A town of only 10,000 residents, with more than 50 galleries and art spaces speak to the richness of Silver City. Nestled in the foothills of the Gila National Forest, the early history of the area is characterized by the cultures of the Mimbres and Apache. In the nineteenth century, miners began to settle the area, quickly establishing the town of Silver City. The town’s rough and tumble history includes the boyhood days of Billy the Kid, whose mother is buried in the town cemetery, and the various forts built to offer protection for settlers in the area. As the bottom fell out of the silver market, the town turned to ranching and copper mining to sustain itself. Today, Silver City is home to a vibrant arts scene—one of the most renowned in the Southwest. Painters, potters, printmakers, weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and other artisans have made their home here. The Mimbres Region Arts Council, a leading arts organization, supports ongoing public art projects, local artists, and presents performing arts events. The district balances historic era frontier buildings, while also engaging in more contemporary and colorful art forms.