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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.

From the Blogs

8 Things You Can Only Do in Galveston This Holiday Season

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

From November through January, Galveston is transformed from a vibrant beachside getaway into the “Winter Wonder Island” of Texas, see all the great things you can do this holiday season. Read more.

The Mitchell Family Continues Legacy of Preservation

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mitchell Historic Properties recently finished painting the exterior of the Dargan and Tobyn building and it looks beautiful! Read more.

The Gun Battery

Published: Monday, October 08, 2018

In Episode Six of Artifacts. Stories., we meet George Osbourn at Fort San Jacinto for a tour of what is left of a concrete gun battery built to protect the city and harbor and to secure the entrance of Galveston Bay. Read more.

The Moody Gardens Ice Carvers Are Here!

Published: Monday, October 01, 2018

After traveling halfway around the world, a team of internationally-acclaimed Chinese ice carvers made their way to Galveston’s Moody Gardens Friday morning to a warm welcome, before setting out to create holiday and animal themed sculptures from two million pounds of ice. Read more.

Galveston Photography, 1860-1890

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rosenberg Library announced its newest exhibit: Galveston Photography, 1860-1890. The exhibit will include the earliest known photographs of downtown Galveston which were taken by Sache & Potter Studio in 1861, just before the Civil War. Read more.

5 Fantastic Reasons You Need to Visit Galveston this Fall

Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Get on Island Time this Fall because of these wonderful reasons. Read more.

6 Fall Events Not to Miss This October

Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Fall brings beautiful weather and some of the BEST events the Island has to offer. Check out seven things you can do this October! Read more.

August 2018 - 1850 Galveston Bay Survey Post

Published: Monday, August 06, 2018

During the month of August, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a cedar post used in the first U.S. Coastal Survey of Galveston Bay in 1850. This artifact was found at Flanders Station and was donated to the library by S.M. Wilcox in 1925. Read more.

Battle of Galveston Part 3 - The Watchmen - E5

Published: Monday, August 06, 2018

We join Kathleen Maca, author of 'Galveston's Broadway Cemeteries',  on the roof of the Hendley Building where the JOLO Guard stood watch during the Civil War. Rosenberg Library's Museum Curator, Eleanor Barton, shows the JOLO Guard's log book. Read more.

18 Photographs in 72 Hours by Nikola Olic

Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2018

This photography collection represents a weekend in Galveston by Nikola Olic, a photographer living and working in Dallas, Texas, focusing on architectural photography and abstract structural quotes. Read more.

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