State Of The Arts

Saturday 11:30am

State of the Arts is a weekly 30-minute program focusing on the arts community of El Paso. Hosted by dedicated art enthusiast Marina Monsisvais, State of the Arts provides listeners with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how creativity is shaping our community. Marina interviews local visual artists, writers, dancers, singers, actors and directors, as well as regional talent exhibiting or performing in El Paso. The show gets to the heart of what inspires and drives artists to do what they love best.

The El Paso Community Foundation has joined with El Paso Live and the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance to bring Viva El Paso back to the picturesque McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre stage this summer.

The outdoor musical extravaganza, which chronicles 400 years of our history, will be performed each Friday and Saturday night from June 19 to August 8, 2015. Eric Pearson of the El Paso Community Foundation and Creative Director Chuck Gorden give us the details.

Author Dagoberto Gilb will be celebrating a homecoming when he comes to El Paso with Huizache, a literary magazine he founded in 2010. Gilb returns to El Paso to give a TED Talk at TEDxElPaso and also invites El Pasoans to join him for a pachanga in celebration of Huizache, the country’s premier magazine of Latino literature. The party, which features the release of the magazine’s fourth edition, will also host a live musical performance by acclaimed singer-songwriter David Garza. 

Known as the “Bicycle Priest,” Father Rahm made an impact on El Paso’s Segundo Barrrio that will not be forgotten. Recently, the jesuit priest returned to El Paso to be honored as the Segundo Barrio Person of the year. To commemorate this occasion, artist Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado was commissioned to paint a mural in honor of Father Rahm. You can visit that mural any time at the corner of El Paso and Father Rahm Streets. Today my guests are Paul Dipp, Segundo Barrio Person of the Year committee member, and Artist, Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado.

The Immaculate Conception incorporates Francisco de Zurbarán’s seventeenth century painting of the Immaculate Conception as a center point for discussion. This exhibition considers the various ways the Immaculate Conception has been portrayed in Mexican retablos and the influence that European paintings such as Zurbaran’s had on Mexican painters of the subject. The twenty-seven nineteenth century retablos on exhibut at the El Paso Museum of art all reflect, in terms of color and iconography, the specific devotional concerns mandated by the Catholic Church with a rich diversity of interpretation. The Immaculate Conception retablo exhibit is on display at the El Paso Museum of Art through November 8th, 2015. Christian Gerstheimer of the El Paso Museum of Art talks about the exhibit.

Paola López R. BFA, M.Ed. is a dance-maker and improviser with an active career involving performance, education, and activism.  She recently debuted The Cattleya Project which aims to engage communities in a performative dialogue about the perception and construction of gender.

Carmen Navar is a multi-media artist whose mission is to ‘create peace and beauty’ in a stressed filled world. She’ll be leading a drawing demonstration at the El Paso Art Association’s general meeting. 

The work of artist Jeff Litchfield will be featured in El Paso International Airport’s “Art Windows” exhibition program in collaboration with the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department and the Department of Aviation of the City of El Paso, Texas. The opening reception will be on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at the airport. 


Florencia Mazza Ramsay will spend three months in the arctic with the Systems Ecology Lab from UTEP to document the work of their crew, laboratories and the natives of the region. Her aim is to create a body of work that speaks and highlights the importance of the scientific community and their value as individuals. When it’s all said and done, this project will culimate in a collection of photos, video, sound, text and mapping. 

The Rubin Center is hosting the 2015 Annual Juried UTEP Student Art Exhibition which showcases the works of art and design created by UTEP undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Art. The exhibit will be on exhibit at the Rubin Center through July 18 th. All media taught in the department will be represented, including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, metals and graphic design.

El Paso’s Sixth Wall of Giants is dedicated to the community of Fort Bliss.  Marilu Valenzuela from the El Paso Museum of History provides the details.

El Paso Filmmakers, the Plaza Classic Film Festival is looking for you. The El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival is accepting submissions for the eighth annual festival’s Local Flavor series. The deadline for entering is June 12, 2015. Doug Pullen and Eric Pearson of the El Paso Community Foundation provide the details.

Waldo the Amazing Hypnotist is an original play written by local playwright Ryan Johann Perry. The play is about a professional hypnotist named Waldo, who travels around the country with his hypnotist show. Playwright Ryan Johann Perry talks about the show.

The Border Art Residency enables artists to pursue their craft without the worry of immediate sales or an outside job to pay for housing expenses. The Residency sits on an orchard and sculpture garden in La Union, New Mexico, a former cotton gin re-worked to provide living and studio space. Fausto Fernandez is this year’s Border Art Resident who will be having a show opening on Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at The Station Urban Offices located at 500 West Overland in downtown El Paso.

