Arts and Cultural Empowerment

The arts took flight on Wednesday, October 19 during the Inaugural Arts and Cultural Empowerment (ACE) Awards at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport as artists, art leaders, businesses, organizations, and individuals were recognized for their dedication to the arts and culture in Wichita County.

Hosted by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, the awards highlighted the importance of the arts as they relate to the quality of life of 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 made up of Carlos Aleman, Glen Bacus, Patricia Dillmon, Brenda Jarrett, and Crimson Shults. The panel reviewed 70 nominations. 

Here are the finalists and winners:

Outstanding Arts Educator 

  • Gary Kingcade, Artist
  • Jessica B. Johnson, Wichita Falls ISD – WINNER
  • Dr. Matthew Luttrell, MSU Texas

Business Champion of the Arts 

  • 9th Street Studios 
  • Danny Martinez – WINNER
  • KFDX/KJTL/Texoma’s Homepage

The Maker Award 

  • Court Glenn, Embroidery Artist
  • Katie Britt, Katiedid Designz – WINNER

Distinguished Artist of the Year 

  • Kim Ward, The Artistry
  • Mishic and Val Liberatore, Wichita Falls Ballet Theater – WINNER
  • Morgan Mallory, MSU Texas

Distinguished Cultural Organization 

  • Arts Council Wichita Falls Area, Inc. – WINNER
  • Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra 
  • Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative

Inclusion Advancement Award 

  • 9th Street Studios – WINNER
  • Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Inc. 
  • Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra 

Margie J. Reese Innovation Award 

  • Adam Lynskey, Wichita Christian School
  • Bob Barrow & Art Battle – WINNER
  • Ismael Duran, Potencia Projects 

Additionally, Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana presented the Mayor’s Choice Award to the Museum of North Texas History. 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.  

Thank you to our Sponsors:

Arts Champions

Edward Jones: David Jameson & Bryan T. Hines
Nimz Law
KFDX/KJTL/Texoma’s Homepage
Parkey Ranch – Clay County
MJR Partners – Margie J. Reese Arts Management Services

Sustaining Supporters

Charley O. Farris Social Justice Resource CenterFerguson Veresh Farmers Insurance – Rebecca Raeke AgencyFoundationJameson’s FlowersSawyer Printing and Promo

Friends of the Arts

Higginbotham State Farm: Tim Short

Arts Advocates

Wilson’s Office SupplyAdvantage Real EstateTangles Salon