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June 20, 2024 – Wichita County will be honored at the Texas Arts Advocacy Awards Dinner on June 27th, 2024, in Waco, TX with the Lasting Community Impact Through Arts Advocacy Award. This honor is awarded to a community that has taken a transformational step to support the arts. Retired County Judge Woody Gossom and Wichita County Precinct 1 Commissioner Mark Beauchamp will accept the award on behalf of the county.

“The leadership of Wichita County has cultivated an environment where arts and culture thrive. This award underscores ongoing efforts to integrate arts and culture into civic life. Wichita County continues to set an example for arts advocacy across Texas,” said Chris Kiley, Executive Director of Texans for the Arts.

“This award is a testament to our community’s collaborative spirit and our dedication to preserving the legacy of trailblazers like Ms. Farris. We are committed to honoring our history and preserving it for future generations,” Wichita County Judge Jim Johnson said.

Wichita County was nominated for this award by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture for supporting The Legends Project, honoring Charlye Ola Farris. Ms. Farris, a Wichita County native, holds the distinction of becoming the first African American woman licensed to practice law in Texas, the first African American attorney in Wichita County, and the first African American to serve as a judge in the South since Reconstruction. The project will culminate with the dedication of a permanent bronze sculpture of Ms. Farris on the grounds of the Wichita County Courthouse.

“We are proud to partner with Wichita County on this project,” said Ann Arnold-Ogden, Executive Director of the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture. “This partnership will create a meaningful cultural landmark that has a lasting impact on our region.”

The sculpture of Ms. Farris is set to be unveiled this fall.

For more information on the Texas Arts Advocacy Awards Dinner, please visit