Official Cultural District for State of Texas
The "Texas Commission on the Arts" announced the designation of the Galveston Downtown Cultural Arts District as an official cultural distrct for the State of Texas, elevating Galveston to an elite group of arts communities across the state.
"You are part of a historic group of communities that have recognized that investing in creative and artistic ventures offers a good approach to community revitalization and cultural tourism" Texas Commission on the Arts Deputy Director, Jim Bob McMillan, wrote in an email. "In Texas, we recognize that a thriving cultural sector is a powerful economic development asset. The outcome of a cultural district extends beyond the arts and cultural sector to benefit the entire community."
Obtaining this designation required gathering of letters of support, creating an application package to hightlight the myriad of cultural offerings in Galveston, and hosting community meetings to inform citizens and businesses of the intent to apply for the designation.
The City of Galveston Commission on the Arts has successfully undertaken many proejcts to improve and exemplify the cultural integrity of the island. They coordinated the relocation of artist David Moore's "Dolphins" statue to its current setting on the Seawall, gaining necessary permissions and funds for transport from its original location on the Postoffice Street "mall" corridor, which was reopened to traffic.
The commissioning of a sculpture commemorating the 1900 Storm was another highly visible project brought to life once more by artist David Moore. The 1900 Storm commemorative sculpture, which was placed on the Galveston Seawall, is unarguably one of the most photographed and iiconic sculptures on the island.
The Commission has also participated in the Livable Communities work for downtown Galveston, which includes commissioning a piece by artist Doug McLean to be tentatively installed at the main bus terminal, as well as publication of a driving tour brochure of public art.
"Galveston is blessed to have had a vibrant, successful arts community throughout its history" stated Maureen Patton, Executive Director of The Grand 1894 Opera House and current member of the City of Galveston Commission on the Arts. "Through this new designation, Galveston will gain yet another partner in our efforts to create awareness about our island, increase our tourism base and add to the economic impact the arts already have on the community. It's a feather in the cap of every individual, business and attraction in our city and a success we can all celebrate together."
The designation will be publicly celebrated later this year and will remain in place for ten years with the Texas Commission on the Arts. For additional information, please visit www.arts.state.tx.us.