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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

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.

7 Reasons to FALL for Galveston 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.

Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival, Fireworks and More in Galveston over Labor Day Weekend

Published: Friday, August 10, 2018

There is still plenty of summer left to celebrate! Whether you’re a beer-lover or simply seeking some fun, free beach activities, Labor Day weekend will be the perfect time to visit Galveston Island. 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.

Battle of Galveston Part 2 - "My Father Is Here" - E4

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018

We visit the grave of a union soldier killed in the Civil War battle known as the Battle of Galveston. Rosenberg Library's Museum Curator, Eleanor Barton, shows two sketches of the battle. Read more.

Battle of Galveston Part 1, The Cannon Balls - E3

Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2018

On January 1, 1863, the Civil War battle known as the Battle of Galveston began. Lee and George visit the site of the battle and see cannon ball damage on a downtown building. Read more.

July 2018 - Galveston's July 1987 Recall Vote

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2018

During the month of July, Rosenberg Library is exhibiting two political signs from the recall vote which took place in Galveston in July 1987. Read more.

Five Women. One Saturday.

Published: Monday, July 02, 2018

What do you do when five women show up at your house in Galveston? Read more.

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