Tune in to our new show on NPR

By Rae Jefferson
Director of Marketing and Communications

We've got some exciting news!

Starting today, Creative Waco is partnering with KWBU, our local NPR affiliate station, to bring you a new radio program called "Conversations with Creative Waco".

The show will take you behind the scenes of the Waco's creative and cultural events and into the lives of the people who make them happen. The first segment airs today on 103.3 KWBU-FM at 11:30 a.m. and again at 8 p.m.

Out on a LImb Dance Company Photo from WacoTrib

Out on a LImb Dance Company
Photo from WacoTrib

Today's program features Brook Schlecte, executive director of Out on a Limb Dance Company. She will discuss her company’s upcoming performance, Stimuli; her career as a dancer and choreographer; and the creative challenges associated with performing modern dance in Waco.

Conversations with Creative Waco is a collaboration between Creative Waco and KWBU. The show will include interviews with some of the movers and shakers in Waco’s ever-developing cultural hub. Guests will range from artists to educators to event planners who discuss the inner workings of their craft and how it fits within the framework of Waco’s creative community.

The program is currently hosted by Michael Incavo, a reporting intern at KWBU and a public relations intern at Creative Waco. He is a jazz multi-instrumentalist who performs regularly around Waco, Houston and Austin, and has been syndicated on the Texas Standard.

The program will air on the second and fourth Friday of every month. We'd love for you to listen in on our conversations!

 

Sharing special stories at pop-up museums

By Matthew Doyen
Contributor

This article is courtesy of Act Locally Waco, a local organization that aims to "build channels of communication that facilitate community participation, collaboration and the free flow of information and ideas with the end result of making Waco a great place to live for every person of every level of income." Like their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on things to do in Waco, and for more insightful words about Waco from locals.

I love Harry Potter. My friends love Harry Potter. We watch the movies, listen to the audiobooks, and read the tattered paperbacks. We are so magically spellbound by the series not only because of our (continued-into-adulthood) desire to attend Hogwarts, but also because of the way that Rowling shares her story. She is a magnificent storyteller and believes that “there's always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” We are transported when we hear her story, but also when we grasp our wand replicas, flick them in the air, and pronounce “Wingardium Leviosa.”

Certain objects, like a wand, or a medal, or a toy, are so powerful that they can tell a story in a few sentences that can be just as emotional as a seven book saga. They can make us make us laugh, make us cry, and make us think. The best part is that while not everyone has a wizarding world in their mind, everyone does have a treasured object in their possession. Susan Mullaly, former assistant professor of art at Baylor, emphasized this point in her book What I Keep. In it, members of the Church Under the Bridge are photographed with an item that they have kept safe against all odds. It is overtly simple, but extremely moving. For the past couple of months, the Museum Association of Waco has been attempting to temporarily collect and display more of our cherished objects and to share the stories that are connected to them. The concept is called a pop-up museum and its success is up to us.

Our first pop-up museum was in the Local History Room at the Waco-McLennan Central Library on Austin Avenue. The library’s theme for the month was You Are Where You Live so we asked participants to answer a simple question with an object: What does Waco mean to you? We received eleven extraordinary objects that were displayed for two weeks. Unassuming things like a wedding invitation and a medal told the adventurous stories of meeting new friends and conquering new endeavors. The proud owner of a Bearathon medal wrote, “During my time in grad school, my friends have bonded over our journey to running the Bearathon. We have trained hard, run many miles, and have consumed many carbs! This medal represents our accomplishments and our great experiences together.” Another participant who brought a wedding invitation shared a similar story. “When I came to Texas, I didn’t know a single person. It was scary. But then some amazing people invited me into their lives. This wedding invitation represents one of the many memories I have made with them.”

image005.jpg

Our second pop-up museum was at the Ball Performing Arts Center for McLennan Community College’s Hansel and Gretel opera performance. To relate to the theme of the opera, we asked participants to bring an item that reminded them of a childhood memory. We received seven very special objects and their stories. Many of the objects referenced some of the most important people that we have in our lives: our grandparents. One participant wrote about a dog fence topper that “was mounted on the fence in my grandparent’s backyard. We spent so much time playing in their backyard growing up. When they died and we sold their house, each grandkid kept one of these dogs.” The owner of a Rubik’s Cube mimicked that common sentiment. “I got my first Rubik’s Cube from my grandmother and ‘solved’ it by taking off the stickers and putting them in the right spots. Later, I learned how to solve one. Today, I still love doing puzzles!”