The mission of the Chican@/Latin@ Theatre Series is to honor and celebrate the rich culture of the El Paso/Juarez/Las Cruces Borderplex. Through performances, play development, and outreach, the Chican@/Latin@ Theatre Series celebrates and cultivates our border culture through performance. Rebecca Rivas, Assistant Professor of Voice and Movement at the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance talks about the series.

Opera UTEP will be performing The Magic Flute, by W.A. Mozart sung in German with English dialogue from April 30 through May 3, 2015 at UTEP’s Magoffin Auditorium. Dr. Juan Héctor Pereira, Visiting-Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Opera UTEP talks about the production.

Bob Marley’s influence remains unparalleled, irrespective of race, color or creed.  On our border, Marley’s music has influenced local musicians to create a blend of Latin and Caribbean sounds that have now been termed “Chicano Reggae”.  Today, my guests are members from the Chucotown Rockers, a collaboration of musicians and artists from the El Paso/Las Cruces area who are coming together to honor the life of Bob Marley while raising funds for the Child Crisis Center of El Paso. 

The El Paso Mission Trail Association will present their 26th Annual First Thanksgiving Celebration on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, 2015. Highlights include a Zarzuela concert featuring Opera UTEP, three historical reenactments of the First Thanksgiving, living history performances by the Camino Real players, and musical performances by Sabor, Exito and Los Allegres del Valle. 

The Holocaust by Bullets is a traveling exhibit on the work of Yahad-in Unum and Father Patrick Desbois to uncover a silenced chapter of history in Eastern Europe - the mass executions of Jews and Roma as witnessed by their neighbors. The exhibit centers around photographs and eyewitness accounts from those villagers who watched these events unfold and have kept their stories to themselves...until now. Lori Shepherd from the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center talks about the exhibit.

Well known El Paso artists, educators and arts advocates, Willie Ray Parish and Becky Hendrick, talk about their time in the border area and their retirement plans.

Part 2 of our interview with artists Willie Ray Parish and Becky Hendrick.

After a nation-wide search, The City of El Paso recently selected Tracey Jerome as the new Director of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department and today, we’ll get to talk to Ms. Jerome about her vision for the El Paso arts community. 

Empty Bowls El Paso is a community art action to help eliminate hunger in the El Paso County that was started by the EPCC Student Art Society 11 years ago. Mary Scott and Violet Urquidez talk about this year's event to benefit El Pasoans Fighting Hunger.

The Neon Desert Music Festival,  Creative Kids and MIMA music have come together to create Border Beats, a children’s music program that will launch this spring at Providence Memorial Hospital. Today we’ll learn more about the program and how local musicians can particpate. 

The 8th Annual Downtown KidsPalooza is happening today, March 28, 2015 until 5:00pm in downtown El Paso. This event is an all-day family event organized by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra with the support of their Family Fun Partners. We talk with Pam Kinley From the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and Andy Moran from the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra about KidsPalooza.

Mark Paulda is an El Paso based photographer with a passion for capturing bold and vibrant images throughout the world. While the rest of the world is still discovering Bhutan, Paulda is working to make his way back a third time. This time, however, he will be sharing his passion and talent with the Bhutanese and teaching them the art of photography to empower them to tell their own story. 

Mother of Pearl Vinyl is now more than an all vinyl record store, they have just expanded to becoming an indie record label that recently celebrated the release of their first album by a band called Part-Time at an unofficial showcase at the South by Southwest music festival. Back from the celebration is Eddie Cepeda of Mother of Pearl Vinyl.

Former Director of the El Paso Museum of Art, Michael Tomor, talks about the course of his career from El Paso native to sought-after expert in the world of visual art.

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Part 2 of our interview with former Director of the El Paso Museum of Art, Michael Tomor.

The annual South by Southwest Music Festival brings thousands of bands to Austin, TX every year in March. For us in El Paso, it means an upsurge in live music as bands make a stop to play in our town on their way to and from South By Southwest. Today, Bobbie Welch of local venue Tricky Falls and Patrick McNeil from Splendid Sun Productions give you a round up of what March has in store for us when it comes to live music. 

The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies.  This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to those who quest with infinite passion along the path that leads to Varekai. Varekai. Cirque du Soleil's latest arena touring production, will perform in El Paso at the Don Haskins Center from March 18-22, 2015 for seven performances. Today we talk to Vanessa Napoli of Cirque du Soleil about Verikai.