Fort Worth, TX Arts and Culture Attractions

Creative ventures abound, from live music and festivals to world-class museums

By Kevin Litwin on September 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm EST


With the title “Museum Capital of the Southwest,” it's no surprise Fort Worth arts lovers feel at home among the city's many cultural attractions, which include not only museums but also theaters, live music and lots of fun festivals.

Bass Performance Hall

One of Fort Worth’s most impressive music venues, the 2,065-seat Bass Performance Hall spans a full city block in historic Sundance Square and is home to Performing Arts Fort Worth, a nonprofit organization that manages the hall and presents Broadway touring shows in its "Broadway at the Bass" series, as well as other popular programming. The venue also hosts programming by the performing arts organizations that call it home, including the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Ballet Theater and the Fort Worth Opera.

Van Cliburn Piano Competition

Another resident organization at Bass Performance Hall is The Cliburn, the not-for-profit organization that presents the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition every four years as well as the annual Cliburn Concerts series. The three-week-long competition began in Fort Worth in 1962 to celebrate and discover the world's best pianists, after Van Cliburn's victory at the first Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 1958. The pianist's life will be chronicled in an upcoming movie titled Van Cliburn, in which he will be portrayed by The Fault in Our Stars actor Ansel Elgort.

Theater and Film

Several organizations and venues stage everything from Broadway shows to children’s performances, including Jubilee Theatre, Casa Mañana, Hip Pocket Theatre, Four Day Weekend and Amphibian Stage Productions. Youth interested in musical theater should also check out Kids Who Care, which stages performances primarily at the W.E. Scott Theatre and also offers classes and camps.

Cinema fans should mark their calendars for November to attend the annual Lone Star Film Festival, which MovieMaker magazine lists among its top 50 film festivals.

Live Music

Live music fans can float the Trinity River while taking in shows at Panther Island Pavilion, one of the city's newest venues for concerts, festivals and other community events.

In the historic Stockyards district, visit Billy Bob’s Texas, which proudly claims the title of the world’s largest honky-tonk, or check out one of the city's smaller must-hear venues, such as Lola’s Saloon, Magnolia Motor Lounge, The Wild Rooster, Capital Bar, Fred’s Texas Cafe, Basement Bar and White Elephant Saloon. Other favorite nightlife hangouts include The Aardvark, Rockstar Sports Bar, 1919 Hemphill and Scat Jazz Lounge.


Every April, music and arts fans from around the country converge on Main Street for the highly anticipated Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival. The free, four-day event's schedule includes live concerts, street performers, a juried arts fair, food and family fun, and has been a local tradition for nearly three decades. It is the Southwest’s largest arts and entertainment festival, and has been rated the No. 1 arts festival in Texas and the third-largest arts festival in the country.

Fort Worth residents enjoy other arts-focused festivals, too. They include MusicArte on the River, ArtsGoggle and Modern ’til Midnight (held at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth).


Fort Worth's Cultural District allows people to take in many arts experiences in a well-connected, walkable area. The city has several other arts facilities worth exploring too, including the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in the West Meadowbrook neighborhood, the Sid Richardson Museum downtown and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Stockyards District.

Be sure to read more about recent developments in the Cultural District, which includes the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the Kimbell Art Museum.

Check out more cultural attractions in Fort Worth, TX.

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