Our next pop-up museum will be held on Saturday, April 22 at the Farmer’s Market. Theme will be PLAY! We are inviting everyone to bring an item that can be played with and enjoyed by others. In the end, objects can make it easier to share personal stories and to connect with foreign strangers (and, if you’re Lord Voldemort, to live forever). We used to proudly share them during kindergarten show-and-tells, but have since had fewer opportunities to do so. The Museum Association of Waco is trying to change that through the hosting of its pop-up museums. We hope to see you at one soon with your precious object and your amazing story!

image008.jpg

Matthew Doyen is the coordinator of the Museum Association of Waco’s Traveling Community Museum. He will (hopefully) graduate from Baylor University in May with an MA in Museum Studies. When not looking for his next paying adventure, he enjoys exploring Waco’s food scene and hanging with his majestic dog, Tex.

10 places to purchase local art in Waco

By Rae Jefferson
Director of Marketing and Communications

As a nonprofit focused on growing and supporting the arts in Waco, we receive many questions related to the cultural and creative climate of the city. We are, of course, more than happy to provide answers and often find ourselves talking about practical things like funding opportunities for local arts organizations, as well as exciting events like our Waco 52 exhibition at the State Capitol in May.

But in the last couple years, one question has continued to rise: Where in Waco can I buy local art? 

On the surface, it may seem as if there aren’t many places in Waco to purchase original works of art from local artists. However, that just isn’t the case. Even though Waco may not occupy the biggest plot of land in Texas, there are a number of galleries and studios across the city offering work from artists of diverse mediums and backgrounds. Creativity abounds in Waco and we have just the list to help you get your fix of original, local art.

 

Dichotomy

Dichotomy

Christi's Interiors

Christi's Interiors

Christi's Interiors

Christi's Interiors

1.    Christi's Interiors is a shop owned by former "Trading Spaces" designer Christi Proctor. The store is on Upper Austin Avenue and features upscale home decor, designs, and art produced by locals.

Christi's Interiors Facebook page
1023 Austin Ave.
254-235-1047

2.    Studio Gallery is a gallery and framing store that has been open since 1970. The shop currently features work from 10 local artists who's work can be seen on the store's website. Studio Gallery also specializes in restoration of photos, frames, and art.

studiogallerywaco.com
4712 West Waco Drive
254-772-0907

The Art Center of Waco

The Art Center of Waco

3.    The Art Center of Waco is a truly creative space. The Art Center rotates exhibitions from local artists, in addition to an outdoor sculpture garden. It also offers a number of courses in several mediums for artists of all ages and skill levels, and sponsors an artist-in-residence who works out of studio space on the second floor.

artcenterwaco.org
1300 College Drive
254-752-4371

4.    Dichotomy is a fantastic coffee and drink shop. That, however, hasn’t prevented it from also showcasing local art on its walls. Coffee, cocktails, and curation.

dichotomycs.com
508 Austin Ave.
254-756-2313

5.    Interior Glow is housed on the first floor of the beautiful Praetorian building in Downtown Waco. This high-end home decor shop would be incomplete without the original works of art that are for sale on its walls. Bru Coffee is also located in the same space (art + coffee = yes).

interiorglow.com
601 Franklin Ave.
254-315-7686

Klassy Glass

Klassy Glass

6.    Klassy Glass is a wine bar and bistro with walls boasting dozens of works by local artists. Sip a glass of wine, enjoy the day's lunch special, and purchase quality pieces of art from Waco artists during your next trip to Klassy Glass.

