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From shows at The Grand 1894 Opera House, stunning artwork at The Bryan Museum, to ArtWalk events downtown, Galveston is a city brimming with arts and culture.
In an effort to further promote these treasures, the Galveston Park Board is hosting an arts and culture focus group to determine the best ways to do so, and to develop cultural mapping for the island.
All members of the community are invited to join the discussion that will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Edna’s Room at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston. Representatives from the city of Galveston, Galveston Arts Center, the Park Board, Downtown Partnership and the Downtown Cultural Arts District will be there to discuss the need, initial game plan and goals for funding and creating a Cultural Master Plan for the island. This will be a conversation with the public and open to questions or comments.
Part of this process is to develop cultural mapping for Galveston. Cultural mapping is a process that honors people’s knowledge and shared experience. It offers the opportunity to develop visual representations — a map — of the tangible and intangible benefits of cultural resources. Once the mapping is developed and a master plan is created, Galveston will be better equipped to receive funding to enhance and expand its arts and culture offerings.
Recently, the Park Board approved spending $100,000 to fund an National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant application, which would cover the cost of a Cultural Master Plan. The city council and the Galveston Arts Center will be submitting the grant while the Park Board has committed to match the grant funding and curate the cultural mapping.
In May, during the island’s Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Summit, Ann Graham of Austin-based Texans for the Arts moderated a discussion among several arts and culture stakeholders. A major takeaway from that discussion was that promoting arts and culture, in addition to Galveston’s natural assets, will elevate the island’s perception among visitors and potential visitors.
The Park Board and the CVB have been working with its partners for more than five years on a concerted effort to draw visitors to experience the many art and entertainment offerings in Galveston. The efforts coincide with their goals to attract more engaged visitors to the island like those who spend more time and money while in the destination. Promoting these experiences is also expected to help boost business during shoulder seasons.
Park board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St.
Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.