Creative Placemaking

Silver City and Grant County have many different places that are significant to one or more of the various communities that make up the region. A wealth of festivals and events demonstrate the diversity of interests including the Blues & Bikes Festival, the Tour of the Gila bicycle race, Chocolate Fantasia, the Gila River Festival and Tamal y Fiesta. The CLAY Festival is one of the town’s premier events, showcasing nationally recognized artists and scholars, and providing an immersive experience in the many forms of clay. Other film festivals, concerts, art fairs, and gallery showings further enhance the “sense of place” for the region.

Visit the Western New Mexico University Museum to see one of the most comprehensive permanent exhibitions of prehistoric Mimbres Mogollon pottery and artifacts in the world. The Silver City Museum, located in the Victorian Ailman House in the Historic District, provides visitors with great insight into the history of this colorful town. At the museum, learn about the creation of the “Big Ditch,” now a popular downtown park and one of the entrances to Silver City’s many greenways, as well as the history of mining and more from other ongoing exhibits.

The Southwest New Mexico Clay Arts Trail is composed of potters’ studios, historical sites, museums, galleries and makers’ shops. Spring and Fall Showcases highlight new work by members of the Trail and studio tours take place during the annual CLAY Festival.


A town of only 10,000 residents, more than 50 galleries and art spaces speak to the cultural richness of Silver City. Nestled in the foothills of the Gila National Forest, the early history of the area is characterized by the cultures of the Mimbres and Apache. In the nineteenth century, miners began to settle the area, quickly establishing the town of Silver City. The town's rough and tumble history includes the boyhood days of Billy the Kid. To start planning your visit to Silver City, check out the town’s destination website at:

The Creative Economy

Today, Silver City is home to a vibrant creative scene—one of the most renowned in the Southwest. Painters, potters, print-makers, weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and other artisans have made their home here. The Mimbres Region Arts Council, a leading arts organization, supports ongoing public art projects, local artists, and presents performing arts events, along with the Grant County Community Concert Association and various area theater groups. The vibrant downtown balances historic era frontier buildings with more contemporary and colorful art forms. The town boasts three historic residential districts immediately adjacent to downtown. Silver City MainStreet has a wealth of information about these areas and buildings.The newly renovated historic Silco Theater, built in 1923, provides a chance to catch the latest releases in a theater with digital upgrades and modern amenities. Light Hall, built in the late 1920s, was recently renovated on the campus of Western New Mexico University and offers visitors and locals a movie-going experience, too. Also at the university, the Fine Arts Center Theater offers a home for larger indoor concerts, while Old James Stadium provides a delightful venue for outdoor concerts. 

Learn more about Silver City:

Silver City Art Association

Visit Silver City

Town of Silver City

Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce

Silver City MainStreet