The Branigan Cultural Center is the closest thing to a vister’s center that Las Cruces has, and although it may be small, it’s worth stopping by at least once, if for no other reason than to say you have.
The cultural center is divided into three basic sections. The first section covers the history of southern New Mexico and Las Cruces. The majority of the pictures and info are similar to other museums in other parts of New Mexico; however the Las Cruces information is quite unique. The bigger museums in places like Albuquerque and Santa Fe tend to focus more on the history of their own region rather than that of their southern neighbors.
The second section is comprised of a hallway containing family histories of some of Las Cruces’ oldest families (and I’m sure center contributers) and an open room with a stage. The day I went the room was being used as an art gallery for a water color exhibit. All the art was that of southern New Mexico. Some were quite good and some not so much. I realize that I’m no art critic, but I just don’t see how a water color of a yucca plant is art. Again, that may just be me.
The third and final section is a rotating exhibit. Currently it’s “100 Years of Girl Scouting”, which, I must say, made me very happy. I was a Girl Scout from 1st to 12th grade, earned a Silver Star and worked at Girl Scout camps every summer for years. The exhibit had every type of uniform for each level for the past 100 years, an entire wall of various patches and different Girl Scout cookies where you could vote on your favorite. The exhibit wasn’t very large, but it made my afternoon nonetheless 🙂