Galveston’s 70-block historic downtown is a veritable treasure chest of culture, from the 19th-century architecture that made The Strand a National Historic Landmark to its museums, galleries and theaters.
One of its many events is ArtWalk, a citywide open house that happens every six to eight weeks and draws between 1,000 and 3,000 visitors. There’s truly something for every aesthetic sense here, from avant-garde works by nationally renowned artists, to handmade crafts, to whimsical paintings perfect for a beach house. Visitors stroll from gallery to gallery and the fun spills out into the streets, with food and drink vendors lining the sidewalk. ArtWalk’s newest feature is the Art Market on Market, an evening of live music, painting, photography, jewelry, performance art and temporary social art.
Another downtown gem is Island ETC, the city’s only professional repertory theater company. Formed in 2002 with members of the Strand Street Theatre (which was established in the ’70s), the company stages five or six productions each season.
In the late 19th century, German-born theater impresario Henry Greenwall managed to raise the then-impressive sum of $100,000, mostly from local businessmen, to build Galveston a luxurious new opera house with attached hotel and shops. Designed by architect and scenic designer Frank Cox, the stately, red brick, Romanesque Revival building with stone trim and terra-cotta ornaments survived its greatest test just six years after completion - the hurricane of 1900. Extensive repairs were required, but the opera house lived on.
After decades of presenting opera, theater, vaudeville and movies, the main auditorium began to show its age, so in 1974 the Galveston County Cultural Arts Council kicked off an ambitious 12-year restoration that lovingly returned the theater to its fin-de-siècle glory. In 1993, the Texas Legislature designated The Grand as the “Official Opera House of the State of Texas,” and it is considered one of the finest surviving 19th-century theaters in the country. Meanwhile, it still hosts dozens of performances a year, ranging from theater to musicals, stand-up comedy to live bands.
What to Wear for This Year's “Dickens on the Strand” Festival
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Rosenberg Library Presents Its December 2016 Treasure
During the month of December, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a collection of historic Christmas cards donated by Mr. and Mrs. Z.L. White, Jr. in 1946. Read more.
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An Island Holiday, Galveston-Style
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Moody Gardens Festival of Lights Now Underway
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Make Your Voice Heard in 3 Tightly-Contested Galveston Races
This election season, you may sometimes get the feeling that your one vote doesn't matter much. Not so! It matters in national and local elections, and it matters right here on Galveston.com. Read more.
The Kindness Project Is Causing a Positive Ripple Effect Across Galveston Island
If you ask Erin Toberman, it doesn’t cost anything to be kind and that act of kindness has a ripple effect on the entire community. Read more.
Season Highlights at The Grand
The Grand 1894 Opera House, a quintessentially Galveston venue if ever there was one, is much more than simply a place to see legendary entertainers and captivating artistic performances. It’s a sepia-tone sample of 19th century opulence and style. Read more.
Rosenberg Library Presents Its October 2016 Treasure of the Month
During the month of October, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a small collection of items related to Kirwin High School, an all-boys parochial school which operated in Galveston from 1927-1968. Read more.
Seven Reasons to FALL for Galveston
With cooler weather, Galveston comes alive in the fall with its popular outdoor events and festivals – some popular traditions and activities that both locals and visitors look forward to every year. Read more.