Arts & Culture
When the mine closed in 1974 and Bisbee’s population declined, a Bohemian movement brought many into what were vacant spaces in town, making them their own. With an anti-establishment attitude and creative soul, this group began the artistic and self-expressive lifestyle Old Bisbee retains today. The Arts and Culture District spans a 1 mile radius inside the Historical District and encompases the art, expression, and nightlife that “Keeps Bisbee Weird.”
bisbee central school project (csp)
This community service organization is the beating heart behind Bisbee’s acclaimed arts culture. The Central School Project is a non-profit arts and cultural center with the three-fold mission of providing affordable creative space to working artists, preserving and adapting the historic Central School building as a cultural center, and fostering appreciation of the arts in the Bisbee community. CSP also makes its resources available to the community for a variety of programs and activities - including art exhibits, performance art, poetry readings, plays, concerts, dance performances, film events and childrens workshops.
make youth arts festival
Presented by the Central School Project, this annual all-day festival provides interactive, multicultural, and multidisciplinary arts experiences to local children and their families.It celebrates art created by young people, and exposes youth to the diversity of the arts through quality performances, exhibitions, and hands-on arts activities. A wide range of activities are taught by locally-based creative professionals - including workshops in various visual arts media, writing, theater, dance, film, etc., as well as performance opportunities.
sidepony express music festival
This three-day showcase of emerging independent music artists presented in partnership with Central School Project encapsulates the left-of-center free-thinkers and the ever-growing art colony of Bisbee. Celebrating underground, original, art-forward music from artists across the genre board, the Sidepony Express Music Festival spreads throughout the city where over 85 bands play at 18 unique venues throughout the November weekend. Represented genres include (loosely-labeled): indie folk, hip-hop fusion, island jam funk, experimental surf metal, avant-pop dance rock, lo-fi garage jazz, western psychedelic soul, desert noir, and much, much more.
altered book shop
Every August, artists from near and far come together at the Central School Project to showcase their incredible creations made entirely from discarded books - including furniture, mirrors, lamps, and even clothing. Each piece is then put up for auction to benefit the community’s Copper Queen Library.
The Bisbee Royale operates as a cultural arts center for radio, film, music, poetry, plays, and special events. With a great area, bar, and stage; the Bisbee Royale is a wonderful place to host any event. The building is also home to KBRP 96.1 FM and KBRP Community Media.
bisbee fiber arts guild
A local cooperative of weavers, spinners, and knitters, The Bisbee Fiber Arts Guild supports cottage industry as a means of promoting artistic development and economic opportunity. The Guild provides its members with a well-equipped studio that serves as a sanctuary as well as an educational space to learn and practice fiber arts. Studio space is devoted mainly to loom weaving, but also contains a kitchen for dyeing fiber, work tables and sewing machines for finishing techniques on rugs. Members of the guild sell their fiber art through the Bisbee Fiber Shop, serving as a showcase of local talent for the many visitors who tour Bisbee.
Bisbee Pride was begun in 2004 by a small group of LGBT friends and now draws hundreds of people from around the country. Bisbee has become known as an accepting and liberal community - the first in Arizona to pass a Civil Union Ordinance before Marriage Equality became law. Bisbee Pride produces and promotes educational, cultural, and recreational events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and extended community and hosts its annual 3-day Pride Festival over Father’s Day weekend.