Diane Milliken-Garza, PhD, wants the downtown area in Brownsville to thrive with more local restaurants, coffee shops and local art, so that in a few years Brownsville becomes a tourist destination known for its local arts and culture.
This Saturday, the local philanthropist will host her first exhibit in the Milliken-Garza Gallery at the Livery Building, located on East Adams Street, where dozens of SpaceX photographs taken by Rio Grande Valley photographers will be showcased.
“I see people from out of town who will be coming, and spending their money in areas like Historical Downtown Brownsville, and I just see every building being taken care of by incredible entrepreneurs, small or large, and I can see a bakery, a coffee shop and all of those things that you can find at places like the River Walk in San Antonio,” she said.
With the art gallery, Milliken-Garza hopes to be part of the revitalization of the downtown area so that more local artists have a place to exhibit their work. She said with SpaceX investing money in Brownsville, the area can really thrive and be a tourist destination for those who want to experience the unique culture in the city.
“I feel like the best thing, probably the most sustainable thing that has ever happened to us, is SpaceX,” she said. “They are changing the world, and they are going to be here.”
Milliken-Garza also hopes to create partnerships with artists in Matamoros so that they can have the support they need and a place to exhibit their work. She said there are amazing artists across the river who do city art all over Matamoros and could even get international attention.
Joe Medrano, one of the gallery event sponsors, said it is a great opportunity to work with Milliken-Garza on ways to work to improve the arts and cultures in this “beautiful” city. He said the idea of having this new gallery only adds to what Downtown Brownsville has to offer, including a living opportunity to make history.
“We will probably see several hundreds of families that will be impacted by the economic growth that SpaceX will bring to this area,” he said.
“There is a vision of working together to supporting local, through all of the efforts that I have been involved with Dr. Garza for a few years, in bringing back awareness, creating awareness. … It’s kind of a story of transformation: transformation of Brownsville, transformation of Downtown Brownsville, transformation and this whole growth of at The Livery to Mars because it encompasses what could be a beautiful gallery at Historic Downtown Brownsville,” Medrano said.
To schedule a visit for the gallery, contact Milliken-Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org.