Recently, The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture announced three major milestones in its short history. It celebrated its three-year anniversary; the board and staff have expanded, adding an associate director position; and the organization has been recommended to receive its second programming grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Not a bad way to start the year. So, what’s in store for the organization in 2019?
You probably remember the Arts Alliance most for the “Don’t Fence Me In” sculpture and the colorful Wichita Dome, both bringing attention to the potential for a public art space next to the Attebury Grain Elevators.
Here’s what the organization will be up to in the coming year:
Celebrating Women’s History Month featuring the all-female music ensemble – New Arts Six. This amazing group will perform a repertoire of traditional African American Spirituals dedicated to the women in our lives. Make plans early for: “A Joyful Noise,” March 8, 2019, 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Wichita Falls, 3601 Taft Boulevard. Tickets are available by calling (940) 500-4451 or at www.wichitafallsarts.org.
Spotlight on Museums – Art and History document our stories and celebrate creativity. They are often community centers, opening their doors to residents, students and visitors to the communities in our region. The Wichita Falls Alliance’s kicks off its new Regional Museum this year, making available workshops and training sessions for area museum in Wichita, Wilbarger and Clay counties. The end game – increase the number of visitors enjoying museums in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. For more information about the museums involved in this collaboration, click here.
Lincoln Center Education returns – Local educators and artists join artists from as Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and cities across Texas come together for a week-long teaching artists training program help at MSU May 26-June 1. The program, the only one of its kind offered by Lincoln Center outside of New York City, is a crucial resource for the future of arts education The Lincoln Center Education Teaching Artist Learning Lab is open to artists, educators, and youth development workers. Registration for this program opens in February.
Eastside Walls – In addition to the annual 4-week summer arts camps offered for elementary and middle school students, The Alliance is expanding its summer arts camps to include a program for high school students, summer 2019. Students will work with local mural artists, supported by master muralist Ralph Stearns, to design and install two murals over the course of six weeks.
Nexus Square is an ongoing collaboration with The Texas Department of Transportation. The 12-acre median near downtown is being transformed to create an art space where artists, families, school children and visitors can engage with artists and art in an outdoor public art sculpture garden. Two highly successful community generated public art pieces have been created and exhibited. The project for 2019 will be the largest most colorful installation to date – stay tuned.
There’s more – we continue to exhibit Art Bikes during The Hotter’N Hell Bike Ride; collaborate with After Hours Art Walk and Dia de los Muertos Festival; and promote programs presented by area local arts organizations on our Arts Calendar. Check our website often – www.wichitafallsarts.org.
Margie J. Reese is the executive director of the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture.
(This story was originally published in the Times Record News.)