Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Summer Field Recordings: Marfa Silly News

7 Aug 2014

Early last month, we were lucky enough to work with Marfa Public Radio and Dixon Water Foundation to present Summer Field Recordings, a workshop in conjunction with Marfa ISD’s Summer Shakeup program. Students were able to investigate Mimm’s Ranch while experimenting with recording equipment and documenting their experiences. The project was inspired by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler’s cinematic exploration of the Far West Texas landscape, but it turned into something a good deal sillier.

To see what we mean, check out the final product, Marfa Silly News:

Marfa Silly News from Ballroom Marfa on Vimeo.

Support for this program provided by The Dixon Water Foundation and the Texas Commission on the Arts, with generous contributions by Ballroom Marfa members.

Special thanks to Sally Beauvais, The Big Bend Sentinel, Michael Camacho, Jennifer Bell and Tim Crowley of the Crowley Theater, Tim Johnson, Marfa Book Company, Marfa ISD, Marfa Public Radio, Tom Michael, Andrew Peters, Robert Potts, Alice Quinlan, Suzy Simon, Casey Wade, and Sam Winks.

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Photos from the First Day of “Summer Field Recordings”

8 Jul 2014


Students exploring the ranch. Photo by Suzy Simon.


As part of MISD’s Summer Shakeup program, Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Public Radio have been hosting a workshop series utilizing Mimms Ranch as a site for the exploration of our lives as cinematic material. At the end of the program, each child will produce a short video and audio piece.

Here are some photos from the fun first day on Mimm’s Ranch, all images taken by Ballroom intern Suzy Simon:









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To learn more about the program, please visit Ballroom’s website.

Photos from the first two days of “Music Moves U”

18 Jun 2014


Students making a thumb piano. All photographs by Suzy Simon.

As part of MISD‘s Summer Shakeup program, Ballroom Marfa is hosting Music Moves U, a workshop led by Dr. Kahil El’Zabar and his band, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. Led by Dr. El’Zabar, students build homemade instruments and then practice playing and improvising on these instruments. After practicing, the group has a dress rehearsal and performs a final show with the band. Students will investigate the properties of rhythm, ensemble performance, melodic and harmonic sensibilities, and improvisation, while learning about the history of music, team building, and personal expression.

Here are some of the images from the first two days of the program, including some of the kids’ finished instruments.

And don’t forget to come to the final show on June 19th at 7pm at the Crowley Theater!

Decorating some thumb pianos.

Shayleigh’s gorgeous zither

Beginning the instruments

Showing them how it’s done

Nia’s glam thumb piano

Lesly’s awesome zither


(Very) Young Artists Visit Erik Parker’s Brooklyn Studio

10 Apr 2014


All images courtesy of SCO.

Comic Future artist Erik Parker recently opened up his studio to a group of students from the Family Dynamics after-school art program, where he invited them to ask questions and take a closer look at his work. Parker, who is 2014’s Honorary Chair for the 4th Annual SCO/Family Dynamics Art Auction & Cocktail Party, has donated his piece New Knowledge to the live auction in order to support art instruction in the high-need Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

From the SCO website:

Parker encouraged the students to get a close look at his works in progress on the walls of his Williamsburg studio, ask questions about his methods and style (“Contemporary, because I’m still alive!”) The students carefully studied the canvasses and even sketched a bit of what they were seeing. “I love the colors he uses,” said Shaunessy Dungee.

He discussed where he gets his inspiration (old magazines, cartoons like “The Simpsons,” the internet.) “Actually, I’m afraid to talk about where the ideas come from – I’m afraid they’ll go away,” Parker said. He also took time to look over the sketchpads that the students brought to show him their own works in progress.

To learn more and buy tickets to the Art Auction and Cocktail Party, which takes place on April 28th, visit





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Starscapes and Cosmic Slop Workshop

1 May 2013


Images from yesterday’s starscapes and cosmic slop workshop, inspired by Rashid Johnson. The good times were organized by Rosa McElheny, Ballroom’s Exhibition & Programs Coordinator.





The Bike In returns

5 Nov 2012

On Wednesday, November 14, swing by Ballroom’s courtyard for a screening of Carbon Nation, the 2010 documentary by Peter Byck about technological and community-based energy solutions to the growing worldwide carbon footprint. We’ll have drinks to warm you up (bring your own cups for further sustainability). Show starts at 7:30 pm.

People experience things when they look at art

11 Mar 2011

Drawing of Ballroom Marfa by Izaak Hollander

Izaak Hollander — 7-year-old Marfan, artist, prodigy, and Ballroom Marfa visitor — recently sent us a drawing he did of our space. He might be slightly confused about our nonprofit status…but he has the right idea about art. Many thanks to Isaak and his family for sharing this amazing illustration. Isaak, you now have a lifelong Cha Cha membership at Ballroom Marfa.

Ballroom Marfa and Marfa 4-H

16 Feb 2011

Grand Champion Photographer, Bailey Walker, with Ballroom Marfa Director of Development, JD DiFabbio. Photo by Fred Covarrubias.

Grand Champion Photographer, Bailey Walker, with Ballroom Marfa Director of Development, JD DiFabbio, on 21 January 2011. Photo by Fred Covarrubias.

Ballroom Marfa is proud to support 4-H, a youth development organization that empowers young people to reach their full potential. A community of more than 6 million youth and adults working together, 4-H enables America’s youth to emerge as leaders — through hands-on learning, research-based 4-H youth programs, and adult mentorship — in order to give back to their local communities.

This year Ballroom Marfa donated the funds to provide the Marfa 4H Grand Champion Prize for the photography competition, and our Director of Development, JD DiFabbio, acted as one of the judges at the awards ceremony on 21 January 2011. The winning photograph was taken by Marfa student Bailey Walker — you can see Bailey and her lovely photograph in the photo above.

Congratulations to Bailey Walker and all the 4-H participants!

DJ Camp

24 Jul 2010

From July 19-23, we hosted a free DJ Camp, a week-long scratch camp for Marfa Jr./Sr. students. On July 23, we had the big finale, featuring an all-star student DJ performance at the Capri, snacks, a rainstorm, and the best breakdancing Marfa has ever seen. Many thanks to DJ Bigface, Susannah Lipsey, the Thunderbird, and Q Bar Cafe for all their help making DJ Camp totally awesome. Check out a few photos from camp (courtesy of Susannah Lipsey):