TCA Holds Rural Arts Roundtable at Round Top Festival Institute
TCA Holds Rural Arts Roundtable at Round Top Festival Institute
On December 1, the Texas Commission on the Arts convened representatives of rural arts organizations to discuss the challenges, resources, and opportunities that come up in counties with populations under 50,000 people. The roundtable was funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant that was provided to bring stakeholders together to meet on a specific topic.

Held at the Round Top Festival Institute, the meeting was moderated by TCA Commissioner Mila Gibson of Sweetwater. 19 additional representatives from 15 arts organizations attended, as well as Paco Valentin (standing in photo on the left), State Director of the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development programs. Other special guests were Jennifer Ransom Rice and Ellen Mason, Executive Director and Communications Director, respectively, of the Texas Cultural Trust. Mr. Valentin and Ms. Rice provided information on their programs that can assist rural communities, while TCA representatives discussed TCA programs for rural communities.

TCA Tour at Festival Hill
Attendees of the recent Rural Arts Roundtable took a tour of the
Round Top Festival Institute grounds between animated
conversations about challenges, resources, and ideas for
rural arts organizations and their communities.
This was the first meeting that TCA has ever held to convene rural arts professionals, and participants were able to glean new insights from each other and forge new relationships. TCA will be writing up the summary and results of this lively conversation and will make it available to the public shortly.

One early conclusion from the roundtable is that it would be beneficial to provide a means for ongoing communication for rural arts organizations through a Facebook group; if you're an artist or arts organization representative in a county with a population of under 50,000, please join the Texas Rural Arts group on Facebook. TCA extends thanks to all attendees for their participation and to the Round Top Festival Institute for providing the perfect setting for this meeting.  --TCA Newsletter, December 2016

Note from RTFI: Round Top Festival Institute receives funding through the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts--assistance that is greatly needed and appreciated. RTFI supports Texas artists by including performing arts companies and artists on the TCA Texas Touring Roster in its programming, including the Texas Guitar Quartet, scheduled to perform at Festival Hill on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

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