As in many small towns, the arts and culture aspect of Baca County is difficult to identify for the blind eye or for someone who is unfamiliar with the community. There are not famous people singing every weekend or malls to meet your friends at. However, once a person lives here long enough or reaches out, he or she realizes there are plenty of things to do to stay busy.
One of my favorite way to participate in the art aspect of Baca County is by making quilts. I have made quilts since I was in kindergarten. Sewing is a stress reliever for me, but I have the most fun at sewing retreats at Justa’ Stitchin’ – a quilt shop where I spend a weekend every quarter with ladies who have been sewing for forty or more years. That ties in another aspect of Baca County for me, because I hear about history of sewing, the county, or just the ladies’ life stories. I really enjoy spending time with these ladies, several who have become mentors in my life, and learning tricks-of-the-trade from women who have decades of experience. I certainly enjoy the quilts on display each year at both the quilt shop and the county fair.
The Gem Theatre, located on Main Street in Walsh, is another historically significant building for many different arts and cultural experiences in Baca County. Multiple art shows, plays, musicals, and variety shows take place at the Gem Theatre each year and have as long as I can remember. The Walsh Arts Council works year-round to exhibit and promote projects and artists throughout the community and the region.
Both of the previous aspects of the arts and culture commonwealth in Baca County have existed for a long time and have helped to assure community members that different arts and cultures will be respected.
Baca County is growing and changing. A few new enterprises are available for both children and adults. The Hull Art Studio is a fairly recent addition to the county where any person can go paint, do ceramics, or participate in a multitude of other artistic activities. They are partnering with several school districts to get the arts back into our schools. They are offering art camps, classes, and events. Spirit Dance is another fairly new program that allows children from three to eighteen to participate in a variety of creative expression including, hip-hop, acro, jazz, ballet, tap, and more. Classes are sponsored through the local recreation district, and the group performs locally and regionally year-round, with a culminating recital each June.
Many talented artisans reside in Baca County. Sculptors, silversmiths, saddle makers, painters, photographers, and quilters send their work throughout the state and country. Musicians are also common in the area.
There are many options for creative expression, arts and culture available to people in the county, even though this is a small, rural community, and the activities that are accessible in cities are not the same as those available in Baca County. Our community does a fine job of keeping interested people with options to express themselves and their talents.