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Arts and Culture

Arts Associations & Venues

Arts Council of Midland
1506 W. Ilinois

Through its mission of enriching lives with the arts through communitywide advocacy, education, outreach and promotion, Arts Council of Midland serves as a focal point for advancement of the arts in the community. The nonprofit arts council — founded as the Midland Arts Assembly in 1981 — is the umbrella organization for the performing and visual arts and also serves as a presenting and re-granting organization.

In addition to awarding grants to local organizations through funds from the City of Midland’s hotel/motel tax fund, and additional funding from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Council plays a pivotal role in helping local arts groups work together, and oversees a variety of arts programs to encourage participation in the arts

Celebration of the Arts is an annual tribute to the visual and performing arts designed to benefit the community, increase tourism and raise funds for the Council’s operating budget.

Through its CityArt and Art in the Park programs, the Council has worked with civic organizations, businesses, and the City of Midland Parks and Recreation Department to raise public awareness of the arts through murals and sculptures placed at parks and other prominent places.

The Artist Studio Tour, an annual event held the first weekend in November, showcasesĘartists’ studios as well as approximately 60 artists throughout the city.

Working with the Texas Department of Transportation, the Council recruited volunteers and a muralist to transform overpass columns throughout the city with murals resembling large-scale core samples.

Hispanic Cultural Center of Midland
1311 E. Wadley
432-683-4226 •

Hispanic Cultural Center of Midland’s mission is to “preserve the Hispanic culture for the youth through education in the arts.” Two mothers who wanted to preserve the Hispanic culture for Midland’s youth through art education programs — Norma Chavez and Mozella Garcia — founded the Center in 1996, which became a nonprofit organization in 1997. For nearly 20 years, the center has enhanced the quality of life within the community by creating artistic educational opportunities, building self-esteem and pride in a multicultural group, and promoting cultural efficiency. Programs include instruction in art, dance, drama, music and speech. Throughout the year the center hosts special events, including Ballet Folklorico recitals, mariachi workshops and competitions, the Sixteen of September parade, Dia De Los Muertos festival, and a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Live on Stage Series
432-789-1249 •

The Live on Stage Permian Basin Series presents national and international artists for the educational and cultural enjoyment of the community. The annual six-concert series, presented at the Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center, brings audiences and artists together for a variety of performances ranging from classical, country, pop, rock and jazz to sketch comedy. Affordably priced season tickets are available.

McCormick Art Gallery
3600 N. Garfield
432-685-4651 •

Located in Midland College’s Allison Fine Arts Building, McCormick Art Gallery brings a full calendar of exhibits, including the Studio 3600 Series, held in spring and fall to present the works of students in a solo setting. The gallery also hosts the Midland Arts Association/Midland College Fall Juried Art Exhibition, which showcases works from artists all across Texas. Each spring and fall, the college hosts Student Art Shows, including a free lunch reception, to feature the works of talented students. The Midland College art program, begun in 1971, includes instruction in oil and watercolor painting, printmaking, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and photography.

Midland Community Theatre/Cole Theatre
2000 W. Wadley (Box Office)
432-570-4111 •

Director Emeritus Art Cole founded Midland Community Theatre in 1946 with a mission to bring quality theatre arts and educational opportunities to the Permian Basin. The 5-acre Cole Theatre Complex houses two theaters, practice rooms and an area containing more than 6,000 costumes.

The Midland Community Theatre was the first community theatre in the United States to present The Producers (2008) and Rent (2009), and the theatre represented North America at the IATA International Theatre Festival in Norway in 2011. Each year, more than 500 volunteers assist with set-building, costume sewing, theatre decoration, makeup and hair styling, ushering, concessions, and fundraising. Members of the public are invited to audition for roles in the eight productions presented each season, which include musicals, comedies, dramas and mysteries. The theatre provides numerous educational opportunities in theatre arts for community members of all ages. Memberships, contributions and sponsorships help the theatre to continue offering affordable ticket prices and ongoing educational programs.

Midland Festival Ballet
401 W. Texas, Suite 510
432-686-0071 •

Midland Festival Ballet’s mission is to develop the skills and expand the artistic potential of young dancers and provide quality performance opportunities for them while helping to foster public understanding and appreciation of classical ballet. Founded by Judy Coleman in 1992, the organization provides high levels of technical training, including ballet, contemporary dance and pilates, and presents live dance performances with guest artists from major ballet companies. Ballet and dance performances include Septemberfest, Celebration of the Arts, Fairy Tale Festival, Spring Gala and an annual presentation of The Nutcracker with the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale.

Midland Opera Theater
432-688-7777 •

“Arias in the Desert” is the motto of Midland Opera Theater, as it ushers opera’s myriad forms into West Texas for the people of the surrounding community, with a special emphasis on outreach to schools. It is the only opera organization serving the Permian Basin and Big Bend regions, plus the southeastern region of New Mexico. Live performances and DVD parties are held throughout the year at venues including the Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center and the Blakemore Planetarium.

Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale
3100 LaForce Boulevard
432-563-0921 •

Enthralling patrons for more than 50 years, the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale is the largest symphonic organization in the Permian Basin. Classical performances, chamber music, pop productions and special events frequent the Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center. The organization includes the Lone Star Brass Quintet, the Permian Basin String Quartet, the West Texas Winds, Symphony Chorale and Kid’s Choir. Subscriptions and single tickets are sold through the Wagner No‘l Box Office (432-552-4439).

Summer Sunday Lawn Concerts
1705 W. Missouri Ave.
432-683-2882 •

Museum of the Southwest has hosted free concerts on its grounds every summer for more than two decades. Performed Sunday evenings from June through August, the shows incorporate pop, rock, country, blues, jazz and barbershop. Community members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for a relaxing evening of entertainment.

Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center
1310 N. FM 1788
432-552-4430 •

Standing tall between Midland and Odessa, the Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center makes a statement against the backdrop of drilling rigs and pump jacks. The $81 million venue, owned by the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, opened its doors to the public in November 2011. Now, almost four years later, it is one of the top-selling venues in the country. The Wagner No‘l has hosted big names such as Jerry Seinfeld, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Ross, Santana and the late BB King and has brought excitement to the area. But it’s the venue’s mission of providing a variety of entertainment for everyone to enjoy that has gained respect and appreciation from its patrons. The Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale is a charter member of the Wagner No‘l Performing Arts Center, giving them a grand home for all 17 of their season performances. The Midland Festival Ballet performs The Nutcracker each holiday season, and UTPB students fill the venue with family and friends as they walk the stage for graduation. It’s a place where national touring productions and local artists all shine. Come in and experience it!

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