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Tag Archives: MCAD

35th Season of Music Under the Stars Seeking Musicians

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is now accepting applications for Music Under the Stars, the City’s annual free summer concert series.

“Music Under the Stars is a summertime tradition with so many El Paso families, and we are proud to present these free concerts as part of the city’s commitment to enhancing El Paso’s quality of life,” said MCAD Production and Marketing Coordinator Ismael Acosta. “The city and its partners work to put together a diverse line-up of music from around the Southwest and the country that we hope everyone will enjoy.”

Music Under the Stars is a free outdoor concert series held between the months of June and July in collaboration with the National Park Service at the Chamizal National Memorial and El Paso Live at Cohen Stadium.

Entering into its 35th season, the event is host to local, regional and national musicians of various musical genres.

Interested musicians may complete an application and submit samples of their work online. For more information, call the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department at (915) 212-1777.

The application period will be open through November 20.

Sun Pavilion Beautifies Blackie Chesher Park

Thursday, the City of El Paso Public Art Program of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) and Representative Claudia Ordaz, District 6, dedicated the newest public art project, Sun Pavillion, at Blackie Chesher Park.

Sun Pavilion, by David Dahlquist, turns a functional item into a work of art. This park shelter provides visitors a break from the El Paso sun while adding beauty to the park. It is inspired by the unique geographical character of El Paso.

The sun represents the connection between the people living in this region and their natural environment.

Sun Pavilion features a circular oculus that glows in a dynamic ring and moves shapes of light and shadow across the ground. The pavilion incorporates sun symbols found in Mesoamerican, Native American, American and Latino cultures.

The City of El Paso Public Art Program of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department worked closely with the members of the community to design, fabricate and install the site-specific artwork at Blackie Chesher Park, 1100 North Zaragoza.

Sun Pavilion was created using funding from the City of El Paso’s Public Art Program.

Since 2006, the City has dedicated two percent of every capital project to site-specific public art. More than 50 public art projects have been completed since the program was started.

New Public Art Project at Travis White Park Dedicated Thursday

The City of El Paso Public Art Program of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) and Representative Henry Rivera, District 7, dedicated the newest public art project, Wagon Sprouts, at Travis White Park.

MCAD worked closely with the members of the community to design, fabricate and install a site-specific artwork at Travis White Park, 1700 Wedgewood.

The sculpture is located on the hill across from the playground area, clearly visible from the road and will be gently illuminated at night.

Wagon Sprouts is artist Christopher Fennell’s interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk. The 24’ tall bean sprouts are constructed out of steel pipe and repurposed little red wagons.

The three sprouting beans create a gathering point where viewers can look up at the sprout leaves.

The art piece was created using funding from the City of El Paso’s Public Art Program. For ten years, the city has dedicated two percent of every capital project to site-specific public art. More than 50 public art projects have been completed since the program was started.

photo courtesy City of El Paso / Facebook

Director for El Paso Museum of History Selected

The City of El Paso and the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is pleased to announce Dr. David Grabitske has been selected as the new Director of the El Paso Museum of History.

“We are excited to have David join our leadership team. His knowledge and experience will be instrumental as we continue to grow and enhance our programming and exhibits at the Museum of History,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Director Tracey Jerome.

Dr. Grabitske comes to the El Paso Museum of History from the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minn. where he served as the State History Services Manager since 2007.

While at the Historical Society, Dr. Grabitske increased fundraising; enhanced collection management; and grew public programs attendance. He is nationally recognized in his field, is a sought after presenter and served on several national boards.

Dr. Grabitske is also a published author who wrote and co-authored four books and has published 117 scholarly articles. His 2012 book, Building Museums: A Handbook For Small and Midsize Organziations, was nominated for a 2013 Minnesota Book Award.

Dr. Grabitske holds a Doctor of Business Administration and a Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minneapolis. He received a Bachelor of Science in History from Minnesota State University.

