Library Breeds Patrons of the Arts
By Mike Payan, Librarian

El Paso and the surrounding communities are fast becoming an area where the arts and humanities not only survive but also flourish. As a matter of fact, El Paso can proudly begin to boast that it has a thriving arts community compared to many cities of its size. The El Paso Public Library sponsors many programs in all its facilities that add to the artistic diversity of the city and also maintains a sizable collection of books and resources in these disciplines for the public's enlightenment. Whether one is an seasoned patron of the arts or a novice wanting to be better informed of a particular discipline's intricacies, one only has to access the library's online catalog, peruse database reviews, or ask for a Librarian's assistance to further enhance their artistic sensibilities.

There are many benefits to becoming a connoisseur of the arts and humanities. According to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the Nation's cultural life contributes to the vibrancy of society and the strength of democracy. Therefore it is important that our society be reminded that our unique and diverse culture is what defines us as Americans. Another benefit is education. Children who are exposed to the arts and humanities do better in school than those who don't have that exposure. The National Association of Performing Arts Presenters says that children who study the arts and humanities outperform non-arts students in Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores by over 100 points on average.

Rock group 'The High Strung' will perform a the Main Library Becoming a patron of the Arts and humanities need not be and expensive proposition. There are many programs that cost little or no money such as those sponsored the by the library. Not only are these programs free, they are of a very high caliber as was the case with recent classical music concerts by the Piatigorsky Foundation of New York featuring world-renowned cellist, Evan Drachman. EPPL provides a wide variety of opportunities to enjoy the arts. All branches have a regular array of art and photography exhibits, author lectures with book signings, book discussion groups, writing workshops, movies, poetry slams, music programs and historical and/or special topic lectures. The Clardy Fox Branch even has an art gallery that is perpetually stocked with artwork from local artists.

Art knowledge is power! To better appreciate the story lines or plots of staged performances, EPPL has books and reviews that give arts patrons a more satisfying experience. This assures you of being able to hold your own when engaged in a conversation about a particular performance and allows you to offer intelligent retort.
  Upcoming Arts and Humanities Programs

Piano concerts featuring
Miroslava Panayatova and
Shu-Ching Cheng
Richard Burges Branch
Saturday, April 29
3:00 PM

Teenfest Concert
May 6
1:00 PM
Clardy Fox

We the People...
Book displays and presentations

Art Exhibit
Ernesto Martinez
Main Library
June 19

The High Stung
Rock Concert
June 27 - 5:30 PM
Main Library

The audience in the El Paso region has noticeably become more sophisticated and demanding connoisseurs like New Yorkers who have traditionally held the epitome of "being informed, worldly patrons of the arts." Among the resources the El Paso Public Library has to help inform seasoned and budding art enthusiasts are: Rita Gilbert's Living with Art; Edward Hirsch's How to read a poem and fall in love with poetry; Patrick Fuery's New Developments in Film Theory; Barrymore Scherer's Bravo!: a guide to Opera for the perplexed; Sam Smiley's Theatre: a human art; …and many more discipline titles too numerous to list.