Lea County is one of the few counties in New Mexico that makes culture a prime concern and works with the various public and private agencies to bring diverse culture to our communities. The Jack Maddox Foundation and the University of the Southwest provide two “Distinguished Lecture Series” with such notable speakers as James Lovell, Sally Ride, Oliver North and Mark Russell. These series are free and open to the public. The area school systems offer many avenues for cultural outlets through their local drama, music and art programs. Both colleges, through their respective drama and music department, offer productions and musicals for the citizens, as well as provide semi-professional opportunities to their students. The Community Play House, which entertains Lea County residents and guests with the latest Broadway plays, welcomes local aspiring actors, directors and playwrights to participate in the local productions. The Southwest Symphony thrills the classical music aficionados with local concerts and provides training in the instruments to students at local grade schools.