- A very special thank you to Creative Waco, the Waco Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Waco Hippodrome Theatre for hosting our signature Arts Funding & Leadership Development Workshop on February 24, 2016 in Waco. The Workshop was a tremendous success and included insightful commentary about advocacy and about the important role the arts play in our schools and in our communities by Texas Representatives "Doc" Anderson (R-Waco) and Kyle Kacal (R-Bryan). Special appreciation to Fiona Bond, Executive Director of Creative Waco, for extending the initial invitation to Texans for the Arts and for working with our Texans for the Arts' members of the Board of Directors who presented the workshop's curriculum. Over 60 attendees participated in the day long workshop.
- Texans for the Arts successfully executed the legislative strategy that secured a new $5 million appropriation for the Texas Commission on the Arts' Cultural & Fine Arts District program during this past 84th Legislative Session. One step had remained in adding the additional funds to TCA's working budget and that was a 'certification' from the State Comptroller's Office. On November 4th, the TCA received word that the Comptroller's Office had indeed certified the full $5 million. The TCA has already received the first round of applications for Cultural & Fine Arts District project grants, and approved grants will be announced after December 8th. It will be very exciting to see the Cultural & Fine Arts Districts' projects that are realized through this ambitious opportunity. Thanks to our partners the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts and very importantly, our Texas legislators and state leadership who played a part in insuring this increased investment in public funding for the arts in Texas.
Brownsville, TX October 8, 2015 Workshop A Success!
A very special thank you to TFA Board members George Ramirez, President of the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts, and Cristina Balli, Executive Director of Texas Folklife, for hosting a rewarding Workshop in Brownsville, TX on October 8th. Joined by arts leaders from across the Rio Grande Valley, TFA board members Cookie Ruiz, CFRE, Executive Director of Ballet Austin, and Felix Padron, Executive Director of the City of San Antonio's Office of Cultural and Creative Development, and TFA Executive Director Ann S. Graham, led sessions on the "Seven Faces of Philanthropy", "Place Keeping", "Advocacy: The Power of the Grassroots", and more.
Special thanks, too, to the Honorable Rene Oliveira, State Representative from District 37, for being part of the workshop and sharing his perspective of what it is like to 'receive' advocacy and lobbying efforts - insights into what works and what doesn't!
The 84th Legislative Session ended on June 1, 2015 and we are pleased to share that Texans for the Arts secured $5 MILLION in new appropriations for the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) designated Cultural & Fine Arts Districts. The final Conference Committee Budget Report in late May included $10 million in new funding. However, within the purview of his office, the Governor vetoed 1/2 of the appropriation citing “A fiscally conservative approach to governing requires limiting the rate of growth in state spending. Funding for cultural tourism grants would be substantially increased from $1.3 million in FY 2014-2015 to $11.3 million in FY 2016-2017. I therefore object to and disapprove of one year of this appropriation.” The Governor then signed the General Appropriation's Bill on June 20th which included both the TCA's base funding and the new $5 million.
TFA is also pleased to share that the TCA's base funding of $6,669,614 was included in the initial budget bills - HB 1 and SB 2 in January and the final approved budget in June – a positive sign that we wouldn’t be in defensive mode! Two minor attempts in the House to re-appropriate some of the TCA's funds to other issues failed quickly on the House floor.
- TFA supported the Texas Hotel Lodging Association's important efforts to monitor local bills that would impact Municipal Hotel Occupany Tax (HOT) funds. None were passed this session that impacted the up-to-15% allowable to fund the arts at the municipal level.
- Did you know that the arts generate $5.1 BILLION for the Texas economy? That the arts contribute nearly $320 MILLION in state sales tax? That at-risk high school students who complete more than one art class are half as likely to drop out? These and other dynamic data reflect the power of the arts to grow the economy of Texas and help students succeed! Check out the Texas Cultural Trust’s 2015 "Invest in the Arts" study here!
Special thanks to the students of MIS 374 at the McCombs Business School of the University of Texas at Austin for building this site!