A variety of cultural enrichment offerings complement El Centro College's rich academic and technical programs. Primarily, the college presents its cultural enrichment events through its Arts and Sciences Division, the Business, Public Services & Information Technology Division, the Health and Legal Division, the Communications/Math Division and through the Office of Student Life. Offerings include workshops, lectures, community and historical awareness activities, visual arts exhibitions, fine dining events, concerts, and theatrical and fashion performances by students and local, national and international artists.
The Arts & Science Division hosts stunning exhibitions at the college's H. Paxton Moore Art Gallery. The gallery opened in August 2004 and is named in tribute to H. Paxton Moore. Moore was one of the first English faculty members hired by El Centro College, and is credited for starting the college's first Aesthetic Committee, which inspired the purchase of student and professional art works.
A few of the cultural enrichment exhibitions showcased through the H. Paxton Moore Fine Arts Gallery include:
Fluorescent Pop, featuring Chicago artist, Claire Ashley, January 2012.
Distinguished Alumni Exhibition, 45th Anniversary – El Centro College, Curated by Barry Whistler, Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, September 2011.
Smackdown II, Houston vs. Dallas, Curated by Kelly Moran, Texas Collaborative, Houston and Steve Cruz, Mighty Fine Arts, Dallas, January 2010.
New Works, featuring Jill Moser, New York City and Lucinda Cobley, London, England, Curated by Wade Wilson, Wade Wilson Gallery, Houston, January 2009.
The Business, Public Service and Information Technology Division's Food & Hospitality Institute hosts an annual Bits n' Bites food sampling fest that allows the community, restaurateurs, food & hospitality students and alumni, and business and industry to mingle, taste and enjoy various upscale Dallas-based and international restaurant cuisine. In addition to food sampling, every year, the event honors members of the community who have made significant contributions to the food & hospitality industry and/or to the success of El Centro's Food & Hospitality Institute.
The Business, Public Service and Information Technology Division's Fashion Marketing Program hosts various fashion events that include "runway" style student fashion shows. The program made history in October 2011 when it presented and screened the highly acclaimed documentary entitled "DRESSED" at the Texas Theatre. DRESSED is the inspiring story of Laotian-American fashion designer, Nary Manivong, who defied a broken childhood and homelessness in Columbus, Ohio to follow his dream to develop his own fashion brand and to showcase his fashion collection during New York's famous Fashion Week. Nary's clothing can be found in a host of upscale stores, including Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus!
Through its partnership with the Dallas Council on Drug and Alcoholism, the Center for Allied Health and Nursing hosts an annual community-oriented World Aids Day event. One of the main features of the October 2011 event was free Aids testing with instant testing results.
The Communications/Math Division, in collaboration with the college's International Center and the English for Speakers of Other Languages program (ESOL), sponsors an annual international festival through the World Languages Department. The goal of the international festival is to promote student enrollment in language courses. The 2010 festival highlighted enrollment in French courses. The theme of the 2010 festival was "Bonjour Café". To authenticate the "Bonjour Café" festival experience, the World Language Department partnered with local Dallas French restaurants to provide French-inspired refreshments, traditional French music, mini-French language lessons, and brief presentations on French culture.
The Office of Student Life cultural enrichment efforts include student-centered activities such as an African-American Read-in; a Juneteenth Celebration; a Constitution Day Commemoration; a Dia de la Raza Celebration; a Native-American History Month celebration; an Asian-American History Month celebration; and Cinco de Mayo celebrations.