Downtown Conroe Designated as a State of Texas Cultural District
CONROE, TX -- The City of Conroe has been designated as a State of Texas Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA). Cultural districts are special zones that drive economic development, community vitality and attract tourists. The designation of the Downtown Conroe Cultural District will bring the total number of Cultural Districts in Texas to 52.
According to the Commission, the establishment of a cultural district requires a focus on the arts with carefully laid out plans and collaboration among arts organizations, city and county government entities, businesses and citizens. The designation allows the cultural district and qualifying resident arts organizations to be eligible to apply for significant Cultural District Project funding through the TCA.
“We are pleased to highlight the wonderful work the Downtown Conroe Cultural District is already doing to attract visitors to their community and to enhance the quality of life in our great state,” said Gary Gibbs, executive director of the TCA. “Their application provided extensive information about their qualifications and was considered through a highly rigorous review process. We congratulate them on this achievement.”
The designation was announced at the City Council meeting on September 8 and was the culmination of over a year of work that built on previous applications, the Downtown Conroe Development Plan, and strategic planning with over 20 downtown cultural arts stakeholders.
Mayor Jody Czajkoski commented after the announcement, “Congratulations to all involved. The City could not be more pleased and thankful for the support and recognition from the Texas Commission on the Arts. I am equally thankful for the hard work of Bret Hall our consultant and the leadership of our Downtown Manager, Frank Robinson.”
Councilwoman Marsha Porter, a long-time supporter of the Cultural arts had this to say, “It was Annette Spikes who made me aware of the City’s multi-year effort to receive this designation. I am so thankful for her vision and so pleased that after five years of seeking to accomplish this goal, the City of Conroe has succeeded. This is a momentous day for Conroe’s cultural arts community. There will be many opportunities for funding cultural programs and facilities in the years to come promoting economic development and reinforcing the fact that Conroe is a first-class community: second to none.”
Annette Spikes, community leader and active supporter of many arts organizations including the Conroe Symphony Orchestra, has been a strong proponent for pursuing the cultural district designation for many years. When learning of the news, she said, “Conroe was elevated to new heights in the state of Texas by being designated as having a Cultural District. Not only will Conroe be promoting itself, the whole state of Texas will be promoting our City as a place to visit. Many people refer to the Texas Commission on Arts to locate the cities that have this designation because people like to visit places where the history, culture, entertainment and arts are prominent. Receiving this designation, has been a goal of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance for several years. This is a great accomplishment for the City of Conroe.”
Representatives from the Texas Commission on the Arts will be presenting a proclamation to the City marking the special designation in the near future. An October event is in the planning stages now. More information on the event will be forthcoming as details become available.