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News from the arts beat - El Paso Inc.: Editors Column

News from the arts beat

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Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2012 6:00 pm | Updated: 6:40 pm, Sun Sep 2, 2012.

This week, I’m happy to announce that Cindy Graff Cohen is now El Paso Inc.’s arts and culture columnist.

You may have noticed her byline on articles over the past few months, as we strategized how to cover the booming local arts scene.

That became necessary when Betty Ligon, our longtime, devoted and very productive arts columnist, finally decided that, having reached 90 years of age, she should slow down a bit.

Now Betty writes a monthly column for Southwest Senior, our publication for active adults 50 and up.

We like that Cindy is a fine writer with a broad range of experience covering the arts, and that her career in journalism and publishing spans more than two decades. But what’s just as important is her commitment to promoting the arts in El Paso.

She’s a docent at the El Paso Museum of Art; she helped put together the “50 Years of Fashion” at the history musuem; her first job here was with the El Paso Ballet; and she follows the opera, the symphony and Pro-Musica, to name a few.

But she also sees art in other places, like a horse show, as evidenced in this week’s story about “horse ballet” or dressage.

She began writing about the arts in 1982 for the national magazine Horizon. She spent four years traveling the country for Antique Monthly, covering fine arts auctions, antiques shows, important collectors and museum exhibits.

She told me that she’s been an avid museumgoer since she was a child, and she describes being a docent at our art museum as a dream come true.

Cindy graduated from the University of Virginia, has two master’s degrees, one in English and one in higher ed counseling, and a professional certificate in industrial patternmaking from El Paso Community College.

She’s married to attorney Burton Cohen, and they have three grandchildren in Dallas. Cindy came here from Virginia, after she and Burton got married in Robert E. Lee’s Boyhood Home in Alexandria.

Cindy says she misses Washington’s museums, but not the traffic, and thoroughly enjoys living in El Paso and all the friends she’s made.

And it seems that Cindy and I might have crossed paths over the years, but we never did. We both worked in the Washington area in the 1980s and 1990s, and she was one of El Paso Inc.’s first writers, in 1997. My first tour of duty here started in 1998.

Cindy would like to hear from you about what to cover. Send your thoughts by e-mail to Or just welcome her aboard!

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