The Big Bend: A Unique Blend of Texas Culture, Music and Arts

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Photo courtesy of Paul Slocomb.

While the small towns of the Big Bend region all share a strong sense of community, they also boast an individual culture expressed through a strong appreciation of music and arts.

Culture, Music and Arts are unique to the residents and visitors of the Big Bend region, and therefore were identified as a shared core conservation value of the region by the Tri-County Stakeholder Advisory Group of the Respect Big Bend coalition. This group is comprised of community members and landowners of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. They are at the core of the Respect Big Bend effort, and they represent the people of the area.

The Big Bend region is an expansive landscape that brings peace and inspiration to many who visit. Each community in the region has its own personality, making the culture of each feel unique.

For example, Marfa is an eclectic mash of arts and music, drawing visitors from around the globe. Presidio is situated on the border across the Rio Grande from the town of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, and is steeped in Mexican culture. Terlingua is a quirky community that many know as a ghost town. But Terlingua is far from ghostly; there, you can find galleries, bars, restaurants, and adventure outfitters, bringing together Mexican, mining, and outdoor-loving cultures. Other communities offer their own unique characteristics, including Alpine, Fort Davis, Lajitas, Marathon, and Valentine.

A commonality for almost all community events is live music of all genres, and most weekends you can find a live band to enjoy somewhere in the area. Many Texas music artists venture to the region to feel inspired or play a gig at one of the many venues. You can also experience music in the region by attending the Viva Big Bend festival that occurs every summer. This celebration typically features 50+ bands at venues in Alpine, Marfa, Marathon, and Fort Davis.

The mesmerizing landscapes of the region have captured the attention of artists for decades. Famous minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa in the 1970s, which over time transformed a sleepy little ranching town into a top art destination with a multitude of galleries and frequent exhibitions.

Each community in the region has some sort of art gallery or event to celebrate the arts. Events like the annual Artwalk, held each November in Alpine, showcase the work of many local, regional, and statewide artists. Artwalk provides a venue for residents and visitors alike to appreciate a variety of creative works.

Learn more about the culture and arts in the Big Bend region by visiting VisitBigBend.com.

If you’d like to learn more about Culture, Music, and Art and how they’re important for the Respect Big Bend initiative, read more in the latest Respect Big Bend Report: https://respectbigbend.org/final-report.

The Respect Big Bend coalition was launched by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, and is sponsored in part by the Permian Basin Area Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, and the Still Water Foundation. Find out more about the project at RespectBigBend.org.

48528638942_3bcce93b77_k-Paul Slocumb

The Big Bend region of Texas is a melting pot of many cultures. A vibrant mixture of Mexican, cowboy, art, music, and outdoor cultures flavor the lives of those who reside here, as well as those who visit. Photo courtsey of Paul Slocomb.

Margo Price_Trans Pecos Music Festival 2019_Julie Rumbelow

Many music artists travel to the Big Bend region to play. Including, Margo Price at the Trans-Pecos Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Julie Rumbelow.


Each community in the Big Bend showcases artwork in some form, like this mural named, Poco A Poquito, found in Alpine. Photo retrieved from visitalpine.com.