-profit community theater group, entertains audiences throughout the year at the Performing Arts Center. Actors have performed in plays and musicals like Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Carol: Scrooge & Marley, The Importance of Being Earnest and Little Shop of Horrors, and each season typically comprises five to six shows. Want to participate? Auditions are open to the public each season.

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5. Los Alamos Light Opera

Although the Los Alamos Light Opera only puts on a show every couple of years, it’s worth the wait. The nonprofit group performs in musical theater productions at the Duane W. Smith Auditorium, with past shows including Young Frankenstein, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods and Annie Get Your Gun. LALO has been a community staple since it was established in 1943, bringing the best of Broadway to Los Alamos.

6. New Mexico Dance Theater

The New Mexico Dance Theater offers classes in creative ballet, creative jazz, hip hop, flamenco, tap and more, and students perform in at least two shows each year. NMDT’s performance academy, which is made of up intermediate and advanced pre-professional dancers, also entertains audiences, taking the stage at the Duane W. Smith Auditorium to perform in productions like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland.

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7. Concerts

It’s easy to enjoy live music in Los Alamos, thanks to the many talented musicians who perform in the community year-round. The Los Alamos Concert Association is also to thank, as its members work to draw performers from around the globe, such as the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra. The annual Los Alamos Summer Concert Series also offers opportunities to listen to live music, with bands putting on free shows at various places around the county on Friday nights from late May until early September.

8. Public Art Across the Community

Artwork is scattered throughout Los Alamos, with more than 90 creations on display for the public to enjoy. Examples include Joe Barrington’s Brown Trout metal installation at Ashley Pond, Jean Constant’s Dynamics of Colors print at Mesa Public Library and Glenn Rigg’s Water in Motion glass creation at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.

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