klassyglasswinebar.com
723 Austin Ave. # 1
214-
752-1808

7.    Anthem Studios is on the fourth floor of the Praetorian, making it a great stop after visiting Interior Glow. Anthem is an art gallery and studio space that houses several local artists, so there might be an opportunity to meet the artists who's pieces are for sale on the walls.

praetorian.info/studios.html
601 Franklin Ave.
254-307-8998

8.    Papillon Antiques is located on Upper Austin right next to Christi's and offers a wide selection of European antiques and gifts, as well as original art. Like Studio Gallery, the artworks can be seen on the shop's website.

papillonantiques.com
1025 Austin Ave.
254-235-1522

9.    Stanton Studios is an architectural art studio specializing in wood, glass, and metal. Work from Stanton Studios can be seen in churches and other structures across Waco. During the holidays, the studio sells mouth-blown glass vases and ornaments and even offers do-it-yourself sessions to the public.

stantonstudiostx.com
318 Rogers Hill Rd
254-829-1151

10.  The Findery is a favorite with tourists and locals alike. The farmhouse-style shop includes clothing and accessories, as well as home decor and art. The Findery is made up of six different vendors under one roof.

thefindery.net
501 South 8th St.

254-235-1777

Kids

In Waco for Spring Break? 10 Activities Your Family and Friends Will Love!

By Rebecca Edwards
Contributor

Waco is full of great activities for kids this Spring Break!  Here are our top ten ways to enjoy quality time with your family and friends for Spring Break 2017!

10        Outdoor Play at the Silos

If you’re a Waco native or visitor, the outdoor space at the Silos is a must-visit.  From the ever-green turf with yard games and swings to the ever-changing garden and topiary tee-pee, just the grounds themselves are worth a visit.  Not to mention the food trucks, with local favorites like Common Grounds and Luna Juice Bar, it’s a perfect spot for an afternoon snack.

 

9          Skate World Waco

One of my favorite things to do as a child was roller skate.  Our local rinks are great places to escape back to childhood with our children.  Skate World is having daily specials, including free or reduced admission and concession discounts.  If you haven’t been, this week is great opportunity.

8          Downtown Photo Walk

On two afternoons during Spring Break, our wonderful library is hosting a downtown photo walk.  Meet at the Waco Hippodrome at 2:00 on Monday for a downtown tour.  Then, on Wednesday, the walk meets at the "Branding the Brazos" longhorn sculptures by the Suspension Bridge.  Bring your camera, and wear your walking shoes!  A great way to see our lovely city up close.

7          Cameron Park Zoo

Spring Break is a popular time to be at the zoo, and the City of Waco is ready with a transit bus schedule to additional parking areas.  There will also be special food vendors on site to help fill hungry bellies.  Families can purchase tickets in advance and skip the line at the entrance.  A membership to the zoo is also a great value.  Be sure to try to see Baby orangutan Razak, born January 12th.  The primate team is keeping an extra close eye on him, but he is out from time to time for the public to see.

6          Waco’s Murals

Did you know Waco has over twenty murals all over town?  Use the list from Waco Fork and see if you can find them all.  Don’t forget to find out the story behind each one.

 

5          Cameron Park

With its ample river front trails and abundant play-scapes, Cameron Park is the ultimate [FREE] leisure destination in Waco.  The iconic Lover’s Leap provides a panoramic view of the Waco area.  With plenty of space to spread out, Cameron Park is a lovely patch of beautiful natural scenery right in the middle of the city.  Check out the free app which includes detailed trail maps!  The City of Waco will host a game of Capture the Flag on Tuesday at 2:00.

4          Waco Hippodrome

Waco’s 'Grand Dame', this restored historic theater is always fun to visit.  The atmosphere cannot be beat, and we love the food and drinks you can order during a movie is more than convenient.  For the week of Spring Break, The Hippodrome is showing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen (see Mayborn Museum’s events below).  And once you revisit that classic, be sure to enjoy seeing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off again.  Both films have multiple showings during the week.

