Monday, April 15, 2013

Isolated Marfa, Tex., is revived by art, culture and newcomers' desire to get away from cities

A desert town in West Texas was on the brink of extinction before artists began descending into the area, reviving the economy with a flourish of art and culture. The result is that the 2,000-population town of Marfa, one hour from the Mexican border and 200 miles from the nearest airport, has a unique blend of cowboys, Hispanics, and artistic transplants, some from as far away as New York City, Morley Safer reports for "60 Minutes" on CBS. (Wikipedia map)

Among the one-stoplight town, there are poetry readings that draw 80 to 90 people, galleries with all sorts of works, and art displays, such as a series of concrete boxes that are mostly used as a playground by antelope, and the Prada store that never opens, serving only as a statement even though it has $2,000 bags on display, Safer reports.

"Watching the passing parade, you're not quite sure if you're in Mayberry or Greenwich Village," Safer reports. "For old Marfans, there's the gun show. For new Marfans, a symposium on politics, culture, climate and sustainability." Local resident Buck Johnston said of the town: "I mean, it's nutty. It's just this cultural little hub in the middle of nowhere. We think it's the best small town in America." (Read more)

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