The arts are alive in Carlsbad! With a preeminent art museum, a premier entertainment venue, an established community theater and the presence of several arts-oriented organizations, local and regional artists are offered an exceptional outlet for their creative practices…while residents and visitors revel in these outstanding offerings as well.
CARLSBAD MUSEUM AND FINE ARTS CENTER
Nestled in the heart of downtown Carlsbad, within a complex shared with the Carlsbad Public Library, the Carlsbad Museum and Fine Arts Center is a true cultural gem in the community. The center was established in 1931 and has continued its mission of standing as an integral cultural and educational institution in Carlsbad to this day. The museum is devoted to the preservation, collection and interpretation of items, documents and artwork that relate to the city of Carlsbad and its neighboring areas, past and present. Here, visitors can peruse through permanent displays depicting local and regional history, Native American art and artifacts, and contemporary Southwestern-style works of art. Notably, the center houses the modern and highly esteemed McAdoo Collection of “Taos Ten” paintings. In addition, the Carlsbad Museum and Fine Arts Center sponsors an array of traveling shows and local annual events, such as the Carlsbad and Loving schools exhibitions, the Zia Quilt Guild show and two Carlsbad Area Art Association exhibitions. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is free of charge.
WALTER GERRELLS PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
A prime entertainment venue in southeast New Mexico, the Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Centre hosts a variety of premier events within its 2,000-seat hall. Major musical artists such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Randy Travis have graced the Centre’s stage, as have top comedians and the renowned Albuquerque Youth Symphony Orchestra. State-of-the-art lighting and sound systems only make the experience better. In addition to the main hall is the 10,000 square foot Exhibition Centre, which has played host to a multitude of trade shows, corporate functions and private parties.
CARLSBAD COMMUNITY THEATER
Finding high quality theatrical productions is not difficult, as Carlsbad is home to its own theater troupe. The Carlsbad Community Theater (CCT) provides residents and visitors to the community four dramatic productions each season at its private facility, located along the National Parks Highway. In addition to these outstanding stage presentations, CCT puts on a popular annual summer musical, which spotlights the talent of local artists.
LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS
Carlsbad is fortunate to have several organizations dedicated to the vitality of the area’s cultural community. The great support afforded through these vital entities is much appreciated by not only the artists of the Carlsbad area, but also the residents who take advantage of the available programs and services provided.
An area cooperative, composed of artists who work to create, display and sell a vast collection of diverse artwork, the CARLSBAD AREA ART ASSOCATION is a leading means of expression for local artists. Paintings, photographs, pottery, sculpture, textiles and many more styles of art can be discovered within the association’s stocked downtown shop. On top of this, the group also offers a variety of workshops, hosts special demonstrations of student artwork and sponsors several competitive shows.
A part of the community for over 50 years, the CARLSBAD COMMUNITY CONCERT ASSOCIATION sponsors an annual four-concert series featuring well-known musicians. Also devoted to bringing in acclaimed talent, as well as local talent, is the CARLSBAD ARTS & HUMANITIES ALLIANCE (CAHA). A fixture in Carlsbad since 1974, CAHA sponsors excellent dance, theater and musical productions throughout the year, as well as a wealth of free communitywide events and a humanities poetry series. In recent years, CAHA has brought in such renowned groups as the Missoula Children’s Theater, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic New Mexico.