Raton Arts & Cultural District
The growth of Raton as a railroad and mining town is reflected in its unique architectural heritage. A walking tour, covering five blocks of downtown Raton, is the perfect way to take in the structures that were built between the mid-1880s and early 1900s and comprise the historic district.
Raton has a diverse offering of arts and cultural experiences in their Arts and Cultural District, establishing Raton as a Center for the Arts in Northeastern New Mexico. El Raton Movie Theater, is a classic movie house which has been upgraded with new state of the art digital projection and audio; the Raton Arts & Humanities Council presents visual arts programming at the Old Pass Gallery (built in 1910 as the Wells Fargo Building); and discover the performing arts at the historic Shuler Theater, featuring WPA murals in the foyer. Beautiful Victorian buildings on historic First Street house galleries, antique shops, gift shops and cafes. In addition to many galleries and museums, the town also boasts a youth theater, dance school and a performing arts school. The historic Santa Fe Rail Depot on First Street is still in use with two daily Amtrak stops.
Raton presents their Gate City Music Festival over Labor Day weekend. The event celebrates the area’s cowboy culture with musicians, street performers and cowboy poets, and local Hispanic culture.
Raton has been a leader in revitalization and redevelopment projects, all located within the downtown district, and include the Isabell Castillo Performing Arts Center between Shuler and El Raton Theaters. The Colfax Ale Cellar Micro-brewery, Q.T. Pi Bakery, Hamburger Heaven and Bruno's Pizza & Wings that are sure to keep cultural visitors refreshed.
Public Art can be found in downtown Raton, a local high school welding class created and installed metal sculpture public art installation in the downtown district. Raton MainStreet and Arts Cultural district is working with a high school shop class to move into the Coors Building for the purpose of building and selling artisan furniture. Significant work is being undertaken to improve the Historic Railroad district, and several downtown murals are planned.
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