Showtime! El Paso is a relatively new name for one of El Paso’s oldest organizations. Until 2003, we were known as El Paso Community Concerts. Here’s a brief history. In the early 1930s, El Pasoans — like people nationwide — had an appetite for live performances. At the same time, many stages were going empty because money was scarce to pay for touring entertainment.
In New York, the managers at Columbia Artists had come up with a bold plan: Raise the money for touring acts in advance through a network of locally based organizations, who would sell a whole season at a time. Thus was born Community Concerts. Community Concerts went nationwide to establish non-profit, all-volunteer organizations and to expand the touring network for the selected artist. El Paso joined this network within its first few years. The first El Paso concert was held in 1934, and the 1933-1934 concert series officially established the beginning of El Paso Community Concert Association.
Featured artists in the early years included Vladimir Horowitz, Nelson Eddy, Lily Pons and Yehudi Menuhin. By fostering people’s hunger for live performing arts, the El Paso Community Concert Association and other associations also were contributing to the nationwide growth of local symphonies, theaters, and dance companies. El Paso’s second oldest performing arts organization has continued to adapt to change. After the national network of community concert organizations disbanded in 2003, our local non-profit organization renamed itself Showtime! El Paso and began booking acts on its own. Showtime! El Paso remains an all-volunteer organization, with the largest performing arts membership in El Paso. We have nearly 1,000 season subscribers. In our 80 years, we have entertained over 588,000 people.