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Home | Tag Archives: Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD)

Tag Archives: Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD)

MCAD announces hiatus for ‘Music Under the Stars’

Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) officials announced Wednesday that due to declining attendance numbers, Music Under the Stars would not be presented this summer. 

Via a news release, MCAD officials shared, “After 36 years, the outdoor program will go on an extended hiatus while the future of the program is reevaluated. The difficult decision was made following several years of declining attendance as well as budgetary challenges at the Chamizal National Memorial caused by funding cuts at the national level.”

MCAD officials added that attendance has decreased 96 percent during the past ten years, despite the addition of more touring and Grammy-winning headliners. At its height in the early 2000s, attendance averaged 12,500 people per concert.

In addition, last year, federal budget constraints for the National Park Service led to an abbreviated season that drew sparse attendance of a little more than 500 people per show.

The data, coupled with federal budget cuts that affect the National Parks Service/Chamizal have led the Museums and Cultural Department to reconsider the 2020 season.

“We are proud of our long history of showcasing El Paso’s talented local musicians as well as bringing nationally and internationally known artists to this concert series,” said Deputy City Manager of Quality of Life Tracey Jerome. “As entertainment options across El Paso increased, we started to see a decrease in this program that made it unsustainable at this time.”

While Music Under the Stars is going away, MCAD and the city still provide other free, outdoor concerts to the community, such as the Summer Concert Series at neighborhood parks organized by the Parks and Recreation Department, Cool Canyon Nights, and Alfresco Fridays.

For information on upcoming concerts and events, visit MCAD’s Facebook page.

Meeting set to discuss, display Public Art Piece at Polly Harris Senior Center

The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) will host a public meeting at the Polly Harris Senior Center, to present the public art piece that will be installed at the center.

The meeting is set for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 6, at 650 Wallenberg.

El Paso Artists Terry Wright and Katie Gelinas will create two mosaic tile murals at the center that highlight the mountains surrounding El Paso with a jackrabbit and a hummingbird among cacti.

The tiles that will be used in parts of the mosaic will be painted at the center during workshops that will be scheduled at a later time.

The art piece will be installed as part of an improvement project at the Senior Center that was funded through the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds.

WHO:             Museums and Cultural Affairs Department

WHAT:           Discussion on new artwork at the Polly Harris Senior Center

WHEN:           10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 6

WHERE:         Polly Harris Senior Center, 650 Wallenberg

El Paso City Council Adopts Annual Public Art Plan

On Monday, El Paso City Council adopted the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) annual Public Art Plan for the City of El Paso.

“The success of public art has allowed the city to enhance local communities and neighborhoods by creating visual landmarks and sources of inspiration, education and pride,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Director Tracey Jerome. “Local artists have also benefitted from the program by having their work selected or through participation in development programs that help them learn the skills they need to compete for public art projects.”

The annual plan presents an update on completed projects, as well as a breakdown of projects that are scheduled for the calendar year. The City sets aside 2 percent from every Capital Improvement Project budget to fund the Public Art Program.

Since its inception in 2006, the Public Art Program has completed 58 projects with another 32 in process. The program has worked with 123 artists of which 65% are local artists and has impacted 91 local businesses through its projects.

The Public Art Program has received seven (7) national awards and had been feature in six (6) national publications. The public art piece known as Marquise—created by Marc Fornes and located in front of the Westside Natatorium—is featured in the most recent issue of CODA Magazine, which highlights how art and design can transform public spaces that help drive placemaking.

Blackie Chesher Park’s Sun Pavilion by David Dahlquist and Matt Niebuhr received an award of merit for outstanding public spaces by CODAworx, which recognizes public art that integrates art into an interior, architectural or public space.

Projects currently in progress include the Dyer BRIO, Chamizal Recreation Center/Library, city entryways and the regional park in Far East El Paso.

The City’s public art inventory will continue to grow as the projects from the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds are completed.

Downtown El Paso to Feature Beauty and the Box Art

On Wednesday, the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD), along with the Streets and Maintenance Department, wrapped City-owned street signal utility boxes with works by local artists in downtown as part of the Beauty and the Box program.

“We are very excited to showcase the work our city’s talented artists create. Each of these pieces reflect the vibrancy of the El Paso arts and cultural heritage and tell the story of what makes El Paso a special place,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Director Tracey Jerome.

The Beauty and the Box program will oversee installation of artwork on 29 utility boxes throughout downtown. MCAD selected the designs through an open call to artists held earlier this year.

Thirteen different local artists created and designed the pieces. The program is a creative way to share more art with the city, add beauty otherwise plain to metal traffic boxes, celebrate the work of local artists and deter graffiti and vandalism.

The following 13 local artists currently have their pieces on display across the downtown area:

  • Candy Mayer – El Paso Postcard
  • Andy Diaz – Star on the Mountain
  • Rigoberto de la Mora – Low Rider Pride
  • Julian A. Vidales – Guardians
  • Rob Mack – El Paso Welcomes You
  • M. Angie Salazar – Visions #1
  • Alex Briseño – Heritage
  • Vanessa K. Clark – EP, TX
  • Terrance Flores – Alphagator
  • Rogelio Lozano – El Lagarto
  • Lorena Williams – Aguas Fresca
  • Yolanda Garcia – Woman with Headdress
  • Arturo M. Enriquez – El Paso Style

The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department is tasked in assisting in developing an excellent arts community in El Paso. Projects like this are just one of the ways the department is working to increase opportunities for artists as well as make art accessible to the community.

Artists Sought for “My City, My Home” Project

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is seeking artists or artist teams for “My City, My Home,” an aesthetic improvement project.

The artwork will be used throughout downtown and reproduced for application on utility boxes and other structures. Submissions should reflect the vibrancy of the El Paso arts and cultural heritages and be suitable for viewing by all ages.

A design stipend of $250 will be offered to the chosen artworks.

Applications must be submitted by February 16. For more information and to download applications, visit the Museums and Cultural Affairs website.

City Council selects location for Mexican American Cultural Center

On Tuesday, El Paso City Council designated the Abraham Chavez Theatre as the location of the Mexican American Cultural Center of El Paso, formerly known as the Hispanic cultural center.

Council also directed staff to develop a funding plan and look at additional options to provide for needed improvements to the Abraham Chavez Theatre.

“We are excited to get to this point. This gives us a good place to start as we move forward with the center,” said Ben Fyffe, Assistant Director of the Museum and Cultural Affairs Department. “We will continue to work closely with council and the subcommittee to bring a cultural center to El Paso that we can all be proud of.”

The design concepts presented to council include an addition to the existing theater that would create a separate entrance as well as space for center specific activities. As the center progresses, the city will also be able to complete much needed updates to the Chavez Theatre that will help it function better as a performance space and cultural center.

In turn, the subcommittee will work toward establishing a foundation that will help raise additional funds for the construction and completion of the center. The Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) was also directed to develop collaborative programs for the center that would be located at other city facilities and government organizations and private institutions.

These programs will help build interest in the center and build an audience that will use the center once complete.

The Hispanic Cultural Center was approved by voters as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds. Following council direction, the Hispanic Cultural Center Subcommittee and MCAD staff conducted a programmatic study for the center.

By working with consultants and local architects familiar with the facility, a unique solution to address the space and programmatic needs for the cultural center was developed. This, in turn, will enhance the theater that is a focal point in the Downtown Arts District.

Author: City of El Paso

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