The El Paso Museum of History exists for the educational benefit of the community and visitors. It promotes the understanding and significance of the rich, multicultural and multinational history of the border region known as the Pass of the North.

He will begin his new role as El Paso Museum Director at the end of July.

The MCAD selected Dr. Grabitske following an extensive recruitment and vetting process that included community stakeholders.

‘The Cloud’ Honored as One of the Outstanding Public Arts Projects in the Nation

The El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is proud to announce that The Cloud  art sculpture has been recognized as one of the nation’s Outstanding Public Arts Projects for 2016 by the Americans for the Arts.

The interactive sculpture, created by Donald Lipski, is one of 49 outstanding public art projects recognized through the Public Art Network’s Year in Review program.

The artwork for the Spur 1966 roundabout speaks to both motorists and pedestrians moving through the road and sidewalk that comprise the installation site. Inspiration for The Cloud was drawn from the iconic Bhutanese architecture used prominently throughout the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus. The artwork pays reverence to both the country of Bhutan, also known as the “Kingdom in the Clouds,” and to the City of El Paso’s open skies, which feature equally impressive cloud formations.

“In the past 10 years, El Paso’s public art program has installed iconic art pieces throughout the city. The goal of our program, and public art, is to reach everybody and bring art into public spaces. The Cloud floating over the UTEP campus has become a landmark for students as they walk through campus, as well as for citizens and visitors as they drive by I-10,” said Public Art Program Supervisor Aidee Cosme.

The artist spent months searching for a picture of the perfect cloud that was then rendered into individual, kinetic panels. Thousands of hinged, stainless steel flaps make up The Cloud. When wind fills the atmosphere, the flaps participate in a kinetic illusion mimicking the movement of actual clouds.

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, honors 49 outstanding public arts projects created in 2016 through the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. The works were chosen from entries from across the country and were recently recognized at Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco.

Downtown Art and Farmers Market celebrates Bike Month with Evening Market

The City of El Paso Museum and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) invites the community to a special evening market by the Downtown Art and Farmers Market to help kick-off month-long Bike Month festivities from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.

The evening market, in partnership with Velo Paso and EP Bike Month, will be held at the pedestrian pathway between Santa Fe and Durango. Visitors can enjoy music, dinner and dessert in the Food Truck Garden, and shop with local market vendors.

Velo Paso will be leading a “May the Fourth Be With You” Star Wars bicycle ride for visitors starting at 7 p.m. at the pedestrian pathway. Participants are encouraged to bring their own bicycles or rent one at one of the Suncycle stations in the Downtown Arts District.

“At the Market, we are working not only to encourage healthy lifestyle choices through access to fun programming, but also stimulate the economy through support of local artists and businesses,” said Downtown Art and Farmers Market Coordinator Valerie Venecia.

Additionally, the Downtown Art and Farmers Market will feature Bike Month related arts activities, workshops and safety clinics from 10 a.m. – noon each Saturday during May. The market is open from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays at the Anthony Street location.

For more information on the Downtown Art and Farmers Market, click HERE.

bike month poster

Museums and Cultural Affairs Department selects Director for El Paso Museum of Art

The City of El Paso and the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is pleased to announce that Dr. Victoria Ramirez has been selected as Director of the El Paso Museum of Art.

Dr. Ramirez was selected following an extensive recruitment process that included community stakeholders.

“The City of El Paso continues to enhance the leadership team for the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “This addition to the team follows the recent appointment of a Director for the Museum of Archaeology and demonstrates the City’s commitment to cultural services in our community.”

Dr. Ramirez comes to the El Paso Museum of Art from the Bullock Texas State History Museum where she has served as Director since 2013. While at the Bullock Museum, she restructured the organization to create more robust education, student visits, membership, visitor services, and increased attendance.

Under her direction, the Museum launched a new website featuring the award-winning Texas Story Project, an outreach initiative that seeks to engage a broader audience in the Museum. Dr. Ramirez’s work in integrating technology into the Museum has been recognized by the American Alliance for Museums, the Texas Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ramirez to the El Paso Museum of Art. She will continue the high quality programming our community and region have come to expect from this Museum and use her background and experience to take the Museum’s offerings to the next level,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Director Tracey Jerome.

