skip navigation

Artists, art leaders, businesses, organizations, and individuals were recognized for their dedication to the arts and culture in Wichita County at the 2023 Arts and Cultural Empowerment (ACE) Awards.

Hosted by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, the awards highlighted the importance of the arts to our region – and honored those who have made major creative achievements or significant contributions to cultural growth or development.   

Finalists were scored by a selection panel. In all, the panelist reviewed more than 70 nominations. 

Here are the winners of the 2023 ACE Awards:

Outstanding Arts Educator – Roger Palma, Zavala International Dancers

Business Champion of the Arts – Downtown Wichita Falls Development

The Maker Award – Crashworks STEAM Studio and Maker Space

Distinguished Artist of the Year – Carter Wallace, Backdoor Theatre Artistic Director

Distinguished Cultural Organization – Zavala Hispanic Heritage Initiative

Inclusion Advancement Award – Wichita Falls Housing Authority

Margie J. Reese Innovation Award – Daniel Nix, City of Wichita Falls

Additionally, Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana presented the Mayor’s Choice Award to the Wichita Falls 4B Sales Tax Corporation Board of Directors. This award, which he selected, was to be presented to an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution to the arts and cultural climate of the City of Wichita Falls.