Nacogdoches, SFA aim for recognition to become a Cultural District designation

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Retired professor Judith Lauter, who taught neuroscience for 11 years, took up an old hobby of photography which she has now more time to pursue.

"It's hard to take a bad picture of Nacogdoches. Lots of good photography chances," she said.

Lauter said the hobby is second nature to her by finding unique angles and existing art in town.

"For it's just natural. It's like breathing," Lauter said.

Lauter has had two of photos selected out of 30 others for the photo contest put on by the City of Nacogdoches and Stephen F. Austin State University.

The two agencies are making efforts to become a cultural and art designation. After several weeks of accepting art from the community, participants voted on the favorite submission.

The photo contest utilizes an opportunity to highlight and showcase the city's art and culture.

"This event is part of our contest as part of our outreach for the cultural designation called cultural and arts district we're hoping to achieve through the Texas Commission on the Arts," said Amy Mehaffey, communication director for the city.

Applying for the designation means more visitors and linking the many places with ongoing community activities. Nacogdoches hopes to become a destination town.

"There are people all over the country that travel to art and cultural districts. And it also allows us to be eligible for grants and continue the partnership with SFA," Mehaffey said.

In addition, Lauter said there is already a diversity of art, it's a matter of time before more people come to know of it.

"I think it's really true of Nacogdoches that we really are doing a cultural arts district already. We just need to have that formal designation to give credit to what we're already doing," Lauter said.

The winner of the photo contest will be announced on Friday. The city will submit its application for the cultural and art district designation in a couple of weeks.

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