NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It's a well-known fact that Nacogdoches is rich with art and culture. Now supporters of both are seeking a way to develop the unique strengths.
An application for a cultural district designation is underway.
Artistic plus cultural equals economic strength. That's the premise behind Main Street Nacogdoches, Stephen F. Austin State University, SFA's College of Fine Arts, and the Cole Art Center collaborating for a Nacogdoches Arts and Cultural District designation. SFA program specialist Shawn Fischer cites the proposed boundaries.
"It would include both historic downtown, come up Mound Street and include the University out towards Tucker Woods," said Shawn Fischer, an SFA program specialist.
The roadblock is just weeks ago the funding for cultural arts districts was placed on the chopping block by the Texas Legislature.
"Until this year there were grant opportunities that were available to cultural districts specifically, so they had to be designated to apply for those," Fischer said.
However, art supporters say this is still the time to seek a district designation.
"I think we're missing the boat if we don't do it," said A.C. "Buddy" Himes, the dean of SFA's College of Fine Arts.
Himes said he wants to remain ready should funding be reinstated or at least improve.
"Being a part of a cultural district would make us eligible for those grants, whereas at the present time, we're just not eligible for them," Himes said.
Participants and events within the proposed district vary. To name just a few there's Sculpture for All, SFA Gardens, and The Fredonia Hotel. Just as diverse is the list of events, which includes Day of the Dead Festival, the Nacogdoches Film Festival, and the Blueberry Festival. A district can create a unified voice.
"Centralize the information about what cultural activities are available and what events are occurring," said Dr. Scott Shattuck, the associate dean of SFA's College of Fine Arts.
Who will lead this effort from a proposed? The community, the very entity the arts and culture
A special event is planned to showcase Nacogdoches art and culture.
The public is invited to submit photographs portraying any art or culture relevant to the Nacogdoches community.
There will be a $250 prize for the winner of the contest. Deadline for submissions is May 29. The images will be on display June 4th at the Cole Art Center.