3          Waco Library Programs

One of our favorite [FREE] things in Waco is the Waco-McLennan County Library.  Not only are there limitless stories in which to get lost, but also dynamic programming that keep my children curious about what will be next.  This year, our library is leaving the library!  That’s right.  Throughout the week of Spring Break, while all the books and resources that we are accustomed to will still be at the library, “Library On The Go” will be held at different locations throughout Waco.  Visit The Art Center Waco, Miss Nellie’s Pretty Place, The Waco Police Department, and the East Terrace House while enjoying great stories and themed crafts at each location.

2          Mayborn Museum

Our family has always had a membership at the Mayborn Museum since our children were little.  But even as they get older, the fun continues!  The Mayborn is running a membership special during the week of Spring Break:  purchase a membership and receive an extra one-day guest pass. 

This Spring’s traveling exhibit features fun, educational activities involving the story of The Wizard of Oz.  Littles and Bigs alike will love exploring the Gale farm, finding the yellow brick road, pretending to be the Wizard, and scaling the witch’s castle.  Also on display are literary works and movie memorabilia related to all things Oz.

And there’s more!  Fifty images of Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh, my!) by three of National Geographic’s top photo journalists is an additional bonus exhibit.  The rich images of these beautiful creatures might be worth the cost of admission alone!

Finally, beginning March 4th through the end of May, National Geographic’s Extreme Weather, a 40-minute movie will play in the SBC Theater.  Admission to Extreme Weather is $3 for children, adults, and groups, $2 for Baylor University students and museum members. Show times are

    •       Saturdays - 11 am, 1 pm, & 3 pm

    •       Sundays - 2 pm & 4 pm

    •       Tuesdays11 am & 1 pm

1          Art Center of Waco

The NUMBER ONE Edwards Family destination for this year’s Spring Break, of course, is the Art Center of Waco.  We love seeing the art of Waco’s own Joel Edwards. (We’re all really proud of him.) His solo show is up until the end of the week, and the Art Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday.

While you’re there, check out the sculpture garden and the beautiful McLennan Community College campus.  (Pokemon trainer alert!)


Waco App: Android

Waco App: Android

STILL LOOKING FOR MORE? Don't forget to check out Waco's online calendars for more information about what's on each day and be sure to download the brand new WACO APP! 

The app is available in the Play Store for android and the App Store for Apple. Search for “Waco TX,” or “Waco” and look for the heart icon with a W in the middle. 

Have a great Spring Break!


Rebecca Edwards is an artist, photographer, educator and lover of life who lives in Waco with her husband, Joel, and their three kids.

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Why the Arts Matter in Texas

By Caitlin Giddens

The arts are more than entertainment. They evoke powerful emotions. They connect us through shared experiences. They change us and our communities for the better and they generate $5.5 billion each year for the state’s economy.

These were the key points of discussion during the Texas Arts Advocacy Day, organized by Texans For the Arts in partnership with the Texas Cultural Trust, at the State Capitol on February 9. The Creative Waco team left the session feeling informed, empowered, enthusiastic about speaking for the arts and proud of Waco for serving as an example of a community in which diverse sectors are working together effectively to grow the arts.

“It is helpful to have firsthand knowledge and to see how arts advocacy works on a state level,” Angie Veracruz, co-founder and executive director of the Central Texas Artist Collective, said. “We learned how to change perceptions about the arts. The arts are vital to a community and thrive when there is support from all sectors.” 

Keynote speaker Margy Waller, senior fellow with Topos Partnership, shared her critical research in communicating the impact and value of the arts. The first step is differentiating the arts from entertainment. If state leaders think of the arts as entertainment, they will fail to understand why investment in this key sector is vital.  

Waller explains it’s important to understand that the arts are a necessary part of the community and local economy. This sector contributes $343.7 million in state sales tax revenue annually. The arts serve as the strongest beacon of tourism, generating revenue for local businesses. And they enhance local property values and incentivize new construction. 

