The Branigan Cultural Center hosts changing cultural exhibits, as well as educational programs, classes, and other special events. The building is on the National and State Registries of Historic Buildings.
Parking is at 500 N Water Street on the north end of Main Street Downtown, next to the Museum of Art.
“Connection : : Conjunto” features 32 pieces of art from a range of local artists that use diverse mediums including painting, photography, ceramics, and mixed-media. The artists consider how place and space informs the visual language of their art. By examining the connections an artist has with the Borderland and how they negotiate and understand the U.S./Mexico border and the Southwest, the viewer considers how they may connect to this unique desert space.
Las Cruces: Crossroads of History
September 2023 - Summer 2024
This exhibition tells the overarching history of Las Cruces and its prominent place in Borderland history from prehistory through the 1960s. Using original artifacts and historic photographs, “Las Cruces: Crossroads of History” charts the history of the region from its early indigenous inhabitants to its settlement by Mexicans and its shift to being a part of the United States. Las Cruces’ establishment, in 1848, and its growth is followed through multiple topics including Civil War soldiers, ranchers, and outlaws. The introduction of the railroad in 1878 and its impact is covered, as well as New Mexico statehood in 1912. The exhibit ends with the impact of World War II and the nuclear and rocket technology that followed.
Stage and Screen: 150 Years of Entertainment in the Mesilla Valley
February 2, 2024 - April 23, 2024
This exhibit explores the long history of stage theater and cinema theater in the Mesilla Valley and discusses prominent citizens who were a part of the local theater experience. Live theater and motion pictures have a way of uniting a community and creating memories for viewers. In the Mesilla Valley, this has been true since the 1870s when the first theater group was founded, and later, in 1913 when the first movie theater in Doña Ana County opened in downtown Las Cruces. Throughout the years, community theater groups and university theater productions, along with movies and drive-ins have entertained Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley residents.
“Stage and Screen” uses selected theater productions and movies to show the historic and contemporary importance of the arts in the Mesilla Valley and the families, individuals, and businesses that support the arts. By using movie posters, theater programs, costumes, and videos, the exhibit presents a wealth of information and examples of theater and film in the region. This exhibit was developed by Tracie Amend, Hamed Aziziangilan, and Jerry Wallace of New Mexico State University’s Public History program.