A new state cultural district designation for a portion of Longview has opened the door for four arts groups to receive more than $200,000 in grant money.
Arts!Longview, ArtsView Children’s Theater, the Longview Museum of Fine Arts and the Longview Symphony will receive various amounts of funds next month through Texas Commission on the Arts grants.
Most of the funding became available when Arts!Longview received the cultural district designation in September 2019, according to a statement from Arts!Longview Executive Director Cynthia Hellen.
“As a direct result of Arts!Longview’s designation as a cultural district, our art partners were eligible for the first time to apply for this bucket of state-level funding,” said Arts!Longview Board of Directors President Nancy Murray.
Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. These districts can become focal points for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride.
Details of the grant amounts are:
Arts!Longview will receive a $70,000 matching grant that will be used to produce and install light-pole banners, utility-box wrappers, street-sign toppers, murals and entryway monuments throughout the cultural district. The cultural district includes most of downtown Longview, the LeTourneau University campus and the South Mobberly Avenue corridor connecting the two.
ArtsView Children’s Theatre will receive $16,850 to support its main-stage productions and its efforts to keep children and families engaged in the performing arts during the pandemic.
■ The Longview Museum of Fine Arts will receive $95,000 to upgrade its facility and underwrite upcoming exhibits.
■ The Longview Symphony will receive $24,000 to help underwrite its upcoming concert featuring music from the “Harry Potter” film soundtracks.
The Arts!Longview Cultural District became officials at an Oct. 10 ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the group’s offices inside the former Guaranty Bank/Regions Bank building at 213 N. Fredonia Street downtown. At least 200 people attended to toast the state designation of the 342-acre district during the event.
“Our mission is simple,” Murray said at the time. “We are here to spark a love of the arts, history and culture to enhance our community. That’s our goal.”
State commissioners selected Longview and two other cities for cultural arts districts this past September. The city and Arts!Longview spent more than a year galvanizing support and completing an application to achieve the designation.