“We all benefit from the powerful ripple effect of a vibrant creative sector in Waco,” Creative Waco Executive Director Fiona Bond said. “When people come together to share experiences and ideas, they connect with each other in powerful ways to create a community that can solve its problems with imagination, understanding and a dose of laughter, wonder, curiosity and the unique magic that the arts bring.” 

That ripple effect could be seen in new research released at the event by the Texas Cultural trust, quantifying the benefits of arts in education.

This year’s Advocacy Day was especially important, as last session’s investment funding for the Cultural & Fine Arts District Programs is not included in the proposed state budget. If this appropriation is not reinstated, Downtown Waco, the newest cultural district in Texas, will lose its opportunity to apply for this high impact investment.

“Cultural districts are a powerful resource for cities,” Bond said. “Analysis on the first 1.5 million dollars that was invested through the state’s Cultural District program shows that it delivered more than $20 million in direct impact. That’s a great return on investment by any measure.”

State leaders will decide whether to restore the $5 million appropriation for Cultural Districts in the next few weeks during the 85th Legislative Session budget discussions. To support the appropriation, write a letter to your senator or representative. Tell them the facts and the benefits of arts in our community. 

“When talking about the arts, know your facts and be truthful, especially when speaking to a state leader,” Veracruz said. “They have many topics of interest on their plate. They need to know the key facts in order to vote for what is best for their communities.” 

Texas-specific research into the impact of the arts can be found on the Texas cultural Trust Website.

If you aren’t in direct contact with your state leaders, you can advocate for arts funding by contacting Executive Director of Texans for the Arts Ann Graham at info@texansforthearts.com

From left: Animator and cartoonist, Greg Peters; Director of The Art Center of Waco, Meg Gilbert; Creative Waco staff member, Caitlin Giddens; Director of Central Texas Artist Collective, Angie Veracruz; Baylor Religion Department faculty member and Creative Waco board member, Elise Edwards; Creative Waco staff member, Luann Jennings; Texas State Representative from Waco, Doc Anderson; and Creative Waco Executive Director, Fiona Bond.

From left: Animator and cartoonist, Greg Peters; Director of The Art Center of Waco, Meg Gilbert; Creative Waco staff member, Caitlin Giddens; Director of Central Texas Artist Collective, Angie Veracruz; Baylor Religion Department faculty member and Creative Waco board member, Elise Edwards; Creative Waco staff member, Luann Jennings; Texas State Representative from Waco, Doc Anderson; and Creative Waco Executive Director, Fiona Bond.

Arts in Education: Cultural Arts Waco

We continue our posts for National Arts in Education Week (#ArtsEdWeek) with today's profile: Cultural Arts Waco

Cultural Arts Waco celebrates and promotes our community’s diverse artistic and cultural life; develops and enriches its cultural capacity; and champions the economic, social, and educational benefits of the arts in the Greater Waco area and beyond. 

Summer STEAM for Creative Kids!

Summercamps 2016

“What?  Texas summers are hot and humid already!  Why in the world should I add STEAM?”

It's short for "Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math"…STEAM!  Classes and camps that focus on these areas allow for active, creative, and hands-on learning.   How fun would it be to combine art and programming skills to imagine and produce your own computer game?  Who wouldn’t want to act in a play and use technology to present the final product? How cool would it be to express yourself with art, or design a robot to solve a task!  Both art and science stimulate the senses and allow for imagination and exploration.  Inside everyone is a creative problem solver that is just waiting to be set free. 

And it gets better! Evidence shows that kids learn best when they are having fun in a creative environment.. They also retain what they have learned much better with these kinds of hands-on experiences.

This summer, over twenty different experts in the visual and performing arts, science, technology and education have united to offer an impressive array of summer camps and classes in the Waco area.  Camp and class listings have been gathered into ONE EASY TO USE, SEARCHABLE WEBSITE!  Check out all the incredible opportunities that are available for YOUR kids! There's something for every age, ability and pocketbook right here in Waco.