Prior to joining the Bullock Museum, Dr. Ramirez served as director of education for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Before joining the Museum of Fine Arts in 1999, she served as curator of education with the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia.

She holds an Ed.D. with a focus on curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston, a M.A.T. in museum education and art history from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. in art History from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Ramirez will begin her new role on January 23, 2017.

MCAD: Chalk the Block 2016 Festival ‘Huge Success’

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) reports that this year’s Chalk the Block festival turned out to be a huge success with an estimated 36,000 people attending the event.

During the festival, the El Paso Museum of Art hosted 2,091 visitors, a 271% increase from the 564 visitors the previous weekend. On Saturday, 231 people worked on the mural in the C2 Gallery.

The El Paso Museum of History hosted 531 visitors, a 254% increase from the 150 visitors the previous weekend. Numerous visitors to CTB took the opportunity to explore the Digital Wall outside the Museum of History as well.

The wall had 171,490 individual touches during the CTB weekend compared to 47,359 the weekend before.

“Since this festival started nine years ago, it has been a way to consistently draw people to downtown El Paso,” said Assistant Director of Museums and Cultural Affairs Ben Fyffe. “The community and the region have embraced this festival and take advantage of every aspect of it from the chalk art to activities at the Museums of Art and History.”

Every October, thousands of people from El Paso and the surrounding region converge on Downtown El Paso to enjoy three days of art, music and entertainment at the Chalk the Block public art festival (CTB).

The festival creates a significant economic impact, with a projected $1 million pumped into the local economy during the CTB weekend.

Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Announces Cultural Funding for FY2017

The cultural funding program of the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is awarding $418,256 in support to 73 local non-profit cultural organizations and artists for performances, services and works throughout El Paso for the 2017 fiscal year.

The cultural funding program is a way for MCAD to directly invest in the arts, to foster cultural activity and build a vibrant creative community. Live performances by local actors and dancers, writing workshops, festivals in Downtown El Paso and new artworks are a few examples of the investments the City of El Paso is providing to the local creative community.

An example is Fab Lab El Paso, a non-profit organization specialized as a digital fabrication and makerspace. After seeing a need to reach the area’s youth, Fab Lab created Fab Kids, a design and makerspace for 8-14 year olds. With funding they received last year, they were able to offer this program for free.

“MCAD’s continued funding and support for 2017 means we will be able to increase capacity for workshops to purchase more materials and serve more participants in our new lab at Artspace in downtown El Paso. There are many cutting-edge ideas for artistic expression that we cannot wait to share; from drone-controlled splatter painting to fluorescent protein petri dish art!” said Creative Director of Fab Lab El Paso Cathy Chen.

Funded projects range from whole seasons of events by performing arts groups to teaching artist sessions in neighborhood spaces. MCAD annually grants out approximately a quarter of its Cultural Affairs Division budget to support arts and cultural activity geared towards El Pasoans and visitors.

Last year, supported organizations, artists and projects served approximately 400,000 El Pasoans and visitors in programming across the city.

The competitive grant making process entails an application review by a panel of community members. Since overhauling the process to foster greater openness in 2007, the program has awarded a total of $3.2 million to the local artistic community and been cited as a model of transparency by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Museums & Cultural Affairs Department names new leader of El Paso Museum of Archaeology

The City of El Paso and the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department announced Friday morning that Jeffrey K. Romney will be assuming leadership of the El Paso Museum of Archaeology.

Romney was selected following an extensive recruitment and vetting process, including community stakeholders. He will be at the Museum of Archaeology on August 1. This will be the first time in seven years the museum will have dedicated leadership to provide a clear focus on the goals and other opportunities available at the museum.

