Galveston, Texas Arts & Culture

Galveston Island Tweets!

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

The Grand Kids Festival Returns April 7th

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018

The 23rd annual Grand Kids Festival is set for Saturday, April 7. Sponsored by The Grand 1894 Opera House, this fun, family event - with a special "pirate" theme - will take place from 10am-5pm in historic downtown Galveston's Cultural Arts District on Postoffice Street Read more.

Head to Galveston This Spring for Fun on the Beach, New Attractions

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring has returned, which means flocks of Texans will be saying goodbye to winter as they head to the beach. Read more.

Tall Ships Are Coming!

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018

For the first time, a fleet of tall ships will sail and race their way along the Gulf Coast to participate in the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Gulf Coast 2018 series of races and public maritime festivals. Read more.

New Resident Finds His 'Strandly' Downtown

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018

Get a glimpse into the lives of some fascinating people who have made the journey to Galveston, Texas. Read more.

What to do Before or After My Cruise?

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018

Check out this video and blog pairing to help you navigate Galveston's frequently asked questions. Read more.

10 Reasons You Should Get On Island Time in Galveston

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's hard to narrow it down to only 10 things, but here's are the 10 reasons you should get on Island Time! Read more.

Get a Taste of Downtown Galveston

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Galveston’s 70-block historic downtown is a veritable treasure chest of culture Read more.

Four Museums to Visit in Galveston

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

No trip to Galveston is complete without a visit to some of the most popular museums on the island. Read more.

Seven Must Do Family Activities

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

If you’re running low on ideas that will make everyone happy, here are our suggestions for some must-do family experiences on the island. Read more.

Why Do Snowbirds Love Galveston So Much?

Published: Monday, November 27, 2017

Is it the warmer island temperatures? The wonderful holiday traditions? Take a look at why so many choose Galveston as their winter getaway! Read more. Video
Galveston Island Tweets!