Why not add a little STEAM and give your child a “cool” summer!

http://www.creativewaco.org/summercamps-2016/

Cindy Olbrich

Engineering For Kids-Heart of Texas

Best Photo Backdrops in Downtown Waco!

Our friends at Chisholm Crossing have compiled a fabulous list of places with interesting and photogenic backdrops that you might not have thought of to take your Easter, prom or graduation pics. Of course there are far more than 10 top picks. What are yours?

This iconic green door on Austin Avenue was designed and made by Stanton Studios here in Waco!

Check out the full post with pics

1. Ivy wall – One of our favorite spots, hands down, is the Insurors of Texas wall that faces Mary Avenue (Mary Avenue and 5th Street). The wall is covered in ivy or some other vine-y type greenery and is just plain lovely. Perfect if your photo subject is a redhead

2. Copper doors – The front doors to the Chapel at Meyer Center (1226 Washington Ave.) are copper, top to bottom. They might not interest everyone but they positively make us swoon. Climb the Chapel steps and see what you think.

3. Nice look Waco mural – If you’re going for something fun and Waco-flavored and your subject doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight with the backdrop, try the “You look nice today, wacotown” mural at 7th and Washington Ave. With its own hashtag (#nicelookwaco), this mural has become an Instagram favorite.

4. Green door – This unique door at 714 Austin Ave. is EVERYONE’s favorite. You can see why. I’d guess that door sees a photo shoot multiple times a week.

5. 5th Street alley – Are you looking for a little grit for your picture? It doesn’t get much grittier than the alley between Franklin and Austin that runs from 5th to 6th street. I walk that alley every day and constantly notice interesting details.

6. Suspension bridge – With so much history behind it and the distinct look of it, this iconic bridge has become Waco’s unofficial logo. If your heart is said on the bridge for pics, we suggest trying different angles to make your shot unique. We’re even fond of the little pre-bridge structures.

7. Cameron Park – To put it plainly, what part of Cameron Park ISN’T photogenic. Some suggestions: Jacob’s Ladder, the back porch of the Cameron Park Clubhouse, any of the overlooks.

8. Random walls – We’ve got so many great walls downtown, lots of used brick and faded paint. There were too many to suggest just one.

9. 8th Street mural – If you’re going for colorful, look no further. This mural, off Austin Avenue between 8th and 9th streets, is so much fun. On the weekends and evenings, the parking lot empties and you can walk right up against the wall to get the shot you want. Check it out.

10. Finish out the list for us! Do you have a favorite photo spot downtown?

Spring is the perfect time to check out art markets in Waco!

Bob Estrin

Calling all artists and art-buyers!

There are many great new opportunities for visual artists to SELL work in Waco throughout April and for collectors to check out new work by some really talented artists!

With over 30,000 people currently visiting Waco each week to buy stuff designed and made in Waco, NOW is a great time to seize the opportunity and build a reputation for Waco as a great place to come to buy art, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork and other lovingly made treasures.

Artists, Learn how to rock the markets!

HERE is a great article from artist Bob Estrin on how to be successful when you're selling art in a market setting!

And here are some markets throughout April!

1/ April 2nd Texas Foodtruck Showdown (Heritage Square)

Over 20,000 people are expected to come to Waco on April 2nd for the Chamber of Commerce-run Texas Foodtruck Showdown.

 

2/ April 9th Art on Elm Ave (Elm Avenue)

Lots of opportunities for exhibiting and selling work! Technically the vendor deadline has (just) passed, but you can still apply to exhibit. 

 

3/ April 16th onwards: Waco Artist Market (Heritage Square)

This is a brand new venture  - planned for Saturday afternoons in Heritage Square.

 

4/ April 23rd: Rootstock: A Texas Wine Festival (Indian Spring Park)

Another brand new venture by the river! Local wine and food by the river plus art, music and other cretive opportunities.

image Artist Bob Estrin Copyright