“We are excited that Jeff’s skills and leadership will help grow programming, stimulate fundraising to begin a new chapter at the Museum of Archaeology,” said Director Museum and Cultural Affairs Department Tracey Jerome.

Jeff has been Director of Development at the El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) since 2006. He has an extensive background in anthropology. He focused his studies on the southwest and received extensive training in collections care and management.

During his studies at BYU, he worked with the university’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures collection of Casas Grandes Ceramics, which he identified and catalogued. After he completed his degree in Anthropology at BYU, Jeff worked as a Museum Specialist at Wheeler Historic Farm in Salt Lake City.

Over the next two years, he oversaw the museum’s curatorial, registration, education and development programs supervising a staff of up to 50 individuals including tour guides, docents and teachers. He wrote the museum’s first tour guide manual and collection care and management policies manual.

Romney curated Living from the Land: Legacy of a Past Era which opened in March 1996 in conjunction with the State of Utah’s Sesquicentennial Celebrations. The exhibition received special commendation from the Utah State House of Representatives.

El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Issues Call to Artists

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is issuing a call to artists to design and create temporary window murals for the Art Crawl event that will be held by the Downtown Art and Farmers Market on August 4.

The Art Crawl will tour the Pop-Up Murals that will be painted at local downtown businesses.

“At the Market, we are encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle by shopping with our local growers, eating at local restaurants and being more active. This series of Art Crawls helps bring people to our downtown restaurants as well as providing an opportunity to local artists to display their work,” said Downtown Art and Farmers Market Coordinator Valerie Venecia.

Applications must be submitted by Monday, July 18. Interested artists may download an application HERE.

Artist Needed for Temporary Mural in Downtown El Paso

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department is issuing a call for an artist or artist team to design and implement a temporary mural in the Downtown Arts District.

The project is open to artists living within a 150 mile radius of downtown El Paso. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2016. More information on the project and an application may be found on the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department website.

Project Description:

  • The temporary mural is intended to serve as a lively and inviting visual landmark for the Downtown Arts District with a theme that must promote the Downtown Arts District and focus on the arts and El Paso’s cultural heritage
  • The temporary mural will be located outdoors on W. Missouri Avenue, along the north facing façade of the El Paso Museum of History – visible to pedestrians
  • Mural Wall dimensions are 30 feet in length and 6 feet in height with a working surface area of 30’ in length by 5’10” in height; 175 square feet in total (selected artist is responsible for on-site measurements).

The vision of the El Paso Downtown Arts District is to stimulate the artistic and cultural life of the region by providing a lively space for arts and cultural events. The El Paso Downtown Arts District is comprised of 16 museums, presenting venues, green-spaces, festival footprints, cultural organizations, historic facilities and tourist amenities within a 19-block footprint.

Additionally, the Downtown Arts District oversees a competitive funding program called KickstART Downtown for recurring festivals and events downtown.

El Paso’s MCAD Accepting Cultural Funding Program Applications

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is accepting cultural funding program applications for the FY2017 cultural funding cycle.

“This program represents an active investment on the part of the City recognizing the impact that artists and arts programming make not only on El Paso’s quality of life, but economically as well,” Director of Museums and Cultural Affairs Tracey Jerome said.

Applications will be accepted through May 12 via the City’s online application system; however, all applicants must attend a mandatory orientation before they can submit an application. A schedule of workshops and updated cultural funding guidelines are available at www.elpasoartsandculture.org under the Arts Funding tab.

The cultural funding program is a way for MCAD to invest in the arts, to foster cultural activity and build a vibrant creative community. Each year, MCAD grants out approximately a quarter of its cultural affairs budget to support arts and cultural activity geared towards El Pasoans and visitors.

These programs provide operational support, community art programs and directly fund local artists, as well as fostering and developing festivals.

Last year, supported organizations, artists and projects served approximately 550,000 El Pasoans and visitors in programming across the city. Since overhauling the process to foster greater openness in 2007, the program has awarded a total of $2.8 million to the local artistic community and been cited as a model of transparency by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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