The work of our agency can be stated in very simple and basic terms – we exist to be of service to the artists and arts organizations in Wichita Falls so that their work is made visible to every person in our community and to those who visit. As we continue to build The Alliance, this informational website will expand as well. We will ultimately provide local, regional and national information about the role that arts and culture play in building strong, creative communities.
The Alliance was formed in 2015 as a 501(c) 3 organization to respond to a citywide conversation about advancing the arts in Wichita Falls. We are proud to have a strong relationship with the City of Wichita Falls, and have been designated as the official agency for distributing municipal arts funds. Support for the arts in the city is not a new idea, however. In fact, for almost 100 years, citizens of Wichita Falls have shared their time, resources and passion for creating arts and cultural experiences. Many of the city’s arts organizations started as all volunteer groups and through partnerships, shared vision and generous donors, the arts community today is poised to reach broader audiences and approach new benchmarks for public engagement in the arts, cultural expression, and heritage preservation. The Alliance is proud to join and support these efforts.
We hope that you will visit this site often and consider it your personal resource for connecting with the creative community in Wichita Falls.
Margie Johnson Reese, MFA
Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture
The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture is funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“To provide leadership to support, promote, and cultivate the arts in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area.”
“The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture will strengthen and distinguish arts and culture in Wichita Falls, sparking individual ingenuity, building enduring bonds among diverse communities, and positioning the city as a regional leader.”
The purposes of the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture are to:
- Strengthen and elevate arts and culture including, but not limited to, visual and performing arts, literature, culinary arts, architecture, and horticulture;
- Inspire participation, support, appreciation, and leadership of quality arts and arts programs;
- Make the arts more accessible for all persons in the region, from children and adults to arts professionals;
- Build bridges to connect neighborhoods, organizations, businesses, and educational and governmental entities to promote and celebrate artistic and cultural diversity through shared experiences;
- Nurture the arts through ongoing education and creative development;
- Promote the arts through advocacy, publicity, funding, and policy development for area arts and cultural organizations; and
- Strengthen skills and infrastructure for arts organizations and artists to support high quality artistic and cultural experiences.
The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture is an outgrowth of a yearlong series of conversations that included the voices of a broad range of stakeholders. Artists, leadership of arts organizations, educators, elected officials and the public at large were engaged in exploring the value and role of the arts in our city. A grant from The Priddy Foundation supported the development of an Arts and Culture Master Plan for Wichita Falls that confirmed that the arts are highly valued as a basic and core part of everyday life. Other areas of the plan focused on the potential for growth within the arts community with an eye toward preserving the unique history and heritage of Wichita Falls and suggested that the arts have an important role to play in educating young people, stimulating the economy and attracting visitors to the city.
Taking stock of the recommendations from the Master Plan, the critical next step was clear – create a local arts agency to help galvanize the arts community and create a shared vision toward achieving five civic priorities:
- Inspire Participation, Support and Leadership
- Build Bridges
- Nurture the Arts through Education and Creative Development
- Promote the Arts through Policy Development, Advocacy and Publicity
- Expand Capacity to Advance Excellence
With this mandate in mind, in 2014 a Board of Directors was formed to frame and officially incorporate the Wichita Falls Arts Alliance for Art and Culture (The Alliance) as a 501(c) 3 public non-profit organization. In January 2016, the Board of the new organization hired its first Executive Director to lead the agency. Funded initially by a consortium of local foundations, the work has begun! If enthusiasm is any indicator of the future success of the organization – The Alliance is poised to take the Arts and Culture Master Plan off the pages and bring the community’s ideas to life.
A full copy of the Arts and Culture Master Plan is available at: https://priddyfdn.org/uploads/editor/files/Priddy_Foundation_Arts_Plan.PDF