7 quirky El Paso experiences that beat driving to Marfa

Last October I was in Marfa, Texas at the Chinati Foundation—an art wonderland in the middle of nowhere known across the globe for its use of minimalism. It was open weekend so exhibits and galleries were free and open to the public as artists from across the nation flocked to Marfa. Solange Knowles performed a free show at Chinati in the center of a grass field where only fifteen concrete Donald Judd sculptures sit. As an audience member there were only two rules: we all had to be dressed in white and we could not carry cell phones. The whole experience was mesmerizing.

More women encouraged to run for office in El Paso

EL PASO – Currently, 80 percent of lawmakers in the Texas Legislature are men, as well as 80 percent in the U.S. Congress. But that may change as movements for more women in politics grow. In El Paso, more than a dozen women turned out to a recent Candidate 101 forum hosted by Annie’s List—a statewide organization whose purpose is to get more progressive, pro-choice women to run for and win office. “I’m really encouraged that they would be willing to lend their gifts and talents to our community,” said former El Paso City Council representative and current EPISD trustee Susie Byrd. “I think it’s so important and so necessary that courageous people with a vision for our community step up to lead.”

El Paso Water works to encourage restaurants to conserve with its seal of approval

El Paso Water has been working on conservation programs for residents for nearly 20 years. Since the start of the initiative in the 1990s, per capita consumption has been reduced by over 20 percent, according to research by the utility. Although EPW said every resident’s conservation effort is important, the companyt is now concentrating conservation efforts on encouraging restaurants and businesses to reduce their water use. “We found that about 15 percent of the water use from the commercial sector comes from hospitality and the food service industry,” Christina Montoya, communications and marketing manager for El Paso Water, said. In May of 2017, Montoya and her team developed the idea to recognize restaurants that have been successful in conservation by deeming them as Certified Water Partners.