About the TCA



1890s - Arthur Rockford Manby built a 19-room Spanish hacienda adobe

In the late 1890s, when the refined Englishman Arthur Rockford Manby built his 19-room Spanish style hacienda adobe mansion near the central plaza in Taos, New Mexico, he filled it with art treasures of the day. However, no matter how refined he was, he was a loner and not a friendly man. In truth, he stole most of what he accumulated, and years later he was murdered. And no matter who took over the mansion and surrounding gardens, or how it was used, it never flourished.

1950s - Taos Art Association formed - the oldest non-profit arts organization in NM

Not until the 1950s when a group of Taoseños got the idea to form an art association and they needed a location for their project. They put together the money to buy the Manby property, turned the mansion into art galleries and created a fledgling "open-air" community theater in the gardens. The Taos Art Association (TAA) was in action and it was immediately embraced. It was the first, and is therefore the oldest, non-profit arts organization in the state.

1970s - the Taos Community Auditorium was built

By the 1970s private and corporate funds were raised to build the current Taos Community Auditorium and more ambitious productions were possible. For the next 30 years the TAA produced original theatrical productions, welcomed traveling performers, and sponsored the exhibition of work by visual artists, both local and from around the world. TCA advocacy has extended from budding organizations such as MC Productions to established groups such as Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival. It has spanned the globe from Taos Living Treasures to the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, to the National Theater for the Deaf, to Golden Dragon Acrobats, Missoula Children's Theatre and back again to the Taos Children's Theater and Robert Mirabal.

2000 - Taos Art Association becomes Taos Center for the Arts

In the year 2000 great change occurred. With the agreement of the community, TCA temporarily closed the facilities and restructured the organization and the Board of Directors. Both of these actions were critical to preserve the venue. In public meetings, the new Board promised to raise the money to complete required renovations, to reopen the auditorium and to modify the Stables Gallery/Carriage House to accommodate more and varied activities. Through generous anonymous donations of $400,000, those promises were kept and the auditorium reopened in November, 2001 followed by the Stables Gallery in April, 2002.

Taos Art Association (TAA) became the Taos Center for the Arts (TCA) and could return focus to the quality and diversity of productions and exhibitions at the facilities and the result that produces for the community. TCA venues offers world-class art in a familiar, user-friendly, renovated setting. It provides our citizens with world-class opportunities for their involvement as artists, students, audience, and volunteers. This is TCA's mission.

One hundred plus years later Arthur Rokford Manby could never have imagined the art treasures that would ultimately be in his adobe mansion. Art treasures for the people of Taos.